5,000-year-old rock carvings offer insight into Oman's history - in pictures

Petroglyphs are made by picking or carving the surface of rocks

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Rock carvings in Oman's Musandam governorate are giving tourists and archaeologists a glimpse of life in the sultanate up to 5,000 years ago.

The petroglyphs, made by picking or carving the surface of rocks, depict hunting, socialising and other activities.

Amna Al Shehhi, a researcher in the history of petroglyphs, told the Oman News Agency that 30 drawings had been found at 15 sites within three areas – Wadi Khasab, Wadi Qada and Jabal Sham.

"We found that the region is rich in rock drawings and engravings, reflecting a high level of artistic skill," she told ONA.
The drawings have attracted visitors to Musandam, an isolated province that borders the UAE.

"We've seen these drawings since childhood. They are just there. Tourists like to come here," Abdulrehman Ahmed Al Mulla, a tourism operator, told the Oman Observer in 2017, saying they were well preserved.
"They are exactly like how they were before. As children we used to go further down to the wadi to look out for more."

The petroglyphs, showing animals such as camels, donkeys and goats, could date back as far as the Bronze and Iron ages, experts say.

There is also lettering scattered among the rocks, and drawings offering clues to life in the region at the time. Depictions of coins, jewellery and clothing are also featured, as well as ships, irrigation channels and palm trees.