Copper: One of the Brilliant Magan Treasures

Posted on 5th October 2016
Copper: One of the Brilliant Magan Treasures

Natural copper and frankincense are two of the most important sources of economic life and natural wealth in the old kingdom of Magan (now The Sultanate of Oman) between 2320 and 1800 BC. Some archaeological records referred to 550 BC when copper was used for export.

According to the old Omani seafaring and some archaeological evidences, old Omani copper and Durante stones were important sources of ancient trade in the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean area, in particular the Far East, including the Mesopotamian civilization. Confirmed by ancient Sumerians, copper was excavated using traditional methods in Magan such as manual drilling in Izki- Nizwa currently known as Samail Valley Alhawwasnh.

Some references mentioned that the origin of the name (Magan) in Akkadian was taken from the Copper Mountain (1) in Sumerian which referred to the flourished land. However, according to a signal (Hampton and Oasgerbr)(2), some studies revealed that initially the extraction of ancient copper in Magan was in the third millennium BC, therefore, proving that excavations and research campaigns in Oman about old copper sources was not present until the mid-seventies of the last century. The historian, Geoffrey Bibby, mentioned in his books about this kind of copper after his team discovered some deep holes that resembled mine.

The people of Magan used copper for multi purposes particularly in the traditional industries, including special packaging for food and cooking industry as well as in the manufacture of some spare weapons and some excavated seals.

Copper is a natural occurring mineral found in the land of the Sultanate of Oman’s old district today. These metal  Stones are classified in three, namely: chalcopyrite chalcopyrite a more common type with the proportion of iron, while the second type is called Mlakit and Alzurit Malachite and Azurite, which often shows colour between green and blue proportionate with the presence of copper sulfate in it, and the last class is called Krizokola Chrysocolla (3) which were invested by the Oman mining company in 1981.

[1] – M. Redha Bhacker and Bernadette Bhacker. Digging in the Land of Magan. Archaeological Institute of America.

[2] -A.Hauptmann and G.Weisger. 1981 .Third Millennium BC Coper production in Oman.V.1, Germany .pp.131-138.

By: Dr.Marwan Imran

Edited By: Karina De Jesus Murphy