The Sapienza University of Rome Archaeological Mission in Arabian Peninsula and Gulf Area (MASPAG) has been founded in 2020 in the Department of Science of Antiquities and in the long-standing research and pedagogic traditions of the Italian schools of the Near East Archaeology, History and Art History. Thanks to an experience of many years of excavations, surveys and conservations research crossing Eurasia from north-western Syria to south-eastern Arabia, MASPAG’s members plans, follows and supports different interdisciplinary projects in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf collaborating with many national and international institutions and laboratories, researchers and scholars for exploring, safeguarding and promoting the tangible and intangible heritages of ancient nomad and sedentary cultures, with specific attention to biological and anthropological approaches. MASPAG is now involved in the promotion of an Atlas of the Ancient Near East financed by Sapienza as a Great Athenaeum Project in 2016 and in field research in Oman as Great Athenaeum Excavation (2019, 2020, 2021).
MASPAG story stands on the shoulders of a long tradition of Italian scientific investigation in the Sultanate of Oman.
Thanks to the cooperations between Omani and Italian Institutions amazing scientific experiences were established, lasting to this day and of which we are proud to be part!
MASPAG scientific ambition is to better understand the ways of life of the ancient communities that inhabitated the eastern Arabian Peninsula, and were in direct contact with the most renown ancient empires of history – from the Babylonian to the Persians.
The the structure of those communities is what we sought to better understand, the question is how are we going to do it?
The Sultanate of Oman has always been a junction of the trade routes connecting the Far East, Eastern Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. As an old seafaring nation, Oman has taken part in the complex network of cultural and material exchanges between East and West since prehistoric times. Numerous historical sites, archaeological contexts and museums testifying Oman’s centrality in these exchanges constitutes the extraordinary richness of its cultural heritage.
Today Oman is a country with a quickly growing economy and stable government, which enacted a modern and detailed statute protecting both tangible and untangible heritage. It is one of the most modern pieces of legislation within the Arab world on the subject and provides broad protection for the rich cultural heritage of the country.
Our commitment, parallel to our scientific research, is to accompany you in the discovery of the secrets, history and heritage of the Sultanate of Oman. Let us fall in love with this pearl between deserts, mountains and seas!
In archaeology, when excavating a site, we compile a sort of diary (“diario di scavo” in Italian) in which we write down everything that was found in the various layers and sectors of the excavations, the daily progress of the work, and everything that has some archaeological relevance, whether being some early interpretation or some questions and issues that need further investigation.
With this idea in mind, we decided to open a diary on our web-site, where we can tell talk about our idea of archeology, have an exchange with our community and keep you updated on the progress of the mission.