Hasat Bin Sult

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spot 3,000-year-old carvings

Hasat Bin Sult are a series of petroglyphs carved onto a giant rock, located on the way between Al Hamra and Jebel Shams. The rock can be a little tricky to find, but if it is the right time of day, visitors can spot 3,000-year-old carvings of four life-size human figures on its main face.

A must see, particularly because it is so close to the very popular route to Al Hamra and Jabal Shams. Easy to miss if you don’t know, although it is clearly signposted. I had bypassed it many times, not making the connecting between this name on a signpost and this intriguing rock that I had heard of before, but did not know where it was located.

The formal name of this site appears to be Hasat Bani Salt, but the name used for this web page is the name that is listed on the signpost to the road: Hasat Bin Sult.

What is it? A 6 meter high block of massive limestone (marble quality) at the edge of a wadi next to the palm grooves of Al Hamra. The block is carved, in relief, with four life-size human figures on its main face. Not the normal petroglyphs one sees so much in Oman. This is the work of an artists, hammered out of the rock. Luckily now out of reach for most of us, unless you use a ladder or climbing gear. Luckily, because the rock is disfigured at its base by graffiti, but the carvings are higher-up and relatively safe.

The carvings were « discovered » in the 1970’s by Coleman, the famous geologist who made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the ophiolites. Hence the rock is also known as Coleman’s rock.