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The necropolis of Thaj (Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia): An Archaeological and Anthropological Approach

Abstract : Thāj, a major east Arabian caravan city settled from the ‘Hellenistic’ to the early Sasanian period, is composed of a large walled city of 40 ha, extensive suburbs, and a necropolis of over 1000 tombs. As part of the Thāj Archaeological Project (SCTH/CNRS/ Leiden University), an archaeological study of the necropolis was launched in 2017, with the aim of determining the burial practices, cultural identity, and social organization of the inhabitants of Thāj, and to reconstruct their way of life (diet, health status, etc.). These issues are addressed through a comprehensive approach combining spatial analysis, targeted archaeological excavations, and anthropological analysis. In 2017 a remote survey of the necropolis enabled the identification of more than 1000 tombs, 210 of which were surveyed in the field, as a first step towards the analysis of their typology and spatial distribution. The excavation of a ‘white circle’ (also called ‘ring tumulus’; see Bibby 1973) provided new evidence on burial practices, tomb building techniques, and chronology. Finally, the discovery of several child burials close to the city wall offers new insights into the diversity of funerary treatments at Thāj.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 4:19:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 3:16:09 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03832389, version 1


Marie Laguardia, Olivia Munoz, Jérôme Rohmer. The necropolis of Thaj (Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia): An Archaeological and Anthropological Approach. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 2019, 49, pp.199-206. ⟨hal-03832389⟩



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