Topic ID #30394 - posted 12/17/2013 3:31 PM

Oman- Bat Field School




Dates: January 16 - February 20, 2015

Project Description: 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. 


Academic Credits: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through Connecticut College.

Total Cost: $ 4,250

Accommodations: 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 (1500 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.   

Meals: 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.

Travel Information: Students arriving by air will be met at the Muscat International Airport (MCT) by project staff members. You should plan to arrive to Muscat by Jan 16 at 8:00pm.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone numbers and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: Valid passport for at least six months and visa are required for entry into Oman. Omani embassies and consulates issue multiple-entry tourist and/or business visas valid for up to two years. Omani immigration officials at the port of entry determine the length of stay in Oman, which varies according to the purpose of travel. Alternatively, U.S. citizens may obtain a 30-day visa by presenting their U.S. passports on arrival at all Oman land, sea, and air entry points. Adequate funds and proof of an onward/return ticket, though not required, are strongly recommended. The fee is Rials Omani 20.00 (approximately USD 52.00). This visa can be extended for an extra 30 days only. For more information, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page.

Health: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in Oman, consult with the Centers for Disease Control website.

Project Directors and Contact Information: Dr. Christopher P. Thornton, University of Pennsylvania Museum (; Dr. Charlotte M. Cable, Michigan State University (; Dr. Ruth Young, University of Leicester (

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