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Although Oman’s National Heritage Protection Law (NHPL) of 1980 explicitly emphasises the importance of recording the country’s archaeological resource, no major attempt has yet been made to quantify it in a truly comprehensive way. And what few attempts have been made to do so in consistent and standard ways have seen attention limited to specific geographical regions and usually with research objectives that did not include recording. With Oman’s accelerating pace of modernization since the 1970s, parts of the nation’s archaeological resource have become exposed to and endangered by both natural and human factors. Some components have been partially destroyed, others increasingly threatened. It is, therefore, beyond dispute that the establishment of a national archaeology record is an urgent need. In response to such a reality, this paper highlights the neglected role of the archaeological records in the practices of both researchers and management. It reviews the present practices of the relevant bodies when compiling, verifying, storing, managing and exploiting information related to the nation’s archaeological resources. The paper also examines existing records in terms of their aims, scope, development, usage, limitations and adequacy. Finally, it suggests ways to enhance current practice and establish a national record of archaeological resources.




Oman archaeological databases archaeological records archaeological resource management.

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