Oman Archaeological Museum

Oman Archaeological Museum


Oman Archaeological Museum & Archaeological Park

Project study, March 2013

Oman – a fascinating country full of treasures both revealed and concealed; celebrated and yet to be discovered places, cultures and secrets. Among the world in which we live is another, hidden world, a world under our feet – a secret archive waiting to be discovered.

Archaeology reveals this forgotten world, linking our heritage with the present, and providing an outlook on the future: “Where past meets future” is therefore the guiding principle of all planning and presentation of the new OAM – OMAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. This offers the opportunity to revive the life and achievements of our ancestors in a personal and exciting way; responding to the current growing public awareness and interest in this field. This study evaluates the feasibility of an Oman Archaeological Museum (OAM).

The study consists of two versions; the first with a budget of ca. 10 Mio OMR and the second with a more extensive construction of the museum and the park up to 50 Mio OMR. Both versions show the possible range of development of the site. Both versions work as a modular system with the advantage, that all sections can be easily extended or reduced. So this tailor-made study allows adjusting the sections of the OAM to the needs and resources accordingly.



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Innovative ideas

Salut Castle is one of the most suitable location to establish a central repository for Omani ancient cultural heritage. The Castle is one of the most significant sites in Omani history, however it is still not accessible to the public — thus the development of this site into an Archaeological Park allow both the values of the site, as well as Oman’s long-standing traditions and successes in archaeological field work to be interpreted to the general public.

Conceptual Model Animation
OAM – Conceptual Model Animation

To achieve and celebrate this goal the design of the OAM becomes one of Oman’s most innovative and sustainability driven architectural projects, making it the most important archaeological museum in the Arabian Peninsula.

The building itself appeals like a ›shrine‹, the main exhibition combines iconic objects and a place-bound contextualisation. It brings the diversity of Oman history and archaeology to the fore. The holistic aim of the OAM is to visualise and explain the development of Oman’s history from the dawn of mankind to the visible recent past under one single roof. The visitors get to know the country and all aspects of Oman’s cultural history in a diverse and fascinating tour through times, ages and places illustrated by important archaeological and historical sources.

The vision to aesthetically blend architecture with the natural landscape is illustrated with dramatic clarity. The design links traditional Islamic architecture with organic forms; connecting the building with Oman’s cultural traditions, the surrounding natural landscape and the ‘archaeological concept’ of discovering and excavating things that are found in the ground.

With unique objects, vivid and emotional pictures and stories, and with cutting edge high tech, the exhibits of the OAM transport visitors on an extraordinary journey into former times. Visitors can experience at close hand, a wide range of periods and themes presented in an innovative way that sets the main focus on real experiences of the past. The generously sized exhibition rooms and adjacent spaces for temporary exhibitions cover an area of about 5,000 sqm. The OAM also accommodates a Science Wing for the aims of scientific research and an auditorium for scientific and public communication.

A key part of the OAM concept is to create an extensive park that embraces and connects the main archaeological features and that can be reached by a variety of personal and guided mobility systems. Its infrastructure and the correct protection of all of these historical elements will be carefully designed to meet the UNESCO World Heritage Guidelines.