FIELD SCHOOL – TIME OF MAGAN
Archaeological Excavations at Ras Al Jinz RJ-3
Sultanate of Oman January – April 2022
RAS AL JINZ
The Ras Al Jinz Project, led by Valentina Azzarà and Alexandre De Rorre, has been exploring since 2017 the settlement site of RJ-3, in the natural reserve of Ras Al Jinz, bordering the Indian Ocean on the easternmost cape of the Arabian Peninsula. The site was occupied from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Early Bronze Age (EBA, 4th-3rd mill. BCE), as revealed by a long sequence of occupations, quite exceptional for a coastal site in the region.
During the EBA, RJ-3 most likely formed a single settlement – extended on 3 or 4 ha – with the well-known site of RJ-2, located on the other side of the bay. Explored for more than 25 years, RJ-2 is a key-site of Arabian archaeology and one of the foremost EBA settlements in the region. It shows solid evidence for interactions with Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, and has yielded the richest assemblage of seals in Oman, as well as a large amount of bitumen slabs from boat caulking.
Closer to the seashore, RJ-3 was a specialised area related to different sorts of craft activities, including in particular the production of shell and stone ornaments. These activities were associated with different types of evidence – short-lasting huts and permanent stone structures.
THE FIELD SCHOOL
Time Of Magan Field School programs are an excellent opportunity for BA and MA students to gain experience in the field of Arabian Archaeology, and more broadly in settlement archaeology (excavation and documentation) and artefacts/ecofacts processing and recording.
We provide a range of expert-led research focused training designed to introduce students to practical archaeological field methods, and to build and expand on knowledge and experience gained during your university studies.
Students and most staff members will be staying in a dedicated house in a quiet neighbourhood in Ras al Hadd in the Sharquiyyah region. The accommodations are shared bedrooms, with three to five persons per room, a basic shower and squat toilet in each room. Sheets and pillows will be provided, but participants should bring towels and sleeping bags.
THE FIELD WORK
Once we start field work, the day is fairly full. We have breakfast at 6:00 am and we leave the house for the field at 6:45 am – arriving there by 7:00 am.
We have a break at around 10:00 am with a quick snack. Work in the field ends each day at 1:30 pm.
After the lunch-break, the afternoons are reserved for lab activities, which can be followed by core and thematic lectures. At 6:00 pm we get together in the labs to discuss the day’s work. During these meetings, we will discuss problems, successes, results and interpretations. By contributing information and suggestions, you will actively partake in the debate. Around 8:00 pm we eat dinner as a group at the house.
Weekend is from Thursday afternoon to Friday night and sometime could be extended for trip purposes. It is advised to arrive in Oman on Thursday to start the field work at the beginning of the working week (Saturday).
The training includes:
In-field methods and
In the field
• Digging different types of features with the adapted trowelling and excavation techniques.
• Basic principles of stratigraphy and Harris Matrix.
• Recording and documenting the data during the excavation.
• Monitoring test trenches
• Practice on the recognition of archaeological materials
• Basic procedures for sample collection.
• Use of Electronic Total Station
Post-excavation laboratory activities
• Sorting out and classification of archaeological objects: ceramics, faunal remains, metals, lithics, shells and stone ornaments.
• Digital recording of finds (data-base and photography)
• Principles of:
o Analysis of lithic artefacts
o Experimental archaeology
• Principles of:
o Computer Aided Drawing
The field school fees cover in-field transportation, field equipment, accommodation, all meals except Friday, instructor fees, visit to the Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve Museum, and field trips to ancestral Sharquiyyah region.
Weekends are yours to explore the cultural and natural attractions in the area (the fees cover one week-end trip every 2 weeks of traineeship: visit to the Wahiba Sands desert or visit to the Wadi Shab canyon).
Airfare and your personal gear are your responsibility.
At the end of the Field Program, students will receive a certificate of participation stating the hours and activities of the training. Participants that perform remarkably well may receive a letter of recommendation from our organisation upon request.
No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.
APPLICATION AND FEES
Minimum 7 / Maximum 20 participants per 2-weeks session
Period: January – April 2022 (arrival on Thursdays, beginning of work in the field on Saturdays)
2 weeks minimum of participation are required. It is advised to participate during 4 weeks.
All fees should be paid 1 month before arrival.
• Total fee for 2-weeks session: 1300 US dollars
• Total fee for 4-weeks session 2500 US dollars
• Total fee for 8-weeks session 4500 US dollars
Complete refund until two weeks before the departure date. 30% fee will be kept in case of cancellation within two weeks from the departure date.
Airfare, visa and personal insurance not included in the fees
Health and safety precautions/regulations: Vaccinations for COVID-19, DTP, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B must be up to date. A health insurance with COVID-19 treatment is mandatory; travel insurance is recommended.
Visa requirements: a visa (for 30 days) must be bought for 20 OR (c. $52 / 50€) through online application (more information upon request). The visa can be extended for 30 additional days (20 OR).
Application method: Send CV and letter of motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline date: Applications will be considered upon submission and can be sent until the 20 of January 2022.
But please note!
Participating in an archaeological campaign is an exciting work, but it is also sometimes tiring and challenging. It is important that you are ready and fit for outdoor physical activity. The typical day starts early in the morning and runs until late-afternoon.
Project leaders: Valentina Azzarà (Leiden University, Faculty of Archaeology)
Alexandre De Rorre (independent researcher)
Our partners: Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman
Leiden University, Faculty of Archaeology (Netherlands)
UMR 7041 – ArScAn VEPMO – Maison René Ginouvès, Nanterre (France)