Ancient Omani ruler’s tomb discovered in the UAE


Share post:

An archaeological team at Mleiha in Sharjah has discovered a tomb dating back to 216-215 BC, making it the oldest historical discovery that refers to Oman and also proves that the ancient Kingdom of Oman existed in the late 3rd century BC.

Ancient Omani ruler’s tomb discovered in the UAE
Aerial view of the tomb with the inscription [Credit: Times of Oman]

“The recovered treasure features inscriptions engraved on a huge grave consisting of an underground burial chamber measuring 5.2X5.2 square metres. The inscription, written in Aramaic and a southern Arabic language, states that the tomb was built by the son of a certain Amid, who was in the service of the king of Oman,” Dr Bruno Overlaet, Curator, Ancient Near East, Iran and Islam collections at Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, wrote in an email interview he gave to the Times of Oman.

“The local Abiel dynasty, known from its coins minted at Mleiha, can in all probability be associated with this title of “King of Oman”. Their kingdom was apparently centred around Mleiha and probably consisted of the territory of the UAE and the northern parts of Oman,” the curator added.

The Belgian team directed by Dr Bruno working in close collaboration with Sharjah’s Department of Antiquities made the discovery on December 17 last year.

Ancient Omani ruler’s tomb discovered in the UAE
View of the tomb with the inscription [Credit: Times of Oman]

According to the curator, a square building of lime-bricks once stood on top of two underground burial chambers. These chambers, which once contained the deceased and the grave-related goods, had walls constructed with large boulders.

“The passage between the rooms was blocked with bricks and a large monumental inscription that had fallen down from the upper structure. The bi-lingual inscription is written in Aramaic and Ancient South Arabian,” the curator added.

Up to now, the oldest mention of the name Oman was in classical sources from the 1st century CE, where Omana refers to a harbour on the Oman peninsula.

Ancient Omani ruler’s tomb discovered in the UAE
Eisa Yousef of the Sharjah Department of Antiquities and Dr Bruno Overlaet, director of the Belgian team, 
examining the funerary inscription [Credit: Times of Oman]

Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, made the announcement of the findings when he inaugurated the first phase of the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project.

Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project has been nominated by Unesco as a World Heritage site, reflecting a rich archaeological and cultural heritage and attracting more visitors and investors.

Author: Rejimon K | Source: Times of Oman [January 31, 2016]



Related articles

Irish motorway dig reveals finds dating back to 3500BC

A ‘mound’ used as a gathering point for rituals dating back to 3500 BC, evidence of medieval treasure-hunting...

Late Bronze Age town unearthed at Tel Gezer

Archaeologists have unearthed traces of a 14th-century Canaanite city buried underneath the ruins of the Biblical city of...

India’s ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite...

New section of Rome’s Imperial Forums comes to light

A head of the imperial age of the god Dionysus, a second head of the emperor Augustus in...

2000-year-old Germanic cemetery discovered in western Poland

Polish archaeologists have discovered dozens of iron and bronze artefacts including a sword and decorative buckles in a...

Archaeologists reveal Qatar’s historic sites

Experts from a Welsh university are helping a Gulf state reveal the secrets of its past through a...

Osiris statuette discovered between blocks of Saqqara step pyramid

During restoration work being carried out on the eastern side of the King Djoser Step Pyramid in Saqqara,...

Harappa grave of ancient ‘couple’ reveals secrets

About 4,500 years ago, a man and a woman were buried in a grave together in a sprawling...