Oman. According to COUNTRYAAH, Muscat is the capital of Oman which is located in Western Asia. Sultan Qabus ibn Said returned to the country in March after spending more than six months in Germany where he received cancer care. He then rarely appeared in public, but appeared on television shortly before his 75th birthday in November, in preparation for a cyclone approaching the country. Qabu’s age and morbidity were a cause for concern in the country; the sultan who has ruled the country a lot since 1970 has no heirs.
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Oman continued to play a role as regional mediator and through discreet diplomacy tried to resolve several of the difficult conflicts in the region: in Syria and Yemen and at the settlement reached by Iran during the year with the Western powers over its nuclear program. The country stood as the only country on the Arabian Peninsula outside the war in Yemen and, unlike the other good relations with Shi’ite Iran, was also alone in not having broken completely with the Syrian government.
In June, Oman received six Yemenites from the US Guant芍namo detention camp in Cuba. The six had been held in the camp for about 13 years, with no formal charges. One of them had hunger strike since 2007, but was subjected to forced feeding.
Elections to the country’s advisory assembly were held in October. Of 590 candidates for the 85 seats, 20 were women. Since parties are not allowed, everyone stood as independent. Only 25 former members were re-elected. The turnout was stated to be 56%.
Research along the country’s eastern and southern coasts has had an important development at the site of Ra’s al-Juneiz, a few kilometers west of Ra’s al-Ḥadd, where ongoing excavations have revealed contacts with the ancient Indus civilization.
Elements of the Harappa culture have also been discovered in Maisar, a small village in the eastern region where in the 3rd millennium BC the mining and processing of copper were combined with relatively advanced agricultural activity. The settlement was also inhabited and flourishing in the 1st millennium BC, a period to which an interesting example of channeling with underground water collection dates back. Numerous burials found and partly excavated in the Wādī Bawshar, in the area of the capital, date back to the second half of the 1st millennium BC with extension up to the first centuries AD.
For many centuries since the beginning of the Islamic period the Oman played an important commercial role in the Indian Ocean, along the coasts of East Africa and in Southeast Asia. The city of Sohār, which flourished in the medieval period, but of probable pre-Islamic origin, investigated by a French mission, was particularly important in the exchanges between the Arab world, insular Asia and the East. The hinterland of the city, rich in agricultural and mineral resources, was the subject of extensive exploration by a team of the Department of Antiquities who also conducted excavations at the mining center of ῾Arja (dating back to the mid-Abbasid period but following settlement phases of the 3rd and 1st millennium BC).conducted several seasons of excavation on the site of ancient Ẓafār on the southern coast of Oman, in the area of the modern city of Salalah. The city, built in the 12th century AD and developed thanks to trade with Africa and the East, first became a formal part of the great kingdom of the Yemeni Rasulids and then became a small independent kingdom.