Historic Oman: Cultures, Contacts, Environment
Conference - London, 17-19 July 2000

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A conference on Historic Oman: Cultures, Contacts, Environment, sponsored by the Anglo-Omani Society and organised at The British Museum (Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities), will be held in the lecture theatre of The British Museum during Monday-Wednesday, 17-19 July 2000. It will present some of the most significant results of recent research, and the proceedings will be published.

Since the 1970s the Sultanate of Oman has welcomed teams of scholars from many institutions who have recognised its crucial role in the development of civilisation and of international trade from prehistoric through to the Islamic periods. The research has wide repercussions, deepening and sometimes transforming our understanding of the past of Oman and of other countries in and beyond Arabia. The significance of the work continues to grow, but much of it remains unpublished or relatively inaccessible. Papers at this conference will bring together, illustrate and publicize some of the more remarkable discoveries in the area. By highlighting and contrasting the work of different teams and organisations, the conference will lead to a broader understanding of Omani culture in general, and suggest directions for new research, dialogue and cooperation.

The conference will explore separate but related themes. One is the background to archaeology in Oman, the evolution of research, and current activities. Much of this bears on the environment. The British Museum is coordinating studies, based on organic remains from its excavations at Ra's al-Hadd, on how the coastal communities of ancient Oman exploited the resources of both sea and land. There will be presentations of this work, and of sites elsewhere which contribute further information on these lifestyles, which still contribute to the diversity of Omani culture today. The early relationships between Oman and other countries fronting the Indian Ocean anticipate the celebrated international connections during the period of the classical incense trade, and throughout the Islamic periods. Much new evidence has been emerging here, ranging from excavations at the prot of Khor Rori in Dhofar, to extensive discoveries of imported coins and ceramics. These will be presented together with discussions of the latest work on Omani civil and religious architecture.

Many leading scholars and experts will speak at the conference. The papers will be in English, and directed at a wide audience, in addition to specialists. There will be ample time for discussion.


The registration fee, covering light refreshments during the conference and an evening reception, will be £15. If the registration fee is paid in advance, cheques should be made out to The Trustees of The British Museum. Please register as soon as possible, as space is limited. Participants should make their own arrangements for food and accommodation; information on London hotels can be sent on request.

Please address all correspondence to

   Dr Julian Reade,
   Assistant Keeper,
   Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities,
   The British Museum,
   London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom
   E-Mail: jreade@british-museum.ac.uk
   Telephone: +44 - 207 - 323 8657
   Fax: ++44 - 207 - 323 8489

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Oman Studies Centre. - Last updated on 15 March 2000.