WIT Press


THE DEFENSIVE VERNACULAR SETTLEMENTS IN OMAN, A CONTEXTUAL STUDY



Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/HA-V1-N2-175-184

Volume

Volume 1 (2017), Issue 2

Pages

9

Page Range

175 - 184

Author(s)

N. BENKARI

Abstract

The purpose of the present research is to reveal an aspect of the defensive architecture of Oman that was overlooked for decades. It focuses on the defensive strategies in the settlements that were developed by the Omanis in most of the territories of the country. These settlements are part of the vernacular heritage and attest to the periods of conflict in the country’s past. They resulted from the ‘savoir-faire’ developed by the Omanis in this field.

This paper argues that these strategies are not the fruit of intuitive and unthought-of gestures. Through case studies, thoroughly documented, and in comparison with other examples in the country, we show that the defensive settlements are a very specific aspect of the vernacular architecture in Oman that has been methodically developed through time due to the tumultuous history of these lands. The paper sheds the light on the typologies of defensive vernacular settlements in Oman by identifying some of their major characters, components and ways of adaptation to their geographic contexts.

Keywords

Falaj, fortified settlements, Hisn, Khandaq, Omani vernacular architecture, Qal’a, Town-wall