Oman's national museum: a fabulous trip through history

Oman's national museum: a fabulous trip through history
Oman’s national museum: a fabulous trip through history

MUSCAT, Jan 30 (KUNA) — Built over an area of 24,000 sq. meters, the National Museum of Oman displays more than 6,000 relics, artifacts, and objets d’art spanning the history and civilization of this ancient country.
It is the first public building in Oman providing help to people with special needs, especially the sight-challenged, to enjoy their visit to the museum, as numerous displays can be accessed by them via Braille language. Through its fifteen display halls, the museum visitor is transported through Oman’s five thousand year history to witness how early Omanis existed, intermingled with neighboring civilizations stretching to the shores of Africa, India, and China, and how they were able to live and prosper through industry and trade.
At the “hall of man and earth” Omani handicrafts are shown from all epochs of Omani history and scenes emphasizing the varied topography of the country, where the desert meets the mountains and the seacoast. The long relationship between Omanis and the sea is displayed at the “hall of maritime history” where the visitor learns about Omani sailors scouring the oceans, as far back in history as 3000 BC, to make a living trading with other nations.
In those ancient times, the Omanis established two maritime empires linking Oman with the Arabia Gulf and East Africa.
Traditional weapons like swords, daggers, and spears along with their modern counterparts like firearms are on display in ” the weaponry hall”. At the “hall of civilizational achievements” the visitor views mockups, models, and replicas of traditional buildings, such as houses, mosques, forts, and castles which Omanis built as far back as 3000 BC, including the Bahla Castle, which was selected by the UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1987.
The UNESCO also selected in 2006 five Omani canals as world heritage sites whose mockups are on display at the “hall of canals” in the museum. The water canal system of irrigation had been used by Omanis for hundreds of years and still the country boasts 3000 of them.
At the “currency hall” the museum visitor is shown specimens spanning the history of using money in Oman, which dates back at least 2300 years. The Macedonians were the first people who introduced coins to Oman in the year 4 BC.
In the hall named “Bat, Khatm, Al-Ain” there are replicas of ancient cemeteries dating back 4000 years, some of whose actual locations in nature have been regarded by the UNESCO as world heritage sites and these specifically are called separately Bat, Khatm, and Al-Ain, three regions in Oman.
Oman’s contribution to the Islamic civilization can be witnessed in the “Greatness of Islam hall” and in “Oman and the World” hall the historical relationships between Oman and nations of the world is well documented from ancient times to the present through the display of maps, manuscripts, and books, among other things. There is emphasis on Oman’s relationships with Britain, US, China, India, and Iran.
At the “hall of renaissance” the story of modern, contemporary Oman is told through the display of Omani art, traditional musical instruments, traditional food, and information about thoroughbred horses and other equestrian subjects.
The National Museum of Oman is well-equipped with lecture halls, storage for documents, workshops, a movie house, and interactive display areas just for children.
The size of all the buildings of the museum comes to 13,700 sq. meters whereas the total display area of the museum’s offerings of relics, artifacts, and objets d’art comes to about 4000 sq. meters. (end) bsh.ajs