Based on the initiative of the Austrian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi and at the invitation of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority (SAA), a project is dedicated to the identification of Mediterranean pottery imports into the Gulf region.
The pottery from the find-sites of Mleiha and Dibba al-Hisn at the Gulf of Oman has been processed at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum and in the excavation depots at Mleiha and Dibba al-Hisn, with a focus on the identification of Mediterranean fine ceramic wares and imports of amphorae in the evidence from Dibba al-Hisn. The inspection yielded fine ceramic imports of Italian Sigillata (ITS) and of Eastern Sigillata A (ESA). In addition, however, Aegean, Campanian and sporadic finds of Tripolitanian amphorae could also be identified.
In general it can be recorded that Mediterranean ceramic imports appear in very small quantities, while imports from Mesopotamia, Saudi Arabia and presumably also India played a larger role. Nevertheless, the vessels traded over a long distance at least provide evidence of exchange. Whether these indicate direct long-distance trade with Rome/the Mediterranean region, or whether networks of exchange within Arabia were responsible with only indirect contacts with the regions of origin of the imports, cannot be answered at this time. Subsequent ceramic studies are planned on site.