News Focus

Exploring the Virgin Country

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Science  28 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5982, pp. 1098-1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5982.1098

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A dozen foreign teams are at work in Oman, which was a surprisingly sophisticated player in global trade 4000 years ago and also the center of the incense trade (see sidebar). Researchers are taking advantage of a stable political system, generous help from the central government, and a landscape that until recently was remarkably unmarred by modern development. Yet the quickening pace of development threatens many sites, and local champions of archaeology are few and politically vulnerable.