Valentina Azzarà

Valentina Azzarà
Netherlands eScience Center · Social Sciences and Humanities

PhD (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Running a field project at the multi-period site of Ras al-Jinz RJ-3 in Oman (Neolithic, Early Bronze Age).

About

36
Publications
8,669
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Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on prehistoric non-urban societies of South-eastern Arabia throughout the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age. I study the conception, construction, use and social value of the built environment, and tackle socio-economic complexity and diversification at the level of the social unit and beyond. I am currently an Honorary Research Associate at Leiden University. I run a field project at Ras al-Jinz, and I co-direct an international field school in archaeology in Oman.
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - present
Leiden University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2016 - October 2018
Université Paris Nanterre
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2011 - November 2011
National Museum of Oman
Position
  • Subject Curator
Description
  • Adviser and text writing for Early Bronze Age / Middle Bronze Age galleries
Education
October 2006 - December 2015
September 1999 - March 2005
University of Bologna
Field of study
  • Conservation of Cultural Heritage

Publications

Publications (36)
Article
Full-text available
The Early Bronze Age site HD‐6, located close to the coastal village of Ra’s al‐Hadd on the eastern Omani coast, has been the focus of archaeological investigations for over fifteen years. This paper presents a description and definition of its lithic assemblage by means of technological analyses of both blank production sequences and retouched too...
Article
Full-text available
The Hafit settlement of HD-6 at Ra's al-Hadd, dated to the first half of the third millennium BC, is located in the easternmost area of the Sharqiyya region of Oman. Large-scale excavations have exposed a complex of architectural units made from mud brick and stone, built on the top of a sand dune some 200 m away from the ocean shore, and represent...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the concept of the household intended as a means to investigate social complexity of a community and the processes of production/consumption within it. The objective of this paper is to propose an approach to answer questions concerning social systems using archaeological evidence. The approach relies on the analysis of organi...
Article
Full-text available
The Early Bronze Age site of RJ-2, located close to the coastal village of Ra’s al- Jinz on the eastern Omani coast (Niyabat Ra’s al-Hadd), was the focus of archaeological investigations for over two decades. The latest campaigns of excavation unearthed an architectural complex (Building XII) dated to the very end of the Umm an-Nar period (Final Ua...
Article
Full-text available
Small, irregular isolated bones identified as remains of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) were recovered from Mid to Late Holocene sites at Ra's al-Hamra and Ra's al-Hadd, coastal Oman. These provide the third instance of this animal being documented from any prehistoric site anywhere, and the records provide one of the oldest, if not the...
Poster
Full-text available
The southeastern Arabian coastline with its diverse habitats and high levels of bio productivity is characterized by an abundance of archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic to Islamic periods. Since the beginning of the Holocene populations of hunter, fisher, herder and gatherers have developed cultural and behavioural knowledge that allowed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper will focus on the arrangement and the function-related organisation of space as a proxy for the characterisation of social and productive units, and of socio-economic complexity, in pre-protohistoric non-urban societies, focusing in particular on Early Bronze Age Eastern Arabia. Thoroughly explored, the sites of Ra’s al-Hadd HD-6 (c. 31...
Article
Full-text available
Interest in the built environment of Early Bronze Age (EBA) Eastern Arabia is rapidly increasing with the emergence of new field data from the excavation of settlement sites. However, little is known about architectural planning and spatial patterns in the region. This article explores non‐monumental architecture throughout the third millennium BCE...
Article
This paper presents the recent excavations at the previously unexplored site of RJ-3, in the bay of Ras al-Jinz, one of the key archaeological areas in the Omani Sharquiyyah. During the Umm an-Nar period, RJ-3 most likely formed a single, large settlement with the nearby – and well known – site of RJ-2, located on the other side of the bay. Results...
Article
This paper presents the recent excavations at the previously unexplored site of RJ-3, in the bay of Ras al-Jinz, one of the key archaeological areas in the Omani Sharquiyyah. During the Umm an-Nar period, RJ-3 most likely formed a single, large settlement with the nearby –– and well known –– site of RJ-2, located on the other side of the bay. Resul...
Article
Full-text available
Tell el-Neshed is located in the Shaqiya governatorate, not far from the eastern edge of the Nile delta. Excavations led by the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO) in 2015 and 2016 uncovered extensive remains of an early Old-Kingdom settlement. Fieldwork brought to light several superimposed mud-brick buildings and silos dated...
Presentation
This paper presents the results of the first two years of excavation at the Early Bronze Age settlement of Ra’s al-Jinz RJ-3, in the coastal Sharquiyyah (Sultanate of Oman). Unexplored until the recent excavations, except for a small sounding excavated in 1990 by the Joint Hadd Project, the Umm an-Nar site of RJ-3 most likely formed a single settl...
Article
This paper presents the results of the first excavation season at the Early Bronze Age settlement of Ras Al Jinz RJ-3, in the coastal southern Sharquiyyah. Unexplored until the recent excavation campaign, except for a small sounding excavated during the 1990s by the Joint Hadd Project (JHP), the Um An Nar site of RJ-3 most likely formed a single, l...
Presentation
This paper focuses on the arrangement and the functional organisation of domestic space as a proxy for the characterisation of elementary social and productive units, and of socio-economic complexity, in pre-protohistoric non-urban societies. At the transition between foraging and production economy, Early Bronze Age Eastern Arabia is an ideal set...
Presentation
Characterization of building techniques related to earthen architectures, based on macroscopic observation, is often less problematic in arid contexts, compared to more temperate regions. Nevertheless, the nature of the sediments and the recipes adopted during the production process can hinder the identification of building techniques and their spe...
Article
Full-text available
We present the results of the first fieldwork season at Shiyā, near Sūr, Sultanate of Oman, carried out in January 2016. Drone aerial survey, field walking, and excavations were undertaken to obtain a first overview of the archaeological potential of the area, already known from previous research as an important protohistoric necropolis. Over 400 c...
Presentation
L’exploitation des matériaux de construction en terre crue dans la péninsule d’Oman est attestée à partir de l’âge du Bronze ancien, mais l’introduction du bâti permanent dans la région est un phénomène encore peu connu. Ra’s al-Hadd HD-6 constitue l’un des rares sites d’habitat attribuables à la période charnière qui marque la transition entre le...
Presentation
Located in the bay of Ra’s al-Jinz, the coastal site of RJ-2 has yielded the remains of three main occupations related to the Umm an-Nar period. Period II (2500-2300 BC) consists of a series of buildings aligned along the southern border of the settlement; to the north, five dwellings were progressively built around a common courtyard at Period III...
Presentation
Earthen materials are introduced in Oman at the end of the 4th millennium BCE, when a series of technological evolutions mark the transition to the Early Bronze Age. The very beginning of such transformation, however, remains scarcely understood from the point of view of settlement life and activities, as the Hafit period is mostly represented by t...
Thesis
Full-text available
Dans la péninsule d’Oman, le passage du Néolithique à l’âge du Bronze est marqué par de profondes transformations socio-économiques. La transition vers une économie agricole et l’intégration progressive dans les sphères d’interactions suprarégionales ont été interprétées comme la réponse adaptative des populations locales, suivant la pression de la...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The following paper is an attempt to understand the organisation of food processing from both a technical and a social point of view at the Early Bronze Age settlement of HD-6 (Sultanate of Oman). The study is concerned with archaeological evidence connected to food transformation and discard, and it is based on the analysis of curing methods and f...
Presentation
This lecture focuses on the very beginning of the Bronze Age in Oman from the perspective of a coastal settlement dated to the early third millennium BCE. The site of Ra’s al-Hadd HD-6, located south to the modern village of Ra’s al-Hadd, in the easternmost region of Oman, has been investigated for over fifteen years. An architectural complex made...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the spatial configuration of buildings and systems of activities as revealed by archaeological evidence, to detect the relationship between spatial arrangements and social processes. Analyses presented rely on field data from the Early Bronze Age settlements of HD-6 (3100-2700 BC) and RJ-2 (2500-2000 BC), both located on the J...
Presentation
Primarily using the Space Syntax methods first developed by architects, the paper focuses on the spatial configuration of buildings to detect the relationship between spatial configurations and social processes. The method aims at quantifying and classifying spatial patterns to interpret their properties by a set of analyses based on the Graph Theo...
Presentation
This paper focuses on clayey firing-structures uncovered at the Early Bronze Age settlement of HD-6 (Sultanate of Oman). The analysis primarily relies on data collected during the fieldwork, supplemented by archaeological and ethnographic comparisons. The results of this work suggest that, regardless of their large dimensions and accurate design, t...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The project delves into the characterisation of earthen building materials and techniques, aiming at exploring craftsmanship and organisation of labour in the field of construction. The program includes the mineralogical and petrographic characterisation of building materials, the test of mechanical properties, the analysis of structural design, and the experimental reconstruction of archaeological structures. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement N° 707404. The opinions expressed in this document reflect only the author’s view. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Project
The project, funded by the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications and by the Labex “Les passés dans le présent”, and leaded by V. Azzarà and O. Munoz, involves the sorting out and the analysis of the Joint Hadd Project archives, aimed at the publication of two monographs (settlements / graves) on the JHP 1985-2011 excavations at Ras al-Jinz (Oman). The project includes the reconstruction of stratigraphic sequences, the analysis of architectures and funerary monuments, and specialised studies on bioarchaeological collections and the material culture. The project integrates the wider program centred on the Ja'alan region, in southern Sharqiyyah (https://www.researchgate.net/project/The-dynamics-of-occupation-and-evolution-of-protohistoric-populations-in-the-Jaalan-Southern-Sharqiyyah-Sultanate-of-Oman http://www.arscan.fr/vepmo/arabie/jaalan/)
Project
The project, funded by the National Geographic Society, focuses on Early Bronze Age societies in Eastern Arabia, aiming at grasping settlement life and socio-economic organisation of a coastal community during the most flourishing period of protohistoric occupations in the area. The overall objective of the project is to shed light on the dynamics that led to diversification and specialisation of labour, economic interdependence at the regional and interregional level, and social complexification of EBA populations through fresh explorations in the bay of Ras al-Jinz, most famous for the EBA settlement of RJ-2 (c. 2600/2500-2000 BCE), and as a natural reserve for the endangered green turtles. The excavation of RJ-3, which formed most likely with RJ-2 a single, extended complex, is at the heart of the project.