This paper sets out a tentative quantified analysis of long-term trends in the settlement history of the northern Oman peninsula from prehistoric times to the Late Islamic period, based on published archaeological evidence. Although the data set used is undeniably problematic, it is argued that despite the sheer quantity of available evidence, the database will have ironed out at least some of the specific and localized problems that exist, and will therefore give a broadly correct indication of general long-term trends. It is clear from both academic conversations and the published material that implicit and unsystematic reviews of precisely this data set are regularly used by many scholars in impressionistic and non-rigorous ways - especially as the basis for consensus opinions on trends in the relative density of activity and occupation in different periods. Therefore, the opportunity has been taken here to put such comparisons on a firmer footing and to make them more explicit and testable. The robustness of the data can - and should - then be debated. The stability of some of the longer-term trends suggests that this data could be acceptable in low-grade analyses such as those presented here. Nonetheless, caution must still be applied until the conclusions can be more rigorously tested.