Conference « Mleiha, center of an ancient kingdom of the Oman peninsula », given at Qalaat al-Bahrain by Michel Mouton, director of the CEFAS.
Mr. Michel Mouton, director of the French Center of Archeological and Social Sciences (CEFAS, Sanaa / Djeddah) gave a conference last Thursday 17th of April at the Qalaat al-Bahrain museum on the site of Mleiha (Sharjah), upon which French expeditions have, since 1986, been leading excavations and research.
This pre-Islamic site – contemporary to the Tylos period of Bahrain – was founded by a population of nomadic origins whose culture was similar to the ones of the Nabataea communities of Petra (Jordan) and Qaryat al-Fau (Saudi Arabia) as show their comparable burial practices.
The plentiful archeological material found on the site because of its sudden abandonment in the mid-3rd century AC allowed the French mission to reconstitute the culture and redefine the characteristics of this small kingdom known as Mukki, as it is called in a 2nd century inscription.
The very rich materials found in the residences of the elites of the end of the occupation of Mleiha were imported from India, Iran, the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia. It provides the evidence of maritime trade at that time, to which Mleiha used to participate actively before it was abandoned for new coastal sites such as Kush (the antique Ras al-Khaimah).