Originally Posted by Iain
Without going into too much depth because this is mainly about how you are presenting your theory: I think your case could be stated more simply and perhaps with less potential for confusion.
This type of Omani sword has dated examples from as early as the ___ century. (I'm not sure what the earliest example with provenance is, perhaps the grave find you mentioned). Stylistically it likely takes influence from Abbasid designs, which were introduced into the region in the mid 8th century. The form closely resembles these early period swords and seems to have changed little from them. It has a tradition as a heraldic symbol within the Omani Ibaathi tradition which may account for the longevity of the form in Omani culture. Most extant examples likely date from the 17th to early 19th centuries.
I think in the absence of hard evidence, e.g. archaeology, dated examples etc. it's important to leave things just a little open ended. After all, it's impossible to be sure, although you've constructed a sound theory to explain this particular form.
Just intended as constructive comments and I hope you'll take them that way.
Salaams ~ Im sure you are right. However, the discussion developed and developed and as each bit of the puzzle lined itself up a lot of the previous guesswork on dates seemed to disintegrate. What was a game changer was the Funoon... The Pageants... and further the fact that between Ibaathi Islam kicking in... and the end of Omans occupation by foreign powers it seemed we needed logic to deduce where in the phases of occupation did this weapon slide in? So here are the occupiers and a logical conclusion;
Umayyads between 661–750,
Abbasids between 750–931
, 932–933 and 934–967,
Qarmatians between 931–932 and 933–934,
Buyids between 967–1053,
Seljuks of Kirman between 1053–1154.
Portugal about 1490... to 1650
The weapon is clearly Islamic in design (see #1 for its detailed comparison with the Abbasid at Topkapi) The finger, thus, points at that period..mid 8th C.
There is absolutely no way
that it could be anything other than Ibaathi...in the same way that it couldn't be Portuguese..They hated each other. In fact I stress that it must have been used against the Abbasiids (actually garrisoned in Buraimi where I live..) because
Oman had accepted The Ibaathi style and the Abbassiid were trying to batter it out of them! They hated each other also !
It seems that the date of the first Immam is key since the tie up to the Abbasid sword matches that time period and coupled with the Funoon it looks more likely. If I am right about the Heraldic/Religious nature of the sword then surely the date of the inception .. and the first Imam are underlined.
However, as you say we just dont know for sure. What we can do is continue peeling back the layers of uncertainty and hopefully one day someone will dig one up from the Mid 8thC.
I realise it is a quantum leap for people to see this sword across so many centuries and unchanged from the original mid 8thC design but that is my hypothesis.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.