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Volume :32 Issue : 126 2014      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Snake Symbolism in the Prehistoric and Pre-Islamic Times in the Oman Peninsula: The Archaeological Evidence (in Arabic)

Auther : Nasser Al-Jahwari

This paper discusses the importance of snakes and their symbolism in the life and beliefs of the prehistoric and pre-Islamic societies in the Oman Peninsula. Such an issue has not been given great attention in the literature about the archaeology of Oman. It is the aim of this paper to collect, analyze and interpret all the published archaeological evidence about snakes found in sites all over the peninsula. It also presents the results of the 2011 archaeological survey carried out in the village of Sint in Bahla. The statistical analysis shows that there is an archaeological evidence indicating the importance of snakes (perhaps a snake cult) in one way or another in the life and beliefs of Omani prehistoric and pre-Islamic inhabitants. However, this importance does not give us an idea about the type and size of this importance. It seems that this importance started during the Umm an-Nar Period (2500-2000 BC) and developed during the Iron Age (1300-300 BC). The available scanty archaeological evidence, together with the lack of written texts, does not help in answering many questions regarding the nature, distribution and origin of the snake cult in the Oman Peninsula.  

Moreover, there is an evidence indicating a cultural contact between the peninsula and other neighboring areas where snake cult was practiced. Such contacts might give some indications about the possibility of some cultural movement and adoption of the snake cult in the Oman Peninsula. 

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