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The urban shrine in Quarter A at Sumhuram

The urban shrine in Quarter A at Sumhuram

Stratigraphy, Architecture, Material Culture

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After 20 years of research and excavation conducted by the Italian Mission to Oman, the ancient South Arabian port of Sumhuram, located along the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Omani Governorate of Dhofar, is known in many of its aspects. The impressive surrounding walls encircle a town that included market places, stores, dwelling quarters, monumental buildings and temples. This book presents the precise report of the excavation of a small shrine located in the centre of the town, inside the residential quarter, and discusses its diachronic evolution which suggests a phasing that mirrors all the different periods of the city life. The artifacts discovered during the excavation are illustrated, both in relation with their stratigraphic context and in a separated catalogue. A fruitful interaction between the South Arabian tradition and an indigenous substratum is reflected in these items, as well as in several architectural features. Among them, a few incense burners deserve special mention by virtue of their complex decoration and their uniqueness. The shrine, likely dedicated to the moon god Sn, was undoubtedly a relevant place for the community life throughout the more than seven hundred years of its existence, as witnessed by the great effort invested in its reconstruction. As such, the shrine was chosen as the subject of the first new publication about Sumhuram to cover the more recent, as yet unpublished, work of the Italian Mission to Oman.

1. INTRODUCTION
2. THE EXCAVATIONS:
STRATIGRAPHY AND ARCHITECTURAL EVOLUTION
Period 1 (Phases I-IV)
The collapse of the first shrine
Period 2 (Phases V-IX)
Period 3 (Phase X)
The final collapse
3. SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON ARCHITECTURE AND FURNISHING
4. HADRAMI INFLUENCE AND LOCAL ADAPTATION:
PRELIMINARY REMARKS ON THE SMALL FINDS
5. ADDITIONAL DATING EVIDENCE FROM POTTERY, STONE VESSELS AND COINS
POTTERY DESCRIPTIONS
STONE VESSELS DESCRIPTIONS
COINS DESCRIPTIONS (A.V. SEDOV)
6. CONCLUSIVE REMARKS ON THE SHRINES CHRONOLOGY
Period 1 (phases I-IV)
Period 2 (phase V-IX)
Period 3 (phase X)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
7. CATALOGUE OF SMALL FINDS
Stone and bronze statuary
Templar furnishing
Incense burners
Architectural Elements
Stone tools
Instrumenta
Personal adornments
Varia
BIBLIOGRAPHY
PLATES

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