Location: Bat, Oman
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Bat, al-Khutm, and al-Ayn in northern Oman was once a major Bronze Age center of ancient “Magan” from 3,000 to 2,000 BCE, with connections to Mesopotamia, Iran, and the Indus Civilization. Unfortunately, the people of Magan did not use writing or glyptic arts to record their history or organize their societies, so we know very little about their way of life. Since 2007, the Bat Archaeological Project (BAP) has been exploring the well preserved 3rd millennium BCE remains at this site, combining GIS-assisted surveys with stratigraphic excavations, radiocarbon dating, and other specialized methodologies – including geomorphology, archaeobotany and geophysical prospection – in order to better understand the social history of this region. During the 2014 season, we will explore a new area of domestic structures, looking at the transition from an early agricultural town of the Hafit Period (ca. 3,100-2,700 BCE) to a developed Umm an-Nar center of trade and production.
Period(s) of Occupation: Bronze Age
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full program
Room and Board Arrangements
Students will live in comfortable houses in the modern town of Bat, and will be provided with lodging while in Muscat. Bat is located in the hot and dry plateau (1,500 meters above sea level) of central Oman, so certain adjustments to the climate will be necessary. The field houses have modern bathrooms and kitchens, and sleeping arrangement are mattresses on the floor or occasionally single bed frames in large communal rooms.
All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious food in the tradition of the local cuisine. The daily diet in Oman is heavily based on rice, bread, and vegetables, with only occasional meat. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in Oman, but vegetarian and halal diets are easy. Food allergies are taken very seriously and will be accommodated as best as possible.
All students are assigned to a daily and weekly chore rotation.