Excavations at
Ras al-Hadd, Oman

Project leader

Department of the Middle East 

Supported by

Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman

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 Radiate coins

The town of Ras al-Hadd is located on the east coast of Oman facing the Indian Ocean at what was an important ancient trading point between East Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian peninsula.

It is home to a range of archaeological sites with evidence of settlement dating as far back as the Chalcolithic (Copper) Age (about 3,000 BC). Working in close collaboration with the Ministry for Heritage and Culture in Oman, this project is excavating the main settlement mound in the small town of Hadd.

With connections to the Indus valley, Zanzibar, East Africa, the Persian Gulf, Iran and Iraq, the archaeology of Ras al-Hadd has the potential to significantly contribute to our understanding of 5,000 years of contact across the Indian Ocean.

About the project

Ras al-Hadd is an area of small sites dotted around a shallow coastal lagoon on the eastern coast of Oman.

This project is excavating the main settlement mound within the small town.

More about the project 

Project reports

The first season of excavations took place between late January and mid-February 2013 within the courtyard of Ras al-Hadd’s imposing fort.

Thanks are due to the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for their generous support and invaluable assistance in enabling it to happen.

Excavations at Ras al-Hadd, 2013 

Project team


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C. Cartwright ‘Seasonal Aspects of Bronze and Iron Age Communities at Ra's al-Hadd, Oman’, EnvironmentalArchaeology 3, 1998: 97-102

C. Cartwright, E. Glover ‘Ra’s al Hadd: Reconstructing the Coastal Environment in the 3rd Millennium BC and later’, The Journal of Oman Studies 12, 2002: 41-53

J. Reade ‘Excavations at Ra's al-Hadd, 1988: Preliminary Report’, in The Joint Hadd Project. Summary Report on the Third Season (October 1987-February 1988). (eds) S. Cleuziou, J. Reade and M. Tosi, Paris, Rome, ERA 30, ISMEO, 1990,: 33-43

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J. Reade 1997 ‘Ra's al-Hadd’, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 4, (ed) E.M. Meyers, New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997: 409

J. Reade and S.Méry ‘A Bronze Age Site at Ra's al-Hadd’, in The Joint Hadd Project. Summary Report on the Second Season (November 1986-January 1987). (eds) S. Cleuziou and M. Tosi, Napoli, Paris, Rome, ERA 30, ISMEO, 1988: 75-77