Dhofar Through the Ages : An Ecological, Archaeological and Historical Landscape [1 ed.] 9781789691610

Dhofar, the southern governorate of Oman, lies within a distinctive ecological zone due to the summer Southwest Monsoon.

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T H E A R C H A E O LO G I C A L H E R I TA G E O F O M A N - V O L . 1

DHOFAR THROUGH THE AGES AN ECOLOGICAL, ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE Lynne S. Newton and Juris Zarins

M I N I ST RY OF H E R I TAG E A N D C U LT U R E - SU LTA NAT E OF OM A N 2019

The Archaeological Heritage of Oman

DHOFAR THROUGH THE AGES

An Ecological, Archaeological and Historical Landscape

LYNNE S. NEWTON & JURIS ZARINS

Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Heritage and Culture

Archaeopress Publishing Ltd Summertown Pavilion 18-24 Middle Way Summertown Oxford OX2 7LG www.archaeopress.com

© Lynne S. Newton & Juris Zarins 2019 Dhofa r t hroug h t he ages: An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape (Includes bibliographical references and index). 1. Arabia. 2. Oman 3. Dhofar. 4. Archaeology 5. Antiquities. Cover image: Al-Baleed congregational mosque . Photograph by Roman Garba First published in 2017 by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman, Muscat. This edition is published by Archaeopress Publishing Ltd in association with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman. Printed in England ISBN 978-1-78969-160-3 ISBN 978-1-78969-161-0 (e-Pdf) This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman. Ministry of Heritage and Culture Sultanate of Oman, Muscat P.O. Box 668 P.C. 100 Khuwair, Muscat Phone: +968 24 64 13 00 Fax: +968 24 64 13 31 Email: [email protected] Web Site: www.mhc.gov.om

Contents

List of illustrations and tables

vii

Acknowledgments

xi

A note on terminology Introduction

xiii xv

1 The geomorphology and ecology of Dhofar and its larger ecological environs

1

2 Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

11

3 Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

36

4 The Medieval city of Zafar. Periods II-IV

56

5 Archaeology of Zafar, Periods II-V (950-1700 AD)

67

6 Al-Baleed ceramic typology

88

7 Al-Baleed and the international Indian Ocean trade

95

8 The inland trade to the Hadhramaut and East Arabia

109

The historical chronology of Al-Baleed/Zafar

117

Suggested readings

121

Index

123

v

List of illustrations and tables

FIGURES i.

Map of the Sultanate of Oman with indication of the area covered by Figure ii.

xiv

ii.

Map of Dhofar with the major sites quoted in the Volume.

xv

1.1.

The coastal plain of Dhofar near Wadi Darbat.

2

1.2.

View from Jebel Samhan towards the coast.

3

1.3.

View of the Dhofar hills looking towards the coast.

3

1.4.

View from the Qatn towards the Nejd.

4

1.5.

The Nejd.

5

1.6.

View of the Rub Al-Khali from Jebel Samhan towards the coast.

5

1.7.

The northernmost extent of the Intertropical Convergence Zone at present (upper) and in the Neolithic period 6,000 BC (lower)

7

1.8.

Frankincense tree.

8

1.9.

Boswellia sacra in flower.

8

1.10.

Wadi Darbat above the waterfall during the monsoon.

10

1.11.

A second travertine waterfall farther up Wadi Darbat during the monsoon season.

10

2.1.

Palaeolithic Sites: 1) DS-08-127 Ar-Rahat; 2) DS-09-281 Mudayy; 3-4) DS-09-262 Tudho; 5-18) DS-09-310 Hanun; Palaeolithic tools: 1-4) Lower Palaeolithic choppers and bifaces; 5) Middle Palaeolithic Levallois; 6-18) Upper Palaeolithic blades, burins and flakes.

12

2.2.

Acheulean handaxe from DS-09-190.

13

2.3.

DS-09-281 near Mudhai. Site with Palaeolithic tool and debitage scatter on lower terrace, where Levallois cores were collected, later identified as Nubian.

15

2.4.

Distribution of Neolithic sites in Dhofar, note location of TA-93-72 Hailat Araka.

16

2.5.

Neolithic sites: 1-16) DS-09-88 Wadi Dhahabun; 17-26) DS-09-253 Harun village; Neolithic tools: 1-10) Trihedral rods and bifaces; 11-16) flakes, burins and blades; 1726) Bifaces, scrapers and piercers.

17

2.6.

DS-09-254 Neolithic village at Harun.

18

2.7.

DS-08-42 Rock shelter with associated Rock Art.

19

2.8.

DS-09-149 Hodor. Tabular flint scraper and blades.

20

2.9.

Bronze Age tomb at DS-09-149 Hodor.

21

2.10.

DS-09-282 Bronze Age “Tombs with Tails” near Mudhai.

23

2.11.

Taqa 60. Bronze and Iron Age houses.

24

2.12.

Taqa 60. Bronze Age house.

25

vii

viii

2.13.

Taqa 60. Iron Age shell beads.

25

2.14.

Map of DS-09-203 Trilith Site.

26

2.15.

DS-09-203 Trilith Site.

27

2.16.

Trilith Site distribution along with MSAL Group distribution.

30

2.17.

Sumhuram, Khor Rori and the Taqa and Mirbat Jebels.

31

2.18.

The Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO) archaeological map of the Sumhuram area.

32

2.19.

Andhur.

33

2.20.

Annotated Ptolemy map (note the squared off area is Dhofar).

34

3.1.

The Classical period (300 BC-300 AD) Indian Ocean.

37

3.2.

Local Iron Age Ceramics: 1) TA-95-60, level 2, BA-83797 2340±100 BP; 2-29) DS-0867 Al-Hawta. All examples are grit buffware, handmade with incised and impressed decoration. Numbers 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 17 and 21 are examples of rice ware.

39

3.3.

Excavations under small mosque at Al-Baleed. The photo shows what lies below the stone floor some 3 meters. Notice the deep walls are oriented in another direction.

41

3.4.

DS-08-008 Jebel Nashib.

44

3.5.

DS-08-008 Jebel Nashib.

44

3.6.

Juweina island. Note the structures visible on the top of the island, most likely dated to Abbasid-Medieval Islamic period.

45

3.7.

TA-08-101 Hinu.

46

3.8.

TA-95-121 Ras Jinjali.

47

3.9.

DS-08-03 Hasik.

49

3.10.

The fort complex at Ain Humran dated to the Iron Age-Medieval Islamic periods.

50

3.11.

Boat Graves at base of Ain Humran fort.

53

3.12.

Boat Graves at base of Ain Humran fort.

54

4.1.

Ibn Mujawir’s map of Zafar (Al-Baleed) (after Löfgren).

57

4.2.

Ibn Battuta’s itineraries in Southern Arabia.

63

4.3.

Chinese Map of Frankincense Trade (after Wheatley 1959).

65

5.1.

Landsat image of Al-Baleed on the coast of Salalah.

68

5.2.

South side of the husn looking north.

70

5.3.

Al-Baleed/Zafar congregational mosque (ZCM).

73

5.4.

Landsat image of Al-Baleed, note the city wall and 18 towers.

78

5.5.

Al-Baleed Southwest Gate.

79

5.6.

Jetty near the Southeast Gate, note the large blocks that once held a dock in place.

83

6.1.

Amphorae: 1) Qana, 1st century BC-3rd century AD (Sedov 1996: 15, fig. 3); 2-3) Masirah, 5th-7th century AD (Shanfari 1987: pl. 7/3 Site 64); 4) Mahawt; 5) Alto Bay (East of Mirbat), found at a depth of 11 m.

91

6.2.

Complete Celadon bowl from Al-Baleed.

95

6.3.

Complete glass vessel from Al-Baleed.

92

6.4.

Complete glass vessels from Al-Baleed.

93

7.1.

“Abu Zayd and Al-Harith sailing” in Al-Maqamat of al Harīrī Al-Basrī, Folio 119 Verso, ca. 1237 AD (Bibliothèque Nationale de France).

105

8.1.

Shisr/Ubar.

113

8.2.

The chess pieces from Shisr dating to the 10th century AD.

113

TABLES 7.1.

Textile types defined by geographical designation in the Mulakhkhas Al-Fitan.

97

7.2.

Port tax revenues at Aden (in gold dinars) during the Rasulid period (1229-1451 AD).

97

7.3.

Rasulid tax revenue generated from ports in 1411.

99

7.4.

Sailing schedule for Zafar from the almanac al-Tabsira fi ilm al-nujum of Al-Malik AlAshraf.

108

ix

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank first the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of the Sultanate of Oman for having generously invited them to contribute in the Series The Archaeological Heritage of Oman. In particular, we thank H.H. Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, H.E. Salim bin Mohammed Al-Mahruqi, Undersecretary for Heritage, and the Director General for Archaeology, Sultan bin Saif AlBakri and his staff, especially the late Prof. Maurizio Tosi, Adviser to H.H. the Minister. The work described here was made possible with the dedicated support of the Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, H.E. Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Rowas. The authors thank His staff who provided every kindness and necessary support for the ongoing work in the Dhofar Governorate, especially Ghanem Al-Shanfari, Ali Al-Kathiri, Hussein Al-Shanfari, Ashraf Abdun, Mohammed Tabuk, Said Al-Mashani, Ahmed Al-Awaid, Mohammed Al-Rowas, and Mohammed Al-Jahfali. In HE’s Office in Muscat we particularly thank Said Al-Salmi, Hassan Al-Jabberi, Ahmed Al-Farsi and Salim Al-Siyabi. The work in Dhofar also requires the acknowledgment of Bill Isenberger of Digital Mapping and Graphics (Springfield, MO, USA), who produced all graphic images and maps, the Late George Hedges who had the vision to initially begin archaeological survey in Dhofar and Nick Clapp, the creator of the film realized by WGBH Boston, The Atlantis of the Sands. Professor Alessandra Avanzini provided assistance and edited the pioneering Profumi d’Arabia (l997). Professor Mauro Sassu facilitated the project of stabilizing, conserving and reconstructing the fantastic and monumental architecture recently revealed at Al-Baleed. In addition, we would like to thank all of the volunteers and students from Missouri State University, Manchester University, and the University of Pisa.

xi

A note on terminology

The region of Dhofar takes its name from the medieval town Zafar, which is currently known as Al-Baleed. To distinguish Zafar in southern Oman from a similarly named city in the highlands of Yemen, the medieval Arab historians and geographers used the term Zafar Al-Habudhi, which presumably included Al-Baleed, Al-Robat and the wider vicinity of the medieval city. Substantial ruins of a portion of the medieval city enclosed by a formal wall and located by the seashore are today called Al-Baleed/Balīd. Mathews noted that in MSAL geographical terms could use the term ba‘l meaning “lord/owner of ... located by ...” with a feminine balit. Thus, the term Al-Balid may be a corruption of an early name for the town Balit and not related to Arabic Bilad/Balid. The rise of the quarter (hafa) town called Salalah (not mentioned in medieval texts) is complex. The term applied originally to three areas lying north of the modern husn quarter. The term Salalah has been interpreted as a MSAL word meaning “the shining or gleaming one” due to the appearance of tall, white houses. The current Shahri term for Al-Baleed itself is Harekom, perhaps reflected in one of the city gates described by Ibn Mujawir in 1220.

xiii

Figure i. Map of the Sultanate of Oman with indication of the area covered by Figure ii.

xiv

Introduction

Dhofar, the southernmost Governate of the Sultanate of Oman, is ecologically unique in Arabia and has a particular history and archaeology. Archaeological work in this province until recently remained a somewhat terra incognita until the general survey of the province undertaken by the authors first between 1989-1995 as part of the Trans Arabia Expedition and later between 2005 and 2011 for the Office of the Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs. In addition, specific archaeological work at places of interest in Dhofar such as Al-Baleed and Khor Rori date back to the examinations of early English explorers such as H.J. Carter (l837), S.B. Miles (l880), and T. and M. Bent (1890-1900), as well as the later explorations by W. Phillips of the American Foundation of the Study of Man, AFSM (l955-64), P. Costa (l977-79) and M. Jansen of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule of Aachen, RWTH (1996-2004). However, these explorations were mainly on the coast as none penetrated either the Dhofar hills to any extent or the interior of Dhofar until the work of the Trans Arabia Expedition at Shisr began to examine the Nejd and Rub Al-Khali areas of the province. This work was followed by the limited surveys of the Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO) of the University of Pisa centered on the Khor Rori environs between 1996-2005. The full-scale survey between 2008-2009 opened up new vistas of the richness of Dhofar’s past and is now complemented by different projects directed by J. Rose, J. McCorriston, and V. Charpentier. Periodization as used by archaeologists allows us to describe and present large periods of Dhofar’s history and archaeology locally, regionally, and the wider Arabian Peninsula. The four main sites in Dhofar are Khor Rori (ancient Sumhuram/Mocha), Al-Baleed (Zafar), Shisr (Ubar/Wabaritae) and Mughsayl. Finally, current investigations into the Late Palaeolithic and Early Neolithic archaeology of Dhofar together with ongoing research into the Mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) relationships and the antiquity of the presentday Modern South Arabic Language (MSAL) groups living in Dhofar will also be contextualized. In short, Dhofar has a unique and rich archaeological, botanical and historical past stretching back to at least one million years (Figures i and ii).

Figure ii. Map of Dhofar with the major sites quoted in the Volume.

xv

Chapter 1

The geomorphology and ecology of Dhofar and its larger ecological environs

Dhofar has a unique geographical boundary stretching from its western boundaries adjoining the Republic of Yemen, to the Indian Ocean shores on the south, and bordered on the north by the Rub Al-Khali sand desert, which it shares with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Republic of Yemen. The border on the east cuts through the last geomorphological heights of Dhofar at Shuwaymiyyah and defines the interior plains of Haima. The ecology of Dhofar as described here span beyond the current political boundaries and spills over the border with Yemen. As part of the geologically distinct Hadhramaut arch, it forms a part of the larger Indian Ocean Subtropical Zone encompassing parts of northern East Africa, the South Arabian Peninsula Littoral and Western India. The current South-Central Arabian region, including Dhofar, is characterized by four major ecological zones critical to understanding the region. The coastal plain Including the Salalah plain, the greater coastal plain is found from west of Bir Ali (Qani) to Mirbat. Ancient Pleistocene and Early Holocene river systems cut through older Tertiary deposits and produce small lagoons (khors) at the ocean interface, creating a unique feature on the lower alluvial plain. The Salalah plain, which is the largest coastal plain in the region and is approximately 20 km wide, is part of the larger South Arabian block. Al-Baleed lies squarely at the triangular base of several ancient major river systems feeding into the Indian Ocean. Ismail Abu Al-Fida writing in 1321 (Tawqim AlBuldan; The Geography of Countries) calls this large plain the “Gulf of Dhofar” with Zafar at the seaward point. These systems also assisted the creation of soil horizons which, in turn, made large-scale farming possible since at least the Bronze Age ca. 2500 BC. These plains are characterized by gravel flatlands, raised Quaternary and Holocene terraces sandy beaches and localized faulting. Smaller local plains located between hilly massifs penetrating to the Ocean occur east and west of the Salalah plain. In terms of water availability and settlement, the shorter southern flow from the steeply incised valleys of the Dhofar hills currently empties into a series of lagoons (khors). The majority of at least eleven such khors and qurms of the Salalah plain receive an ample supply of fresh water from these downcut wadis originating in the southern face of the mountains. The water reaches the coast by subsurface transport along Tertiary limestone drainage. The largest lagoon, the Wadi Nahiz/Wadi Sahalnoot system drains into the Wadi/Khor Dahariz and the second largest system, the Wadi Garziz, runs into Al-Baleed directly. Khor Rori sits at the base of the very large Wadi Darbat. Technically, the core Salalah area is different from the other systems on the plain because fresh water is abundant. In other coastal areas of Dhofar fresh water is scarce due to arid hinterlands with either a very small catchment and/or rocky plateaus in the upper drainages. Within the Salalah plain itself, adequate quality drinking water within the plain forms a small inverted cone from the upper plain to the site of AlBaleed. Lower quality usable agricultural water is found to the east and west of this cone. Finally, much of the lower plain to the east and west has limited to unusable water.

1

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 1.1. The coastal plain of Dhofar near Wadi Darbat (photograph by L. Newton).

The plant life along the shores and in the lagoons comprises Phragmites, Typha, Juncaceae, and Cyperaceae supporting active fish, marine shell, various invertebrate species and bird biotopes. A rich gray clay/mud forming here is characterized by high oxide gases (Figure 1.1). The Dhofar escarpment The Jebel Qamr escarpment is part of the larger Hadhramaut arch. The scarp and hills rise up abruptly between 300-400 m above the plain and reach a peak of approximately 900 m. Ras Fartak and Ras Sajir in Yemen and Jebel Qinqari in Dhofar are the largest coastal promontories in the region with the Jebel Samhan massif the largest of the region east to the Shuwaymiyyah block. The actual hills, composed of Cretaceous and Tertiary limestones created by blockfaulting and uplift, drain both northward into the Rub Al-Khali and south into the Indian Ocean. The smallest part of the corresponding plateau in Dhofar stretches north for 40 km called the Nejd ending in the Qatn. The plateau in eastern Yemen, called the Jol is much larger stretching from 150-200 km in width. The Dhofari limestone karst plateau has no rivers/wadis flowing south into the Indian Ocean. However, in East Yemen at least nine river systems, the largest and most famous is the Wadi Hadhramaut/Masila, dissect the plateau and flow into the Ocean. The Jol/Nejd is dominated by numerous caves and sinks. The vegetation of the uplands is sparse, especially on the western end, consisting of small tree and shrub cover along the southern rim giving way to open grasslands and eventually more barren scrub (Figures 1.2 and 1.3). 2

The geomorphology and ecology of Dhofar and its larger ecological environs

Figure 1.2. View from Jebel Samhan towards the coast (photograph by L. Newton).

Figure 1.3. View of the Dhofar hills looking towards the coast (photograph by L. Newton).

3

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 1.4. View from the Qatn towards the Nejd (photograph by L. Newton).

The Nejd The Nejd, or the north-facing cliffs and dry plateau, is composed of dissected foothills forming a deeply dissected tableland some 60-80 km wide and gradually giving way to a gently undulating plain. The major wadis, which begin here, (e.g. the Ghadun and Huliya) originated as Pleistocene rivers spanning approximately 2.3 million years. They drain northeastward into the Rub Al-Khali edge and currently, as non-active systems, merge into much larger systems such as the Wadi Dawasir leading to either the Arabian Gulf (Sabkhat Matti) or former large interior lakes in central Oman. Vegetation becomes moisture stressed from a south to north direction and the northern sections are composed primarily of xerophytic shrubs and grasses (Figures 1.4 and 1.5). The Rub Al-Khali sand desert The Rub Al-Khali sand desert stretches from the northern fringes of the Omani Nejd well into central Arabia. The larger dunes represent the arid reworking of Late Pleistocene river systems draining into the Arabian Gulf. Remote sensing images and geologic mapping clearly define interdunal deposits which in many cases are tied to past river (and current wadi) overflow and re-channelization. In the west, the Rub Al-Khali sands are somewhat broken by relict rock formations and are reconstituted by the Ramlat AlSabatayn. In summary, these four major ecological zones define an integrated system for southern Dhofar and east Yemen. These zones, in the east, are extremely compacted microzones (the distance from the Rub Al-Khali to the Ocean near Salalah is less than 150 km) but in the west, the wadis such as the Jiz and Masila/Hadhramaut open up far greater north-south distances (Figure 1.6). 4

The geomorphology and ecology of Dhofar and its larger ecological environs

Figure 1.5. The Nejd (photograph by L. Newton).

Figure 1.6. View of the Rub Al-Khali from Jebel Samhan towards the coast (photograph by L. Newton).

5

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The Southwest monsoon Linking the zones described above is the climatic phenomenon known as the summer or southwest monsoon. Monsoons are seasonal shifts in wind patterns. The defined monsoonal system dominates the atmospheric circulation over the Arabian Sea with seasonal low-level wind reversal following the latitudinal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). In the summer, the strong cool most southwesterlies that are fed by the southern h e m i s p h e r e tradewinds bring heavy monsoonal rain as well as cause ocean upwelling. In the winter the northeast trade winds from Asia prevail. Where the border of the summer monsoon meets the cyclonic highs from the eastern Mediterranean (or the seasonal migration between seasons) is called the ITCZ. Currently, the effects are felt directly in the summer months (late June-early September) only in the Dhofar plain, and in the adjoining escarpment and to a lesser extent in the Nejd from Jebel Samhan to Jebel Qamr in Yemen. The effects of sea upwelling and accompanying winds however, can be traced from west of Mukalla to perhaps north of Masirah island based on current research. Assessing the effects and variability of the current monsoon and its impact in the past is directly relevant to understand archaeology and ancient human settlement patterns, environmental and climatological shifts, geomorphology, the earlier aboriginal distribution of subtropical flora of the region (particularly frankincense, myrrh, aloes, dragonsblood, etc.) and the effects on sailing patterns and the changes in mean sea level (Figure 1.7). The subtropical flora of southern Oman: the case for frankincense and myrrh These two famous genera of succulents can represent perhaps the distribution of the entire unique suite of subtropical flora found in this region due largely to the effects of the Southwest monsoon. As described above, due to the intertwining climatological and landform factors, this flora has developed as a relic of the Late Miocene of East Africa. Such a native flora has also been intertwined with introduced cultigens from East Africa, the Levant and India. Various species of Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrrh) are found in several of the ecological zones described above (and including north Somalia), but the “best” frankincense is said to grow where monsoonal moisture dissipates along the back slopes of the escarpment into the Nejd. Current satellite study also suggests the growing belt stretches from the Jebel Samhan area to west of the Wadi Jiz (Al-Fatk). Myrrh has a larger number of species present and is adapted drier conditions, and therefore has a wider distribution. Various commercially exploited species live in the areas west of the frankincense belt in both Yemen and Somalia. Frankincense, therefore, is the more relevant of the two most common types of incense when considering the history and archaeology of Dhofar. It is the main export item that the local economy organized around, thus greatly influencing the human experience in the region throughout the prehistoric and more recent historic periods (Figures 1.8 and 1.9).

6

The geomorphology and ecology of Dhofar and its larger ecological environs

Figure 1.7. The northernmost extent of the Intertropical Convergence Zone at present (upper) and in the Neolithic period 6,000 BC (lower) (Modified after Hötzl et al. 1984: 313, fig. 122).

7

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Historical geomorphology and ecology

Figure 1.8. Frankincense tree (photograph by L. Newton).

The underlying Umm er Radhuma aquifer, which is the principal storage formation for rainwater, is also characterized by spring outflow along the wadi systems draining finally into the coastal lagoons (khors). Currently, sand bars create an interface between the lagoons and the open sea. The record of terraces in the Salalah plain from these rivers/wadis produces a sequence of climatic reconstruction (+20 m to +2 m and current wadi floors), spanning the last 1.8 million years. Renewed down cutting in the Late Pleistocene (35,000-32,000 BP) revived the older river systems both on the interior Nejd and on the Salalah plain and serves as the visible pattern for the modern wadi systems. Along the onshore tidal zone, these rivers produced consolidated, sandy beach rock interspersed with diagnostic marine shells. The ecological conditions of this formation are usually described as representing mangrove fringing swamps. The waterfall travertine deposits at the southern terminus of the Wadi Darbat are also seen further north at least at five other locations. 8

The present-day ecology of the region can be examined in light of the changes, which have taken place in the region since the beginning of the Ice Age. As noted above, Ice Age rivers (from approximately 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago) flowed north-northeast into the Rub AlKhali from the northern divide of the Dhofar mountains. Various courses and relict terraces provide a general sequence of Interglacial and Glacial period episodes supported by and punctuated with southwest monsoon generated lakes traced from the southern Nejd through the Rub Al-Khali as exemplified in the Shisr basin. On the southern side, the limestone jebel face has extensive karst features including shelters, caves, sinkholes and springs as well as related travertine deposits. Quite short rivers/wadis discharge into the Indian Ocean.

Figure 1.9. Boswellia sacra in flower (photograph by L. Newton).

The geomorphology and ecology of Dhofar and its larger ecological environs

Similar waterfall travertine deposits occur on the Wadi Garziz system as well at six major locations. These and other travertine deposits debauching from scarps west of Al-Baleed (e.g. at Hawta) are indicative of wetter and more humid late Pleistocene and Early Holocene conditions at least at the local level (Figures 1.10 and 1.11). Early Holocene conditions (a period of high precipitation with intense rain showers 7000-5000 BC) near Al-Baleed suggest that a normal marine estuary was present which was open to the sea with fringing mangroves (Rhizophora sp.). The Flandrian Transgression, dated to ca. 5th-3rd millennia BC, suggests the open estuary lined with Rhizophora sp. mangrove continued to flourish and could have been used as an ideal harbor site. A recent study of mangrove flora suggested that Rhizophora disappeared from Oman by 4000 BC and modern Avicennia remained as the sole representative species in the lagoons. From the following Late Holocene, there was a movement towards a brackish, freshwater environment with infilling marsh deposits appearing between 750 BC and 420 AD both at Al-Baleed and Khor Rori. The current species of mangrove, Avicennia marina, dominates the assemblages. The steady runoff of fresh water and the presence of travertine falls both on the Wadi Darbat and Wadi Garziz systems, suggests a stronger monsoon than at present. In turn, this suggests that the wadi/river systems were flowing into the Indian Ocean without the presence of sand barriers. The more recent Holocene record after ca. 500 AD suggests that at Khor Rori the lagoon was filled in by a sand barrier which resulted in a likely rise in salinity. Caused by a drop in fresh water levels in the wadis, the lagoons were closed to the sea. The lack of freshwater recharge was caused by a weakened monsoon. It may also have been accompanied by a drop in sea level causing a regression of the shoreline in Dhofar adding to sandbar formation and thus unusable natural lagoon harbors. Therefore, the earlier lush khor vegetation was replaced by more drought-tolerant taxa of the coastal plain type. The foraminifera data from Khor AlBaleed suggests the east interior arm of the lagoon was closed by 800 AD and the outer eastern arm by 900 AD. The presence of the palaeodune deposits covering the south city wall and the infilling of the lagoon arm by dunal sand support this date range. The larger main western arm of the system closed off probably by the 14th century AD (or later) and may have been intentionally dredged. From the Dhofar interior, especially the Nejd, the presence of Iron Age materials (e.g. triliths) also suggests a slight moisture change for the period 300 BC-400 AD and stream rejuvenation. The post Late Antiquity coastal record is also affected by natural disasters. Typhoons (Arabic tufan) affect the Zafar coast on more or less a regular basis. According to Miles and local historical sources, the Zafar coast was hit in 685/1286, 726/1325 and in 1853. Other Arabic sources describe typhoons or hurricanes hitting Al-Shihr in 1528 and Wadi Masila in 1562 (seil Al-Iklil). A large-scale storm or typhoon deposit was also found in the top portions of the AlBaleed cores. This top portion as a sand deposit represents a washover of marine sand into the lagoon that also brought in abundant planktonic foraminifera which died in the brackish lagoon water. This identifiable event occurred ca. 1600-1700 AD and may have contributed to the final decline of Zafar. Also of interest is the phenomenon of breached shore sand bars when heavy rains occur. This supports the suggestion that earlier greater precipitation kept the lagoon mouths open. Additional observations at Khor Rori and Mughsayl also suggest a relative drop in sea level took place ca. 1400-1500 AD that caused regression of the shoreline to its current position and facilitated sand bar production. On the other hand, Reinhardt (2000) describes wave-cut notches 0.75 m above current mean sea level in the Al-Baleed vicinity. Such fluctuations in the Medieval period have not been studied adequately and for now we can only suggest that the globally recognized “Little Ice Age” may have had direct effects on Al-Baleed and related sites along the Indian Ocean shoreline. 9

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 1.10. Wadi Darbat above the waterfall during the monsoon (photograph by L. Newton).

Figure 1.11. A second travertine waterfall farther up Wadi Darbat during the monsoon season (photograph by L. Newton).

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Chapter 2

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

The survey program undertaken in the province in 2009-2010 added to the original 1992-1995 Shisr site database as well as materials described and reported by IMTO and other sources. Below is a general summary of sites discovered by period and their characteristics, time periods and range. The Palaeolithic period The Palaeolithic period just outside Dhofar records the Lower Palaeolithic chopper tradition associated with 1.5-1.1 million years BP. To date, however, evidence in Dhofar begins with the developed Acheulean, ca. 1 million years ago to 400,000 years BP. This period is documented by the presence of bifaces, cores and large flakes utilized by various groups of Homo erectus. The succeeding Middle Palaeolithic, with the Levallois technique tradition, dates to 400,000-150,000 BP. Based on the Middle Palaeolithic core reduction technique, the material in Dhofar is now identified as the eastern extension of the African Nubian Complex tradition. This tradition is associated with the early Homo sp. tradition and dated to 130,000-100,000 BP. A wide variety of materials have been reported in the region, especially from the oasis of Mudhai. The Middle Palaeolithic is followed by the classic Upper Palaeolithic, ca. 50,000–10,000 BP, which is extremely well represented throughout the Nejd and is a descendent tradition from the earlier African Nubian complex often associated with collapsed rock shelters. The Upper Palaeolithic is defined by the regular production of blades from naviform crested cores creating a wide variety of tools such as scrapers, denticulates and burins. With a few exceptions, the vast bulk of Palaeolithic sites and materials are found in the Nejd. A good example is the complex at Bir Hima, with Lower Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic materials as well as possible Late Palaeolithic houses and lithic preparation debris. Rare early Lower Palaeolithic sites are known from the central part of the Salalah plain along the highest terraces of the Wadi Nashib, and in a few cases, along the near sea scarp east of Al-Baleed, but are lacking from the short wadis north of Al-Baleed. This is most likely due to the recent sedimentological beds found within the plain which obscure earlier remnant terraces. In addition, it would appear that Palaeolithic material could be found along the drowned wadis within the short continental shelf, e.g. along the western lagoon arm of Al-Baleed. By contrast, however, the latest Palaeolithic is reported from refugia found in the Wadi Darbat, ca. 15,000 BP. A similar assemblage was dated to 16,000-13,000 BP in the nearby upper Wadi Ghadun. In the KR154 shelter similar to KR108 overlooking the Nejd, a Uranium-Thorium date from deposits is dated to 12,000±600 BP. The latest research suggests while earlier Homo sapiens crossed the Red Sea ca. 200,000 years ago, a later migration began ca. 60,000 years ago. Recent reports of MtDNA of southern Modern South Arabic Language (MSAL) populations have also suggested a Late Pleistocene date for the arrival of recognizable proto-MSAL speakers in Dhofar. In sum, it appears that modern humans appeared in Dhofar ca. 100,000 BP (or at least by 25,000 BP) and continued to inhabit much of the Nejd and perhaps selected upland wadis as foragers until the end of the Ice Age (Figures 2.1 and 2.2).

11

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.1. Palaeolithic Sites: 1) DS-08-127 Ar-Rahat; 2) DS-09-281 Mudayy; 3-4) DS-09-262 Tudho; 5-18) DS-09-310 Hanun; Palaeolithic tools: 1-4) Lower Palaeolithic choppers and bifaces; 5) Middle Palaeolithic Levallois; 6-18) Upper Palaeolithic blades, burins and flakes.

12

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.2. Acheulean handaxe from DS-09-190 (photograph by L. Newton).

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The Neolithic period The Neolithic period in Dhofar (8000-3100 BC) is well represented within the Nejd and is characterized by its lithic traditions. The Neolithic for Oman has been divided by scholars into four sub periods. The early inland sites were defined as settlements. More recent work on Masirah island and in the Dhofar northern foothills at such sites as Ayun and Matafah sites are referred to as series of “lithic scatters”. As a rule, the distinctive lithic material in Dhofar is produced by pressure flaking, which was sometimes executed on both sides creating distinctive bifaces. In the Nejd scarp face, Neolithic sites often consist of house stone foundations, lithics and shell trade items from the Indian Ocean. Like the Palaeolithic period, evidence for the Neolithic on the Salalah plain is represented only by a few isolated finds. In a 2013 survey of Wadi AdDahariz just east of Al-Baleed limestone quarrying from the recent past may have destroyed a Neolithic settlement of the 7th-5th millennia BC. As defined, the Neolithic I period is characterized by the lithics from the type-site of Fasad (now Hashman) with its blade projectile points. From some 40 surveyed high shelters facing the Indian Ocean or in the Dhofar hills uplands, along the southern scarp, the IMTO team found stratified blade Fasad points of the Early Neolithic period dated to between 8750 and 8720 BP at site KR213. A similar date was recovered from nearby shelter KR108 (8750±50 BP) also associated with a Fasad point. A Fasad point was also recovered from Mughsayl in the 1992 TA survey. Many heavily eroded Nejdi Neolithic sites contain the tell-tale Fasad point–a blade point retouched at the point or base and used a spear. The Neolithic II is usually dated between 6000-4000 BC and is defined by biface production. The Arabian Bifacial Tradition and general tool manufacture in Dhofar is especially characterized by the so-called “trihedral rods” from numerous sites such as Hailat Araka with their ear twist and fluting. On the Salalah plain there is little evidence of the points but in the lowest levels Ain Humran several such projectile points represent the Neolithic II phase (6th-5th millennia BC). Noteworthy is the green amazonite/jadeite axe typical of the Rub Al-Khali Neolithic that was recovered from Khor Rori during architectural restoration. The Neolithic III period (4500-3700 BC), characterized the by non-bifacial technique, is rare in Dhofar. Neolithic IV (3700-3100 BC) sites have been located on the coastal plain east of Mughsayl and in the Dhofar hills. These sites contain the typical blades, cores, scrapers and burins of the period. These types of lithics were also found at the base of a large lake near the river system at Andhur. Of note for the period are the Neolithic II lithic scatters and formal villages with stone house foundations have been found in the Nejd, suggesting seasonal movement from the Nejd to the Rub Al-Khali as per the summer monsoon. An excellent example is the Harun complex with a complete village layout including houses, ceremonial complexes and tombs. Interregional connections have also been documented in Dhofar as marine shells, such as Oliva bulbosa, Cypraea sp. and Conus sp., have been found on Neolithic Nejd sites, e.g. the numerous lithic scatters in the Shisr vicinity and from test excavations at Hailat Araka. Finding these shells in the desert interior in cultural contexts indicates trade with communities on the Indian Ocean littoral during this period. The issue of animal domestication, which characterizes the Levantine Neolithic, has yet to be resolved for Dhofar. Osteological material from the Neolithic village sites of Ayun, Matafah and Hailat Araka remain to be studied. The herding of domestic cattle as well as ovicaprids in adjoining Yemen by 6,000 BC has been documented and, given the similar nature of lithic technology between Dhofar and the Mahra Governate (e.g. trihedral rod fluting; importation of amazonite, steatite, and obsidian) the possibility of early animal domestication in Dhofar should not be ruled out. 14

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.3. DS-09-281 near Mudhai. Site with Palaeolithic tool and debitage scatter on lower terrace, where Levallois cores were collected, later identified as Nubian (photograph by L. Newton).

This idea is supported by the presence of so-called dhar tethering stones at sites in the Nejd. Archaeologists have found similar tethering stones at Neolithic sites in northern Oman and suggested that they were used to restrain large ungulates undergoing domestication. Similarly, plant domestication (both Southwest Asian and Northeast African cultigens) may have been present by 5,000 BC. Taking the lithic and architectural evidence into account, as well as the possibilities of animal and plant domestication, it is clear that Neolithic populations in Dhofar had a wide spectrum diet that included wild and possibly domesticated resources. Finally, recent genetic studies involving South Arabian populations suggest that ancestral (proto)-MSAL populations were present in Dhofar as early as 10,000 years ago (Figures 2.3 to 2.5). The Bronze Age The Bronze Age represents a significant reorganization of society in Southern Arabia involving greater sedentarization, social stratification, and agricultural innovation leading to surplus production as well as the introduction of copper/bronze. Bronze Age sites (3000-1200 BC) are known in Dhofar from the mountain highlands (Hagif, Ardanitti, Tokhfi, Ashkenout) and the western hinterland. Village houses are constructed in a distinctive megalithic style typical of very similar villages first described from the western Yemeni highlands in 1981 and from Umm an-Nar period settlements in northern Oman. Dhofari Bronze Age sites also include megalithic tombs and ceremonial centers now best known from the Hodor complex in western Dhofar with deliberate lithic arrangements involving jebel slopes. Unique finds in the cave complexes of the Dhofar hills include period rock art; a painted example shows a human figure with a composite bow (Figure 2.6). 15

Figure 2.4. Distribution of Neolithic sites in Dhofar, note location of TA-93-72 Hailat Araka.

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

16

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.5. Neolithic sites: 1-16) DS-09-88 Wadi Dhahabun; 17-26) DS-09-253 Harun village; Neolithic tools: 1-10) Trihedral rods and bifaces; 11-16) Flakes, burins and blades; 17-26) Bifaces, scrapers and piercers.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.6. DS-09-254 Neolithic village at Harun (photograph by L. Newton).

Distinctive tombs with “tails” which dot ridgelines date to the period and are found en masse in the Mudhai area of the near Nejd. A shared cultural heritage of the period, similar examples are known from Wadi Ghadun (with associated funerary buildings), eastern Yemen and at sites as far north as the southern Levant. Bronze Age sites on the lower Salalah plain, with their villages, ceremonial ellipses, and tombs are known from Taqa, Khor Rori and Ain Razat. The earliest lagoonal shell-midden sites along the Salalah plain belong to this period and are known from Mughsayl to Khor Jnaif. KR1-10, located at the base of Jebel Mirbat at Khor Rori, has both stone structures and midden deposits. The earliest C14 date is 5000±60 BP (GX-22530). From Khor Jnaif and eastward, Bronze Age settlements consist of fireplaces and lithics, such as blade and flake tools, notches, scrapers, and denticulates. C14 dates include 3650±70 BP and 3760±110 BP. Bronze Age lithic sites at Andhur both at the base and on the qalat building area. In contrast to northern Oman and western Yemen sites where pottery occurs as early as the midrd 3 millennium BC, to date Bronze Age sites in Dhofar are aceramic. Food remains from Dhofari sites include marine shell, fish and vertebrates such as gazelle, bovids, and ovicaprids. Domestic cattle and ovicaprid remains from these Dhofari coastal shell-middens dated to ca. 2000 BC. Levantine crop species domesticated in Yemen to the west included wheat, barley, lentils and chickpeas as well as sorghum and millet species from East Africa. The Bronze Age in northern Oman and the Emirates also exhibit such agricultural practices by 3,000 BC and perhaps even earlier from the Late Ubaid (ca. 5000 BC). This ties local Dhofari Bronze Age agricultural practices to a long-range network across much of Arabia.

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Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.7. DS-08-42 Rock shelter with associated Rock Art.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.8. DS-09-149 Hodor. Tabular flint scraper and blades.

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Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.9. Bronze Age tomb at DS-09-149 Hodor.

More recently, the Umm an-Nar Bronze Age tradition, Indus Valley Civilization pottery sherds, and material dated to the Wadi Suq complex have been reported from Masirah island. Thus, the maritime experience along the Indian Ocean appears to have linked a number of distinct cultural traditions from the Arabian Gulf, India and the Indian Ocean. The extent the Indus Civilization trade along the southern Indian Ocean coast in Dhofar and Yemen is not yet known (Figures 2.7 to 2.9). International Bronze Age trade in Dhofar International trade linking Dhofar is supported by a number of earlier reported finds from Dhofar. In 1983, a number of copper/bronze weapons said to come from a single tomb which also contained human bones were found in the hills at Aztah near Zeek. Five copper/bronze pieces were recovered and included a spearhead with perforated tang, a dagger and the butt end of an axe. The first two upon analysis were made from tin-copper (bronze) and the latter just copper. Yule suggested based on stylistic grounds, that the tomb could be dated as early as the Umm an-Nar period (ca. 2500 BC) or as late as the Wadi Suq complex (ca. 1900-1700 BC). Twelve beads also from the grave included agate and carnelian types. Similar carnelian and steatite beads were recovered from a Bronze Age tomb (KR33) at Khor Rori. The finds of agate and carnelian suggest trade with Northwest India. Two stone pendants have direct parallels to finds from the Bronze Age site at Khor Jnaif (no. 82) as well as from other Bronze Age sites in southern Arabia and as far north as Tell Wilaya in southern Iraq (ca. 2200 BC) and can also be dated to the early 2nd millennium BC. Small fragments of square-sectioned copper-bronze tools/weapons have also been found at KR1-10 and Khor Jnaif.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Copper ore sources are largely lacking in Dhofar, with the nearest ore deposits found either on Masirah island, northern Oman, the shield area of southwestern Arabia, or further afield in eastern Iran, northwest India or Afghanistan. The participation of the region in maritime trade is also suggested by the presence of Bronze Age sites in north Oman (e.g. Ras Al-Jinz), which traded frankincense with Mesopotamia as early as the mid-3rd millennium BC, as well as the Arabian Gulf and the Indus Valley. In addition, the basalt grinders from Khor Jnaif were most likely brought to the area by sea from neighboring western Yemen. Bronze Age evidence of large-scale settlement along the wider Indian Ocean littoral however is fairly restricted. The earliest archaeological evidence can be found at Subr, and Ma’layba north of Aden. Here a wide-ranging maritime culture developed by 2500 BC with its focus on the westernmost portion of the Indian Ocean and the Southern Red Sea. To a certain extent, the culture (which included Subr materials) was identified by the ancient Egyptian term – Punt/Pwenet. The interaction of this culture with the African Horn, the East African coast and Dhofar facilitated the eastward transmission of such cultigens and products as sorghum, millets, cotton and indigo as far as the Arabian Gulf and the Indus Valley emphasizing the north Oman-Indus Valley trade connections. Trial excavations on the Farasan islands and at Ras Tarfa in 1984 support this maritime trade, perhaps as early as the mid-4th millennium BC. Mesopotamian connections to this Bronze Age culture complex are seen by the construction of Magan boats, the recovery of ship fragments from Ras Al-Jinz and the earliest direct evidence of the copal trade. Copal, often mistaken for amber, was traded in blocks to manufacture beads and pendants. Its source is a series of fossil copal deposits along the east coast of Africa and western Madagascar. A copal pendant was recovered from Tell Asmar (Eshnunna) in central Iraq in a Sargonic context (2200 BC). Therefore, the small-scale Bronze Age settlements of the uplands, foothills and coast of Dhofar (and Masirah island) participated in this international trade as evidenced by the recovery of Bronze Age tools and weapons, the domestication of plants and animals, trade in frankincense, and perhaps copal. From the site of what later became the city of Zafar, isolated flint tools found in mixed excavated context are Bronze Age in date. They include the hallmark tabular flint scrapers, snapped blades, and notched flakes. The Iron Age The last prehistoric period covers conventionally the period 1200 BC-300 BC which is based on betterknown chronologies from both North Oman and western Yemen. However, a full range site sequence covering this period has yet to be fully documented. By 300 BC, the Salalah plain enters history based on the founding of the site at Khor Rori with its famous South Arabic gate inscription. Contemporary early Iron Age sites are known from the Dhofar hills, the upper Salalah plain terraces, the lower plains, as well as from Indian Ocean coastal shell-middens. These include structural settlements, tumuli, formally defined fields with sluices, check dams and lithic scatters characterized by microlithic core production and backed geometrics including scale triangles and lunates. Brief surveys of Iron Age sites have been carried out as far west as Raysut and Wadi Adhonib. From Taqa Site 60, found during the Trans Arabia Expedition in 1995, excavation of two Iron Age houses forming part of a large village built of dry stone walling, was C-14 dated to between 500 BC and 250 AD. It revealed the earliest known to date ceramics, shell, stone and bone beads as well as a microlithic flint industry. From tombs and settlements along the ocean littoral between Taqa and Mirbat, similar microlithic flint materials have been found. At Khor Rori similar dates occur from nearby shell-middens. 22

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.10. DS-09-282 Bronze Age “Tombs with Tails” near Mudhai.

Several have been securely dated to the period 300-100 BC and include KR1-8 at the northern base of Jebel Taqa and KR1-10 located on the northeast shore behind Jebel Mirbat. A similar date was found in the Wadi Darbat system at KR1-256. Upland hills sites have typical “house settlements” with attached windbreaks and animal pens, characteristic of current day MSAL settlements (Figures 2.10 to 2.12). The Iron Age of Dhofar is perhaps most famously characterized by the presence of stone monuments known as triliths, based on their three stone alignment set in larger stone “collars” stretching from a few meters to over one kilometer in distance. They are concentrated in large numbers in particularly at the base of the Dhofari Nejd, and coincide with the distribution of frankincense trees. Probably by the Early Iron Age, they can be found from eastern Yemen to northern Oman. Their full configuration involves the trilith stones set in gravel-filled pits encircling them, as well as associated circular fireplaces and stone squares marked by four boulders. At least ten trilith complexes have associated C-14 dates and their span seems to fit the range of the Later Iron Age/Classical period (ca. 300 BC to 200 AD). Probably associated with the frankincense trade, perhaps delineating territories of family groups, incense collection points and route markers for ceremonies, they do coincide as well with the territorial extent of modern MSAL groups. In addition, Dhofar hills sites have produced numerous cave paintings as well as ESA-style inscriptions. Trilith and rock faces in the close Nejd have also produced incised Iron Age rock art and inscriptions (including those on triliths) (Figures 2.13 to 2.15). Specific Iron Age material from the site of Al-Baleed site is rather common. Excavations inside the husn as well as the lowest levels in a number of excavations has produced the typical Iron Age microlithic industry composed of geometrics, borers, bladelets, flakes and microcores perhaps associated with the earliest building walls. 23

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.11. Taqa 60. Bronze and Iron Age houses.

Due to the massive building of the city in the 9th - 10th centuries AD, little however is left of the Iron Age settlements and shell-middens in the Al-Baleed area. That is not the case, however, for areas immediately surrounding Al-Baleed especially to the north. Brief surveys along major wadis (Wadi Garziz and tributaries) to the north of Al-Baleed beginning in the Al-Robat area have turned up numerous Iron Age settlements, structures, lithics and ceramics along braiding streams and mangrove marshes. In sum, it should be emphasized that Iron Age sites of the larger coastal Dhofari plain, the uplands, and the interior Nejd with few exceptions have continued to flourish until the present day. Archaeological work here melds into paleo-ethnographical and ethnographical observations. The changes described below largely took place on the Dhofari coast with little integrative aspects in the interior (except at Habarut and Shisr). However, the question of who created the larger city complexes of Al-Baleed, Raysut, Mirbat etc. remains to be answered from a linguistic or ethnological perspective. The Classical period and local populations (300 BC-400 AD) With the founding of the only formal South Arabian site known in coastal Dhofar, that of Khor Rori (ancient Sumhuram), major changes in political history, the local economy and market resources took place. The lucrative frankincense market was reorganized and tied directly to agents masterminding the international trade.

24

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Imported ceramics, metals, and goods were perhaps paid for by a money economy. More specifically from a historical geographical perspective, the colony in the Dhofar region at Khor Rori, was constructed in stages and the layout resembles a typical South Arabic period settlement. For example, the site has exterior city walls form the internal house walls, long rectangular rooms interpreted as storage areas, towers and defensive gates using the offset technique with marginally drafted masonry and roughly hewn blocks. The site built ca. 300 BC juts out over the lagoon and sits on top of earlier shellmidden Iron Age sites. The site sits at a prime location as the lagoon served as a harbor or protected port from the southwest monsoon. Both sides of the lagoon have promontories that not only provided natural lookout posts, but also as distinctive land marks on the coast for sailors. Figure 2.12. Taqa 60. Bronze Age house.

The site was first excavated by the American Foundation for the Study of Man (AFSM) from 1954-1960. It has proven to represent the ancient city of Sumhuram as both archaeological material as well formal inscriptions in ESA were recovered. The latter also note that the site was colonized from Shabwa. Current work by the Italian Mission to Oman of the University of Pisa (IMTO) has refined the chronological occupation of the site, clarified the trade in incense and linked the site to both India and the west as far as Italy and the Aegean. The connections include the presence of western Roman and Greek island amphora, arrentine wares, rare Nabatean painted sherds, as well as Arabian Gulf Parthian glazed wares. Indian wares at Khor Rori point to strong connections with the subcontinent particularly at such sites as Muziris, Arikamedu and Goa. Figure 2.13. Taqa 60. Iron Age shell beads.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.14. Map of DS-09-203 Trilith Site.

26

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.15. DS-09-203 Trilith Site.

Recently, a sherd from Khor Rori dating to the 1st century AD with a brief post-fired Tamil-Brahmi title and name (nantai kiran) inscribed on it, suggests an important South Indian trader resided at Sumhuram.The name of the port as Moscha in the Greek sources has yet to be fully clarified. The Khor Rori Hadhrami colony, Sakalan and local Iron Age populations The Khor Rori gate inscriptions (ca. 200 AD) referred to the bay and perhaps the larger Dhofari region as Sakalan. In Greek and Latin sources, the region became renowned as the land of the best frankincense to be found in Southern Arabia. Sakalan as the equivalent of the later term Zafar between Habarut and Khor Rori. The term as used throughout the Classical and the Early Islamic periods most likely refers to the Salalah plain and larger Dhofar. One can speculate that the term extends back perhaps as early as the Early Iron Age (pre-500 BC). It is likely that merchants from Shabwa arriving long before the actual colony was established, found contemporary inhabitants throughout the area including those at Khor Rori and other lagoonal shores, the near plains and foothills, as well as in the hills and the Nejd beyond. The contemporaneity of local Iron Age populations to the Shabwa colony is demonstrated by a number of points: 1. First, C-14 dates from triliths in the Nejd span the time frame of 300 BC-200 AD. These sites in the Nejd span a large geographical region both in Oman and Yemen and were constructed by indigenous Iron Age populations. Ibn Mujawir in ca. 1220 AD describes the triliths as belonging to the ancient people of Ad.

27

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

2. Second, the Taqa Site 60 site, less than 5 km from the South Arabian colony of Khor Rori, which is contemporary for the most part with it, (350 BC – 280-300 AD) has no evident connection or ties with the latter. 3. Third, only Hanun in the Dhofari Nejd has been recorded as an Epigraphic South Arabic (ESA) Hadhrami-type site. The formal nine-line block inscription in ESA found there mentions the country of Sakalan and Hanun as Sa’nan, suggesting the frankincense-producing portion of the Nejd was included in the term Sakalan. Upon survey, we noted that the Hanun location is a major spring area and surrounded by multiple triliths and several Iron Age settlements, which attest to the presence of both earlier and contemporary local people as well. 4. Fourth, an IMTO survey of the larger environs of Khor Rori identified over 1600 sites. Of these, over 99% were identified as remains belonging to “non-Sumhuram” type buildings or ceramics. The tabulation under the category “Classical age buildings” defined by the presence of “squared stones and parts of walls... often associated with amphora fragments and imported pottery” yielded less than ten sites and all were found in the immediate vicinity of Sumhuram. 5. Fifth, what other evidence can be found to suggest local populations interacted as trading groups with visiting Hadhrami merchants? South Arabian Hadhramaut ceramic types are sufficiently distinctive to be recognized at sites (red wares/chaff temper/incised decoration, etc.) in contrast to “local” wares. No sites throughout the larger Salalah plain or the Dhofar mountains have produced these far superior Hadhrami ware types. This suggests that local populations produced their own ceramics and did not exchange their goods with the colonists. Nevertheless, with a very few exceptions, these types are completely missing from surveyed local sites in Dhofar as well. 6. Sixth, it appears that local Dhofari populations did not utilize silver coin currency prior to the arrival of the Hadhramis. Silver and copper coinage (see below) is present at Sumhuram. There may have been a mint present as well. What was the coinage used for? Trade with local groups to obtain the frankincense probably did not require formal coinage since the South Arabian presence was only seasonal. No South Arabic currency has been reported from the Dhofar hills. Apparently, hard currency at Khor Rori was reserved for external trade with South Asians, Red Sea groups and East Africans in the Classical period Indian Ocean trade, and in the later Axumite/Himyarite trade as well. Rather, locals traded with the Hadhramis for desired foodstuffs (wheat, barley), textiles, and finished luxury goods. Thus, Khor Rori functioned as a trading post vis-à-vis the local Dhofar Hill groups. 7. Seventh, the presence of local Iron Age, MSAL populations can also be inferred from loan words found in Classical period texts. In Pliny’s account (ca. 70 AD), the Shahra term for summer monsoon: korf (cf. later variants such as kharif) is rendered as carf(iathum). The term dotha, “summer rains before the monsoon”, is called dath(iathum). In the contemporary account of the Periplus (ca. 150 AD), the author uses the term mokratu to define a high quality resin. In Shahra, the term megert is used for the frankincense tree. However, writing may be one tangible piece of evidence which the local groups acquired from the colonists. The ESA alphabet has been found in use both in painted inscriptions in cave shelters and overhangs throughout the Dhofar hills as well as incised rock inscriptions principally in the Nejd. The majority remain to be studied. However, the writing system could also have arrived in the Dhofar region independently from a northern direction and belongs to the so-called “Thamudic” system. 28

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Finally, one should also note the importance of the concept introduced in the Classical period of the status of special harbors and ports vis-à-vis commercial trade, revenue generation, and taxation status. Apparently, specially designated ports where “ships are to come to anchor or mooring” (Periplus: epodedeigmishoi) were protected by divine power as a safeguard from pirates, looting and extortion/ransom demands. The presence of royal (Shabwan?) officials ensured the enforcement of regulations concerning status and trade and perhaps taxation. Khor Rori functioned as the key international port for the Dhofar region during this period. Its practices and international trade connections linking Rome, the East African coast, the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the South Arabian coast and India were to have a long-lasting effect on the region well beyond the collapse of the town itself. Its demise in the 6th - 7th centuries AD, gave rise to Al-Baleed, the successor town, which continued and improved the pattern of trade over the successive centuries established by its smaller Classical period antecedent (Figures 2.16 and 2.17). Andhur Another Classical period settlement perhaps competing with Khor Rori lies to the northeast. Andhur, another major spring/pool area situated between the Dhofar mountains and the Nejd, occupied since the Late Neolithic/Bronze Age, has a well-constructed formal building placed on a hilltop overlooking the pools below. First described by Phillips, plastered basins and wall construction also suggest it could belong to the period of the ESA colonists. Despite a lack of excavation, it may be that this was indeed a collection station operated by local Iron Age groups independently of Khor Rori far to the west, which sent frankincense to Hasik, a known Classical period port due east on the coast as well as Wadi Sunayk. As at Hanun, a number of triliths built by local people can be found just northeast of the pools along wadi terraces. Perhaps associated with these triliths, boulder rock art as well as ESA-type inscriptions have been observed in the area. A brief survey in 2009 of the frankincense producing areas in the hills above Andhur revealed an intricate network of paths leading to the Hasik settlements on the coast (Figure 2.18). The earliest identified written geographical locations in Dhofar and adjoining South Arabia From the Classical period accounts of South Arabia beginning with Herodotus (430 BC) and utilizing Ptolemy’s map coordinates, the Periplus, Pliny etc., the names of South Arabia’s formal ports and geographical features can be pinpointed with some accuracy for the first time. Aden is prominently mentioned in a number of Greek, Latin and ESA sources (hyqn/d ‘dnm-“harbor bay of Aden’). For the Hadhramaut area, using an emended copy of Ptolemy’s coordinates, various authors have located the Hadhramaut area (Chatramonitae) where the Prionotus mountains begin as a source for the Prion river. If the Prion is the Wadi Masila, we then see a number of smaller settlements along it (Madasara, Gorda, Baeunu, Raqeda) and on the coast, Embolium (Sayhut or Sharhayt?). Trulla may be Shihr East and Pretos could be Sharwayn near Qishn. Metacum may be the site of Nishtun at Ras Fartak or Khalfut. The vagueness for the location of the Greek Sachalites (Sakalan) either west or east of Ras Syagros (Ras Fartak) has impacted the discussion of Moscha as Sumhuram. Some scholars place Moscha west of Salalah and not at Khor Rori. Nevertheless, Sachalites is the Greek form of Sakalan, a region centered on the Salalah plain.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.16. Trilith Site distribution along with MSAL Group distribution (After Dostal 1967; Mathews 1959, 1962).

30

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.17. Sumhuram, Khor Rori and the Taqa and Mirbat Jebels.

The term Coseude Polis found on examples of Ptolemy’s map is interpreted as a mistake in copying by ancient scribes. Sprenger correctly identified the term as Roseude (Roseyde), modern Raysut. Modern Ghayda AlMahra is most likely Ausara. In ESA inscriptions from Marib, Jamme identified ‘wsrn with Ausara and Ghayda. Dated to the 1st century BC, it is probably the Ausara in the Geographica. This important site is situated at the juncture of the inland Hadhramaut Valley and the coastal route to Al-Baleed. In the Periplus, ca. 120 -250 AD, the Syagros promontory had a number of installations including a fort, harbor and warehouse system; it is perhaps modern Kherfut. The bay east of Sachalites is called Omana. Here Ptolemy’s map places Anga, Astoa and the Neogilla naval station. These locations are placed between Organa island (Masirah), and the Zenobii islands (Al-Hallaniyat). The Naval Station could be in the Hasik area (Figure 2.19). Indian trade of the Classical, Himyarite, and Early Islamic periods In light of the international trade found at Khor Rori and later at Raysut, Mirbat and Al-Baleed, a brief discussion is required of the important relationship the Indian subcontinent had with southern Arabia. On the Malabar Coast of India in Kerala, India, the site of Pattanam has been identified as Classical Muziris. The site is situated on the inland sea and the base of the Periyar delta. Following the local Iron Age Megalithic period (ca. 500 BC), Classical Roman wares appear by the 1st century BC and include amphora used in the wine trade coming from the Naples area as well as the Aegean islands (Kos, Rhodes).

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 2.18. The Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO) archaeological map of the Sumhuram area (After Avanzini 2008: Plate 3).

The site had a continuous occupation from the 2nd century BC into the 10th century AD, thus incorporating 5th century or later Aqaba amphora. Reports mention Sasanian wares as well. Islamic (7th - 10th century AD) wares at Muziris include examples from Sohar, Siraf, Zafar and Shihr. The site was abandoned between the 10th and 18th centuries when the Dutch appear to have re-colonized the area. Of further interest are two copper coins of the Chera period found in this context. Excavated evidence uncovered the present of a wharf and bollards (wooden posts) used to tie up boats. A 6 m long dugout canoe (a houri type) was found near the wharf. The wood of the houri was identified as being Artocarpus hirsutus and Tectona grandis. Of vital interest is the observation that Muziris was occupied in the post-Classic and pre-Islamic periods of Late Antiquity as was Qana, Berenike and Aqaba. This confirms the Cosmas Indicopleustes account of a thriving international Indian Ocean trade in the 6th century AD. From the Sanjan port site in Southwest Gujarat, on the bank of Varoli river on the Arabian Sea, a number of trenches were opened up in 2001. Two structural phases were identified. The earliest phase of the Abbasid period contained splash wares, white opaque glazes and sgraffiato. 32

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Figure 2.19. Andhur (photograph by L. Newton).

The locally manufactured carinated polished ware had an orange slip. The clay source with high mica content came from the area between the deltas of the Narmada and Indus rivers. From the site of Arikamedu, located on the east side of southern India, the amphora trade continued past the Roman/ Classical levels (1st century BC / 3rd century AD) as well until the 6th - 7th centuries AD. This Late Antiquity period also revealed large quantities of Late Roman Bronze coins. Again, this Late Antiquity period is represented at Red Sea ports such as Clysma, Berenike and Aila. At Arikamedu, no datable artifacts were found from 650-900/950 AD. This lack of an apparent Abbasid period presence at Arikamedu is followed by a strong Medieval sequence paralleled at Al-Baleed from 950-1450 AD with numerous Chinese and East Asian wares, wicked lamps and Chola coins. Somewhat different again is Tissamaharama in south Sri Lanka. Here occupation was continuous from the 3rd - 4th century BC until 820 AD. Its end, perhaps like that at Muziris, was apparently caused by the cessation of the Chinese trade caused by the Canton uprising. The rise of post-classic Zafar (Al-Baleed) and related seaports and towns of Dhofar (Period 1A, 450750 AD) What evidence exists from Dhofar in general and specifically from the key site of Al-Baleed for the 300year period (450-750AD) which is defined by the end the Classical period and the establishment of the Islamic period? In Late Antiquity (ca. 5th - 7th century AD), the dominant power in the region was the Himyarite kingdom, as well as a number of contemporary coastal towns (controlled by the Himyarites?) such as Aden, Qani, Shihr East, Musaynah, Sharwayn, Khalfut and Raysut, and probably Khor Rori. 33

Figure 2.20. Annotated Ptolemy map. Note the squared off area is Dhofar (After B. Isenberger).

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

34

Prehistoric archaeological chronology in Dhofar prior to the Islamic period

Late Himyarite one gram bronze coins were identified at Khor Rori, which were used throughout the region as well as some minted at the site itself between 350-400 AD. These coins were used internally but the Himyar kings used gold Axumite coins for international trade. These bronze coins bear the inscription “King of Saba, Dhu Raydan, Hadhramaut and Yaman”. Presumably, the designation “Yaman” following the list of geographical titles from west to east, defined the region east of the Hadhramaut and included Zafar, and so also used in that sense by the Rasulids as well. At Raysut harbor, a bronze Byzantine coin of Justinian I (558 AD) was found that also supports this trade activity in the 6th century as well. This Himyarite coin policy echoes the account of Cosmas Indicopleustes, ca. 520-545 AD. He describes international trade for this period involving products from “Homerite Country” (Himyar), i.e. the South Arabian coast. He describes a merchant called Sopatrus from Axum, who called on Sri Lanka, “an island frequented by ships from all parts of India and Persia and Ethiopia. They brought to it silk, aloes, cloves, sandalwood and textiles which were passed in all directions at Male (Maldives). The chief men and customs-house officers, received merchants from Persia, (the) Homerite (country) (Hadhramaut/Himyar, including Zafar?) and Adulis”. Merchants came there also from Tzinista (China). The mention of aloes (or aloeswood) could denote cargoes from Al-Baleed/Zafar, Mirbat, Shihr or Socotra. Cosmas also notes that elephant ivory was traded from Ethiopia by sea to India, Persia and Homerite country. Specifically, a number of sites identified with the term “Homerite” country, can be found along the Arabian coast. At Aden, a church was established by 342 AD at this important seaport and probably functioned well into the 10th century. To the west along the Indian Ocean littoral, the site of Al-Shihr east has been identified as the pre-Islamic site of Al-Ah’sa, and perhaps Ptolemy’s Trulla. Muhammed bin Habib (245/850AD) writes of the “Merchants of the Sea” cooperating in the market activities at Al-Ah’sa (Shihr) and with merchants traveling overland to Qabr Hud. They were bringing to the coast from the interior, kundur, incense, myrrh, dukhn incense and aloes. In the same region, Sharwayn could be Ptolemy’s Pretos and at Ras Fartak, the site of Khalfut could be the Syagros port (Ibid). At the small seaport of Hawta, west of Salalah, the formal settlement with stone building foundations was C-14 dated to 1445±37 BP (A-87276) or the early 6th century. In Wadi Masila, near Al-Qisha, a Bronze Age tomb was reused by Bedouin in the Late Antiquity period.

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Chapter 3

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

The largest seaport of the Classical and later pre-Islamic period was that of Qana (Qani’) west of Mukalla. The site was not abandoned at the end of the 4th - early 5th centuries AD as is usual for most Classical period sites, but continued to prosper until ca. 600 AD and supports the assertion of the Christian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes of active trading in Homerite country from the 6th century AD. Qani also had continued strong links with smaller settlements in East Africa. Amphora found at Qani and produced in South Palestine/Jordan (Aila/Gaza) carried grains, white wine, perfumed oils and olive/sesame oil via such ports as Abu Sha’ar, Berenike and Aden and Axum. These amphorae have been linked to Christian economic expansion in the Red Sea, the northern Indian Ocean and into the Arabian Gulf. The hypothesis of economic trade and Christian association can be supported by both Gaza/Aila type amphora found at Khor Rori and Masirah island as well as possible Christian inscriptions found at Qana, Khor Rori and the communion chalice/ceramic vessel painted crosses from nearby Ain Humran. Gaza amphora, which facilitated the trade of communion wine, can be seen as a proxy for the larger Red Sea, Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean trade parallel to the Sasanian political state. The transition between the Late Antiquity sites (350-700 AD) and the rise of Islam (650-750 AD) took place gradually in Dhofar Province. The sudden “disappearance” of the Khor Rori settlement and the “fall” of Classical South Arabian civilization is perhaps largely a myth. That this “collapse” may not have happened in a dramatic fashion or at all, can be seen at Khor Rori itself. At the site, this 300-year period (450-750 AD) is exceptionally difficult to gauge and identify archaeologically, but the final levels identified at Khor Rori belong to what the excavators call the “Fifth Constructional Phase” when most of the town’s buildings were abandoned. This phase is roughly dated to the “late 4th or early 5th century AD”. The last identified layer/pavement is covered by evidence of abandonment (e.g. wind-blown loose loam, sand, and few sherds). However, the interpretation of this latest stratigraphy at Khor Rori itself is somewhat unclear. The relevant C14 dates, above, come from ash and debris of destruction/abandonment levels, but Bonacossi describes the uppermost two levels as a “squatting occupation” and defines structures similar to more modern Jibbali houses. Ceramic material from this phase is not well known and there may be correlations to post-Classical “local wares”. As discussed below, several so-called “rice” ware sherds have been identified at Khor Rori as well as several dot-circle pieces. An unpublished complete dot-circle vessel and other fragments from the AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) excavations most likely did not come from the Khor Rori settlement, but from the eastern promontory where the occupation is of Early Islamic date. These sherds, found at Al-Baleed as well in a more securely dated context, suggest a post 6th century AD date. Therefore, while more research is needed to further outline local cultural shifts that occurred with the transition to a new set of foreign influence associated with the spread of Islam and the Caliphate, it is reasonable to suggest that there is no gap in occupation between the “end” of Classical Sumhuram and the so-called more recent occupation both at Khor Rori itself and at the nearby sites located on Jebels Mirbat and Taqa, the two promontories flanking the mouth of the Wadi Darbat. 36

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Examining the latest radiocarbon dates from Khor Rori and other regional sites, it is possible to suggest that the demise of Khor Rori and Shabwa are fairly contemporary to the rise of Shisr (and thus AlBaleed/Raysut, as they are the ports for this important trading entrepot in the interior) at 430-450 AD. Most recently, two C-14 dates from Khor Rori provide support for this contention. From Area F, the latest dates fall between 710-930 AD. Perhaps this is the reason mystery and intrigue surrounds the people known as the “Himyari,” and “Minju”. One theory of their origins could be that they represent groups who originally visited Khor Rori seasonally and who stayed behind and lived in the area after the collapse of Shabwa, post 400 AD (such as the Manji Indian merchants; for other theories, see below). Of course, the origins of the ancient town of Zafar may lie at the bottom of this mystery. Phillips, followed by Albright, suggested that Al-Baleed’s initial “city” occupation occurred when Khor Rori was “abandoned”. The role the Sassanians played in Dhofar and the mark they may have left there is also rather murky. By the early 6th century AD Sasanian influence, particularly under Khusrow Anushirvan, extended along the Indian Ocean littoral to the Red Sea. His admiral, Tabari Wahraz, presumably after conquering Sohar, made his way to Dhofar on his way to the Hadhramaut and Aden in alliance with the Lakhmids (ca. 550-605 AD). Following the continuation of Sasanian state policy (ca. 250 AD-630 AD) and into the early Islamic period, Sasanian Persian groups settled in Sohar, Kush and further west and the populations included Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians.

Figure 3.1. The Classical period (300 BC-300 AD) Indian Ocean (After Avanzini and Sedov 2005).

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Al-Baleed itself, sometime in the Late Iron Age, perhaps by 500-600 AD, began to grow in size and complexity. This date can be corroborated by examining the similar dates obtained from the interior site of Shisr (Wubar). Thus, by the collapse of late Sumhuram, populations and economic activity began to transfer to Al-Baleed as well as other nearby ports such as Raysut, Juweina, Mirbat, Al-Sodah, Jinjali, and Hasik. In summary, the occupational history from the upper Red Sea to India, along the Indian Ocean littoral illustrates a post 4th century AD world which by the 6th century involved both the presence of local players and outside Persian/Arab/Indian groups. There was no gap in the occupational history between the establishment of Khor Rori (ca. 300 BC) and the rise of Al-Baleed, Mirbat and Raysut (ca. 400/500 AD) (Figures 3.1 and 3.2). The introduction of Islam in Dhofar The introduction of Islam as a religion and political/social and economic force obviously began in Arabia during the lifetime of the Prophet. However, the “conversion” of people to Islam did not occur in a single lifetime or even centuries in some cases. As Cook notes: “During the Umayyad period, the vast bulk of the Levantine population was non-Muslim”. Therefore, we distinguish between the archaeological/historical period called “The Islamic period” from the actual culture and lives of people who inhabited Southern Arabia between 630-900 AD. The account of the Early Islamic conversion in Dhofar as described by Tabari (writing in 890-900 AD) and interpreting events having taken place three hundred years earlier must be treated with caution. However, he is one of the first to describe post-Classical Dhofar in his Tarikh Al-Rusul wa’l -Muluk in his account of the Riddah wars in ca. 630 AD. Two accounts are key for understanding Dhofar at this critical time: (1) the English translation by Donner and (2) that of Abdulmunam Al-Bahr Al-Rowas as narrated in Al-Shahri. The key here is the topographical description as given by Tabari. Al-Shahri uses the account to describe a “battle memorial” which he associates with the Tabari account of the reconquest of Islam in Dhofar. Located in the western area of Jebel Qamr, the memorial sits in an area known as “Victors’ Land” (akiaar) based on the exploits of a local hero, Shahrait bin Shahrah, who allied himself with the Muslim general Ikhramah. The description of the people in the region who embraced Islam following the defeat of the Mahra general Mussabah is of key interest here. According to Al-Rowas, Ikhramah referred to the entire region as Bilad Al-Mahra or Shahar as the two were often considered intertwined. Six different groups of people are identified in the text which included ahl Najd (north of Dhofar hills scarp), Riyad al-Rawdah/Rodhah (Jebel Samhan/Jebel Qamr), the seacoast (probably Sakalan and not AlSahel), ahl al-Juzur (people of the islands) (Masirah and Al-Hallaniyat), ahl al-murr wa a’luban (people of the lands of frankincense and myrrh), and the ahl Habrut wa Dhahur al-Shahr, al-Sabar wa Yanab, Ardh Mahra alyum (perhaps people of Habarut/Jayrut, Taqa, Mirbat and the Mahra today). The early city of Al-Baleed: Sakalan? As noted earlier, Ibn Khordedebeh, ca. 877 AD, mentions Awkalan. Ibn Hawqal in ca. 977 AD produced a global map. Oman on the map most likely refers to Sohar. Zufar (in addition to Raysut) and the Mahra region are also shown. This date ties in well with the earliest C14 dates obtained from the congregational mosque and husn.

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Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Figure 3.2. Local Iron Age Ceramics: 1) TA-95-60, level 2, BA-83797 2340±100 BP; 2-29) DS-08-67 Al-Hawta. All examples are grit buffware, handmade with incised and impressed decoration. Numbers 3-5, 7, 11, 12, 17 and 21 are examples of rice ware.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Thus, the thriving city of Al-Baleed was well established by the time of the Mandju/Mandjawiyyun ca. 1000 AD. This term may encompass a wide variety of groups who coalesced at the site. Some of the principal merchants may have been Persians who arrived at Zafar after the earthquake disaster at Siraf (977 AD). Other sources state that the Minjui dynasty represented merchants who traveled all the way to the Tihama and Zabid/Aththar. Later historians (Abu Makhrama d. 947/1540 and Al-Kindi, d. 1310/1892) say the Minjui dynasty came from a group called Bulukh (or Bulh) from southwest Yemen (Madhhidj). Still others provide a prominent role to the local Dhofari Hill groups, namely the Shahra. The interesting Indian term Manji, defining a merchant class from SW India, may be another interpretation of the term Minjui. The usage of the term came to an end with Sultan Muhammed b. Ahmad Al-Mandjawi (nicknamed Al-Akhal) who died in 600/1203. In sum, combining the historical evidence from Sumhuram, Siraf, Sohar, Shisr and Zabid, it appears that Al-Baleed appeared as early as 500-700 AD and represents the Sasanian conquest of the South Arabian coast as well as associated merchant activity. A second phase of the city would date to the (re)establishment of Sirafi/Indian merchants and governmental officials from ca. 977 AD onward. The archaeological evidence for this earliest city at Al-Baleed was first brought to light by the AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) expedition of 1952, which excavated a small mosque placed on the western city wall at the mid-wall bastion. According to Phillips, below the mosque walls and surfaces were “the remains of numerous walls [which] attest the former presence of earlier structures”. Costa’s excavations of the congregational mosque in 1978, 100 m east of the Albright walls, found in the forecourt just south of the mihrab, a series of straight and curved north-south walls just below the mosque. These walls, presumably those of a small room also contained a clay oven as well. These structures predate the mosque (and therefore are pre-950 AD). In another small sounding, just southwest of the mosque’s terrace, a courtyard (maydan) surface was encountered. Traces of a small building, ash and burnt stones were uncovered. These were said to be contemporary to material from the first sounding. In March 1998 several soundings were dug along the northern city wall and south of the citadel. Northsouth trending walls and debris which probably represent the remnants of buildings belonging to the original town were uncovered. In 2001, a deep trench on the southwest side of the citadel just outside the husn wall revealed similar structural remains. Possibly these walls and associated material remains were placed on the sand or bedrock and may be contemporary to either the earliest citadel or even antedate it. The 1996-1997 Sultan Qaboos University excavations indicated that the funerary mosque had earlier, more North-South oriented walls. These early walls were found in the area just east of the ablution area and were cut by later pits and structures. The excavated area, the largest exposed to date, covered 200 m square. The rectangular roomed walls and structures suggest, as in the earlier excavations, domestic houses. A number of soundings between 2005-2008 also support these early observations concerning Phase I Al-Baleed. In 2005, excavations at the small mosque east of the husn also revealed early Phase I materials. Below the earliest formal walls of the mosque (Phase II), we located 2-3 courses of walling placed on beach sand. The walls’ location and orientation suggest, like the other excavated material reported above, that they represented secular housing unrelated to the later mosque. The remains may represent two distinct houses or the walls of one large house (Figure 3.3). In 2007, at the base of the southwest tower, a small trench was cut to determine the location of the base of the tower. A small wall below the tower running east-west and not aligned to the tower was excavated. The wall was two courses wide and three courses deep. Near this wall a large, highly burnished Phase I riceware jar with incised chevrons was found. 40

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Figure 3.3. Excavations under small mosque at Al-Baleed. The photo shows what lies below the stone floor some 3 meters. Notice the deep walls are oriented in another direction.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The original Phase I city developed sometime between 500-700 AD in the northwest portion of the site nearest to the confluence of the western and northern lagoons. It stretched from south of the ZCM to the northern lagoon. Based on the house walls AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) excavated in 1952, the Phase I city extended from the western lagoon to the Sultan Qaboos University excavations at the funerary mosque some 350 m x 200 m. This early city lies some 120 m from current seashore. The limited exposures to date have only uncovered a series of houses and no large formal buildings characteristic of the next phase. These boundaries and descriptions of the early city are approximate based on the circumstances of chance excavations. The early (Sasanian?) city is larger in size than contemporary sites at Shihr, Qisha, Mughsayl, Raysut, Hinu/Mirbat, Jinjali, Sowdah, and Hasik. The end of the Phase I city is defined by the construction of the first congregational mosque, the husn and the south seawall complex. The date of this transition, ca. 850-950 AD is based on C14 dates, coinage, stratigraphy, ceramics and the early date of the “Minjui” cemetery head stone located in Al-Robat (411/1020 AD). Dhofar and the Abbasid period: the transition (Period IB, 750-950 AD) A number of historians, e.g. Ibn Khordedebeh, Masudi, Hamdani and Ibn Hawqal, have described the larger Salalah plain in the Abbasid period. Following Ibn Khordedebeh, the region was still called Sakalan with passing references principally to Raysut and Mirbat. Archaeological evidence indicates that more contemporary sites were inhabited than the names provided by various Abbasid period historians. Perhaps the name and site of Al-Baleed (not included in any Abbasid period compendium) was to be identified specifically as Awkalan. Concerning the origin of one large Islamic town found in the Abbasid period literature-Mirbat, Ibn Mujawir (IM 1220), states that it was constructed by the Persians and built as a tethering place for horses. After the severe earthquake damage at Siraf in 367/977 many people migrated and settled in Mirbat. He notes that the last Persian people to rule over Siraf were the Manju. Minjui Mirbat was attacked and destroyed by Ahmad b. Muhammad ‘Abdallah b. Mazru’ Al-Habudhi. In addition to the town of Mirbat, IM also describes Arhub (Sodh?), Kankari (Jebel Qinqari and/or the settlement at nearby Jinjali), and AlNus (Ras Nuss), passing the mountains of Awali. He accurately notes Hasik, which is opposite the Khuriya Muriya islands (now renamed the Al-Hallaniyat islands). Then he moves north to Madrakah and Masirah. The people of the island of Masirah are called the Mahra. The modern Arab tribes Hikman and Jannabah occupy the island today. The archaeological Abbasid period is conventionally dated from 750-950 AD to the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258 AD. It is defined by diagnostic material culture produced either in central Iraq or from west Central Iran. Architectural remains, glass wares, and Asian imports help define the period in Dhofar, but the recognition of “Abbasid” period sites largely hinges on the presence of characteristic Abbasid ceramic types. These include yellow body barbotine glaze, yellow/green glazed sgraffiato, and white tin glazes. Survey work in Dhofar and excavations at Al-Baleed itself, have produced a rich heritage for the period. The town of Al-Baleed has a specific Abbasid component, found principally from the western portion of the site. The range of standard-sized building walls under later formal buildings at the site is associated with diagnostic barbotine, sgraffiatos and white tin glazes which define the Abbasid period. The full ceramic corpus here also includes local wares such as a chaff-tempered red ware with a black slip, incised “rice” ware, dot/circle and paddle stamp. Indian red and black polished cooking pots are common. 42

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

In addition to the coastal settlement at Al-Baleed, at least fifteen other contemporary littoral sites are known from Dhofar as well as Shisr inland. They range from Hasik in the east to Mughsayl in the west (as well as additional sites in eastern Yemen). Several have been extensively tested (the Mirbat Promontory at Khor Rori and Mughsayl) or sounded (Sitima/Hinu, Raysut, Taqa), but the majority remains to be examined and studied. 1. Taqa promontory. As in most cases, a small hill overlooking and dominating Taqa harbor has the remains of a very formal rectangular building with multiple rooms surrounded by a much larger outer wall. The entire complex is constructed of semi-cut and drafted local stone. Ceramic materials scattered in and around the site are the usual mix of local Abbasid red wares and diagnostic glazed imports. 2. Jebel Nashib/Khasbar. To the east of Al-Baleed is the fortress site of Jebel Nashib located on a major interior-leading wadi. This very high promontory site may protect the inland routes and the small seaport of Khor Sowli with harbor facilities just to the south. A multiple series of boat-shaped graves here have parallels to contemporary tumuli on Socotra, Ain Humran and Khor Rori. The finely built water/frankincense collecting point also has a typical administrative building and outlying fort walls and towers cut from stone reminiscent of early Al-Baleed masonry. Since no excavations have taken place at the site and no ceramic collection has been made, the date for the site is somewhat conjectural based on the presence at Khor Sowli of multiple “boat-graves” and typical local Abbasid period pottery (Figures 3.4 and 3.5). 3. Mirbat promontory at Khor Rori (also known as Jebel Sharqiya, Al-Hamr, Al-Sharqiya, Inqitat Mirbat). The Khor Rori formal fortress/town settlement was slowly abandoned sometime during the early 5th century AD according to the excavators, although the date for the latest settlement phase there is subject to interpretation. The latest phase at Sumhuram was C14 dated to 380-610 AD. A “boat-shaped” grave was built into the last living surface near the square in front of the monumental building and the excavators suggest a dating of the boat grave near the end of the last period (ca. 370350 AD). A later date is suggested, ca. 600-800 AD based on the evidence of boat-graves both here and elsewhere in the region. At the Mirbat promontory south of the fortress a 700 m long stone wall, facing inland, is constructed of roughly worked stone blocks. One formal gateway opens onto a large cliff. A small interior balustrade and step of the wall leads at intervals to small square towers. The wall only protects the north-facing, interior slope. In this regard, the pattern is similar to fortress walls found in both Dhofar and Mahra Governate at Ghayda Al-Kabir, Shambon, Wadi Darbat as well as similar larger enclosing walls at Ain Humran, Raysut and Shisr. A settlement of numerous houses lies inside the second wall as well as on the western end. Several buildings of different sizes and functions were excavated on the eastern end and two occupation levels were recognized, the lower one resting on bedrock. C14 samples recovered from the excavations dates the complex between 760-940 AD. These dates help us to better define both the Abbasid and Early Medieval period local and imported wares. As a unique feature, a small, modest mosque was excavated north of the jebel and south of Sumhuram on a flat terrace by a meandering stream (providing the required ablution water). However, as at other Abbasid period sites in Dhofar, its association with either the settlement at the Sumhuram fortress or the Jebel Promontory remains unproven (for interments and cemeteries, see the boat graves below). Another unexcavated mosque lies to the south of it on an old terrace overlooking Wadi Darbat. 43

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 3.4. DS-08-008 Jebel Nashib.

Figure 3.5. DS-08-008 Jebel Nashib.

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Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

What was the name of this substantial settlement complex? Our choices are limited. According to most researchers, classical Sumhuram (and thus the name) was abandoned by end of the 4th- early 5th century AD. As there was no break in occupation at the fortress with the somewhat later Jebel Taqa and Mirbat settlements, perhaps there was just a change in the origin of the occupants. This idea is based on the shift to local wares in the assemblage. Early Islamic historians (Ibn Hordedibeh, Hamdani, Hawqal) also provide some clues. Ibn Khordedebeh refers to the area as Awkalan and presumably meant the same region or town mentioned originally in the Classical period inscriptions at Sumhuram and Hanun followed by the later Himyarite designation in 486 AD in the Wadi Jowf. Alternatively, was this the early Mirbat of Hamdani and Yaqut? 4. Juweina island. This mysterious site, located between Khor Rori and Mirbat, has two parts. The mainland site located on a prominent headland, consists of a large formal rectangular building, constructed of well-cut and faced stone. Offshore some 150 m is a small island with visible walls of multiple buildings at numerous elevations. Underwater investigations in 2008 revealed a causeway linking the two parts constructed of large, well-cut stone blocks. A ceramic collection made in 1993 is of Abbasid date (Figure 3.6). 5. Mirbat. Mentioned as one of two Abbasid towns on the Salalah plain by Hamdani and Ibn Hawqal, modern Mirbat has largely obliterated the evidence of the earlier town by building on top of it. Albright notes that at some time perhaps before Islam the town shifted eastwards. Visiting “eastern” Mirbat in 1952, he noted its lack of stone and mortar remains. He did, however, find Islamic wares including typical Abbasid barbotine blue which confirm Hamdani’s reference to the town. A recent reexamination of the town on the eastern end overlooking the bay confirms Albright’s views. The nearby hill fort also produced Abbasid period wares.

Figure 3.6. Juweina island. Note the structures visible on the top of the island, most likely dated to Abbasid-Medieval Islamic period.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 3.7. TA-08-101 Hinu.

6. Sitima/Hinu. Located 8 km northeast of modern Mirbat, the site is another typical monsoon-protected entrepot of the mid-1st millennium AD. The site is protected in part by nearby Sitima island and is located next to a large freshwater khor that is now silted (TA-92-101). The site, contemporary to Abbasid Mirbat, has a series of stone walled, rectangular, storage buildings as well as a number of modest boatshaped graves. A small sounding revealed substantial stratigraphy. The ceramic materials from the site include typical Abbasid barbotine blue, sgraffiato bowls, red ware storage vessels with black slip as well as tin white glazes and red grit wares with white slip. Local ceramics contemporary to this material include red grit wares, some incised. Almost 13% of the collected material included small, low-collar jars with a punctate design on the shoulders using basement complex grit, available nearby. Almost 10% of the corpus included hand-made tan/red wares decorated with incised rice designs, pendentive triangles, dot/circle and ticked rim types.White-slipped wares with a purple paint design are also present. Pre-Abbasid wares may include highly fired, red brick and orange wares. External connections with India and perhaps China are illustrated by fine-slipped red and black polished carinated cooking pots and rare white-moulded stonewares. In terms of a historical name, Hinu could be the Arhub of IM who states the village is 2 parsangs from Mirbat (Figure 3.7). 7. Ras Jinjali. This promontory and maritime marker is mentioned by Yaqut and Ibn Majid. It is another protected embayment port of the “Abbasid” period. It has the typical large, formal stone-cut administrative center/palace as well as numerous storehouses (TA 95-121). Visited by Phillips/Albright in 1952, it is located 14 km west of Sadh. It was largely used for sardine fishing in the 1950’s and today for sufayla (abalone). Local basement complex grit jar and hole mouths wares with punctuate designs 46

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Figure 3.8. TA-95-121 Ras Jinjali.

predominate the ceramic assemblage. As at Hinu, incised rice ware is common with some dot/circle. A smaller percentage of local wares includes purple-painted burnished wares. Imported Abbasid blue and white tin splash wares are present, as well as East African paddle stamp sherds. The well-known red ware with black slip is also common. From India, red and black polished carinated cooking pots were also found. Olive-colored stoneware may come from Southeast Asia. Recent analysis of the area revealed a further village site to the north, high above the bay’s village. A formal Kufic Quranic verse is to be found to the north of Jinjali on the path leading to Sadh (Figure 3.8). 8. Sadh. The modern village mostly obliterated the archaeological site, but Abbasid period materials can be found on both sides of the sandy beach. Albright placed a trial trench in which he found “Sumhuram type sherds, others like Al-Baleed”. In 2008 the site was revisited and the only area left of the ancient site lies near the modern boy’s school (DS-08-02). A small sounding revealed two occupation periods: the lower one was an aceramic shell-midden and the upper level contained the usual Abbasid period local basement complex grit sherds, local red wares, imported barbotine blue, sgraffiato, RPW’s and Chinese porcelains. A C14 date of 750 AD confirmed the Abbasid date. 47

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

9. Khor Akean-Wadi Fisheree. Stone buoy anchors have been reported at sites along the coast from Khor Akean to Wadi Fisheree. The recovery of large red ware, wheel-made amphora fragments from Khor Akean parallel additional, contemporary finds from Al-Baleed, the Mirbat area, Raysut harbor and Socotra. These large vessels may date as early as the 10th century AD or later. A large number of such complete amphorae have now been located on the enclosed bay of Jazirat Mahaut opposite Masirah island. These finds in addition to those found on Socotra and the Arabian Gulf at Qatar suggest a lively maritime trade in perishable goods contained in the amphora. 10. Suq Hasik. Located approximately 10 km south of Hasik, this typical settlement is situated at the base of a small fresh water wadi entering the sea. A fairly substantial settlement of formal rectangular buildings cut from the usual semi-dressed local stone is visible, perhaps serving as storehouses. The site is disturbed by pits used for drying sufayla. The ceramic material is the usual Abbasid period assemblage described above for the other sites. 11. Hasik. This extremely large bay, protected from the southwest monsoon, has not been adequately surveyed but 5th millennium BC shell-midden remains and early medieval Hasik in the southern bay have been reported in the area. Additional stone structural elements and lithics testify to a larger chronological time frame in the area. As at Mirbat, the location of the early medieval “Hasik” settlement has shifted considerably over time. Abbasid-period “Hasik” is located on the major lagoon, Khor/Wadi Attabarran, northwest of the modern town. Like other Abbasid period settlements, the site consists of numerous well built stonewall warehouse-like structures, forming a sizable settlement. To the west are a number of boat graves. Ceramic materials, similar to other sites elsewhere along the coast, are characterized by the signature Abbasid barbotine blue, sgraffiato wares, and local redwares often rice-design incised as well as dot/circle. The black-slipped red chaff wares, as well as the basement complex grit wares, often with punctate rims are also present. Indian red and black polished carinated cooking pots have also been noted. The Periplus and Pliny mention Hasik as an important coastal locale, however, no Classical period site or ceramic corpus has been located to date within the larger Hasik Bay. Ibn Khordedebeh in ca. 850 AD mentions a series of locales along this coast beginning with Oman (Sohar?) followed by Fawq, Awkalan, Hamah and Al-Shihr. Is it possible that the location named Fawq may refer to “The Heights” or the dominant cliffs of Jebel Samhan to the east of Sakalan? (Figure 3.9). 12. Ain Humran. This fortress site guards the approach from the Nejd interior to the Salalah plain. Excavations in 1993 and 1994 revealed that site consists of a large complex including the fort, a settlement, cultivated gardens and irrigated plain. 6 km from the sea, excavations produced a wealth of architectural and ceramic data. The site was probably founded in the Iron Age but it rose to prominence during the later Islamic period and was occupied until the 18th century AD (Figure 3.10). 13. Raysut. Raysut is a port site on the western arm of the Salalah plain. Mentioned by Hamdani in the mid-10th century AD, he noted the inhabitants were Adites. It served as a major trade emporium due to its magnificent bay, high cliffs protecting it from the southwest monsoon, and fresh water in Wadi Adhonib. Ibn Mujawir notes its location west of Zafar on the edge of Ghubbat Al-Qamr (Moon Bay) and below Donkey Head (Jebel Ras Al-Himar), a highly visible landmark. 48

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Figure 3.9. DS-08-03 Hasik.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 3.10. The fort complex at Ain Humran dated to the Iron Age-Medieval Islamic periods.

He also states that the village was once a great town and a road came to it from Baghdad. It was paved and plastered with gypsum and lime. Caravans would bring goods (barbahar) from the interior (or Baghdad), taking back goods from India such as brass (surf), cinnabar (zunjufr/zinjafr), rosewater, silver etc. Ibn Mujawir explains its disappearance rather humorously by suggesting it was destroyed by constant hard use. More likely, Zafar replaced Raysut as the terminus for inland trade. This route presumably tied Raysut and Zafar to Shisr in the mid-late 1st millennium AD. Behind the older village there are two cemeteries with boat-shaped graves. On the headland, however, a fortified settlement was located and examined, similar in nature to that found at Khor Rori. Phillips mentions a large defensive wall built along the west and south sides but not along the precipitous seaside some 30 m high. Houses, simple in plan, were made from semi-dressed stone and rested directly on bedrock. Brief excavations here revealed, as on Jebel Mirbat at Khor Rori, two phases. The earlier period was located on the eastern side (Area A), and the later period (Area B) was found in the northwest corner. Phillips suggested that the stone work walls looked like that seen at earliest Al-Baleed.

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Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Concerning the archaeological date of the Raysut complex, imported wares are Abbasid and contemporary to ceramic material from Ras Jinjali, Old Hasik, Hinu, Sadh, and Jebel Mirbat. More recent collected material from the fort in 1992 and 2009 included large amphora fragments, red wares with a black slip and incised S-waves, paddle stamp, finer red ware, red and black polished carinated cooking pots, basement complex types, one with an identical jar with incised chevron decoration found at Jinjali, Abbasid barbotine, white tin splash, orange ware with inclusions, stonewares and a cream ware as well as flint tools and glass fragments. Fine, brick-red wares occur in shallow-bowl forms. They may belong to a type defined from Sharma called African Red Polished. Future work on this important site may define a late pre-Islamic occupation similar to that at Al-Mughsayl and Al-Ah’sa in the Shihr area perhaps associated with the Himyarites to the west, followed by an expansion in the Abbasid horizon period. A C14 date of 760 AD confirms an Abbasid-period date. 14. Mughsayl. The site complex of Mughsayl is situated on the now-silted up Khor Mughsayl just east of the Murnaif promontory west of Salalah. The village of small modest houses is located on a low-lying scarp on the western edge of the lagoon. A stone-built mosque with an ablution area appears to be a later reuse of a factory installation using copious amounts of water. The orientation of the original building is different from the later mosque. Several walls and the newly cut qibla provide the evidence for this conversion. Thus, two major occupation phases were noted. A large cemetery, composed of ovAlshaped, boat-grave interments was located west of the site. Albright noted the red wares with grit and burnishing which we now recognize as AH burnished. One sgraffiato sherd was reported. The Trans Arabia Expedition in 1992 revisited the site and noted numerous red/tan grit ware sherds as well as dot/ circle types. Note that a quarter-section clipped dirham coin of Abbasid date came from the site as well. The 2007-2008 Brigham Young University excavations revealed four phases of occupation. Phase I dates to post-1400 AD based on Phase II which contains Yemen yellow mustard wares, and can be therefore be dated to 1275-1400 AD. Other wares from Phase II include Ain Humran burnished jars decorated with impressed pendentive triangles. Phase III has red/tan bowls and jars of Ain Humran ware, large storage jars, riceware with incised chevrons, red and black polished carinated cooking pots, purple-painted bowls and dot/circle. Phase III dates to 950-1250 AD. Phase IV has very fine Ain Humran burnished wares, incised rice ware and dot/circle, red wares with white-slip. Phase IV could date to the late pre-Islamic period and extend into the Abbasid period (400-950 AD). The hill fort at Murnaif above Mughsayl and the saddle occupation, was first surveyed by the Trans Arabia Expedition. In 2007-2008 the BYU team surveyed and tested a number of the structures on this crest (Site KM-2). On the crest of Murnaif, the team found a number of square-type buildings with walls containing a series of rectangular rooms. Additional rooms of faced stone were found in the lower saddle. As at Raysut, Jebel Mirbat and Jebel Qinqari, the upper buildings sit on bedrock. The earliest phase has the typical rice incised, dot/circle and Ain Humran fine polished wares. The next phase is defined by Abbasid ceramics of incised chevron ware, Islamic glazes, beads of lapis lazuli and carnelian and a mixture containing frankincense. Phase 2 has celadon, glass, and later Islamic blue and turquoise glazed wares as well as other numerous pottery sherds. The 1994 survey of material at Murnaif revealed flint microcores, microborers and rough flakes which characterize the region’s Late Iron Age in the region, e.g. at nearby Wadi Adhonib. This material, found in the general vicinity as well, most likely belongs to Phase 4.

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15. Damqut. The Mahra Governate was surveyed in 1998 by the Mahra Archaeological Project. The Damqut coast complex east of Ghayda is very similar to those sites described above in southern Oman. It contains a hill fort overlooking the sea, battered promontory walls, lithics and Iron Age red sherds. To the west of the lagoon, at the base of the cliff is a small village of stone houses. Here we found lithics, local red wares, Chinese imports and imported obsidian. To the east, on the opposite lagoon shore, are boat-shaped graves. 16. Sharma. This site, protected by the Ras Sharma embayment, is located 50 km east of al Shihr and dated to a very narrow time frame of 980-1140 AD. One hundred buildings cover 6 ha. Likely a “transit entrepot” founded by foreign, probably Iranian traders, its large number of good-sized, rectangular buildings with four rooms spaced along a long axis corridor have been interpreted as storage facilities and are similar to those found in both the Mahra Governate in Yemen and in southern Oman. Other Abbasid period sites to the west of Sharma have been found both by the Trans Arabia Expedition as well as other researchers as far west as Khairidj and sites in the Aden area. 17. Al-Baleed. Economically and politically Abbasid period Al-Baleed was likely of equal size with the other regional sites described here. However, Abbasid materials are rare due to following urban expansion in the medieval periods. In summary, these settlements were likely founded in the late Iron Age and peaked in the Abbasid period. These modest sized villages were strategically located on protected bays safe for navigation, anchorage and resupply. They were originally associated with local Dhofar hills/MSAL groups. The trade was fed by Abbasid demand for luxury goods including frankincense. However, in contrast to the Classical period when Sumhuram served as a large clearing house for frankincense obtained from the interior, (including the collection points at Wadi Darbat, Hanun and Andhur), in the Abbasid period the goods were funneled through smaller ports from Hasik to Damqut. Assuming a similar clan organization (or “families”) as described by Pliny in 70 AD, each clan or clan(s) had access to specific port based on their territory in the hills, uplands and Nejd. In the later Medieval period, the pattern changed again due to much larger traffic in goods which was consolidated in larger ports with bigger ships. Thus, due to greater and more reliable water sources, Al-Baleed became preeminent over the region with other Abbasid period rivals diminished in size and becoming satellite towns such as Raysut, Hasik and Mirbat. Water demands for such large settlements preempted the need for natural anchorages as witnessed by the growth of Siraf, Sohar, AlBaleed and Shihr, all in roadsteads. Boat graves Many sites described above, dated to the Late Iron Age and Abbasid periods, have associated distinctive ellipse-shaped graves. Concerning the chronology of these internments, no gravestones have been found with Kufic writing in the region. While Abbasid period and earlier Islamic remains are known principally from a series of small ports described above and the sites of Shisr and Andhur in the interior, the only Kufic inscriptions are from a formal rock inscription in the Sadh area and a large granite block in the Museum of Frankincense Lands’ collection. Based on limited excavation, Abbasid period coins, known from north Oman and western Yemen, are still only rarely reported from Dhofar. This data suggests that Islam was still a rarity in Dhofar and had not yet made major inroads. 52

Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

Figure 3.11. Boat Graves at base of Ain Humran fort.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Note also that the peculiar boat-shaped or elliptical tombs with certain particular architectural characteristics are at least partially contemporary to the Early Islamic period. These are well known from the lagoons east of Salalah and were first noted by the Bents. These tombs, constructed usually of very large or megalithic stones, form an ellipse or “boat-shape,” hence the name “boat-shaped graves”. In formal cemeteries they are constructed in a linked position and are usually orientated north-south. They have been encountered in survey from Dhofar westward to the Hadhramaut-Wadi Masila. Locally, within Salalah itself, a small remnant of such a boat grave cemetery was found just southeast of Hafa House. This cemetery suggests an Abbasid period settlement located in the larger Al-Robat area contemporary to Al-Baleed. The largest and most outstanding megalithic stone cemeteries of the period can be found on the Khor Jnaif heading towards Taqa. Other concentrations can be seen on the lower Khor Sowli, at Ain Humran, and Wadi Darbat. Some boat-shaped graves of megalithic size can also be found at the base of Classical period Sumhuram, perhaps suggesting a use which post-dates 350-400 AD, or contemporary to the Early Islamic occupation of Jebel Mirbat nearby. This dating is supported by a boat-shaped grave excavated inside Sumhuram itself. The excavators noted its position on a living floor which belonged to the latest phase of the city. The grave was built when the city was in decay, but the surrounding buildings were still standing. No grave goods or body were found and the grave was dated roughly to the last phase of the city, ca. 350 AD. This date confirms the earlier observations of AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) who described a number of such boat-shaped graves in the area of Sumhuram and tested one in 1952 located at the town’s base. They noted the first stone pavement above the stone box and found an adult male interred inside. While no grave goods were found, the dating of the grave is supported later observation that the tomb was built in the declining years of the city since it had reused city stones and architectural elements.

Figure 3.12. Boat Graves at base of Ain Humran fort (photograph by L. Newton).

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Late Antiquity and Early Islamic trade in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf

A collection of microliths and ricewares interspersed among the tomb field surrounding Khor Sowli also suggests a date contemporary to or later than 250 AD. At the base of the fortress at Ain Humran, a boatgrave was cleaned in 1995 and outside of the grave a rice-incised vessel was recovered. From Khor Sowli, a large megalithic-style tomb was cleared which revealed a gravel-laid interior. Below the gravel, a central subterranean stone box was found with an adult male interred inside. No associated graves goods were recovered. At Khor Rori in the large tomb field north of the site (KR55/56), a similar grave was excavated and dated to 880 AD. This date suggests the graveyard (or some portion of it) is contemporary to the Abbasid period occupation at Khor Rori on the Jebels Mirbat and Taqa. Three C-14 dates from the Jebel Mirbat settlement dating between 760-920 AD also support this date (Figures 3.11 and 3.12).

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Chapter 4

The Medieval city of Zafar. Periods II-IV

Regarding the medieval period (1000-1500 AD) of Dhofar, ongoing excavations at Al-Baleed and extended surveys within the Governate have provided the most extensive information about the Salalah plain as well as the larger Dhofar region. Because this is a historical period, it is necessary to integrate historical and ethnographic information with archaeological data. First, an investigation into the city’s history requires a search for relevant authors describing the city between 900-1700 AD. Second, a recovery of the city’s buildings, walls, fields, cemeteries, mosques, harbors and relevant material culture will be detailed from 1953 to the present. Third, a social and economic history of Zafar can be undertaken by examining both local and external sources which include historical, archaeological and ethnographic resources. Ibn Mujawir Prior to the visit of Ibn Mujawir in 1220 AD, the mention of Zafar or Zafar Al-Habudhi in the Early Islamic period is rare or cursory (e.g. Idrisi, Ibn Khordedebeh, Al-Isthakri, Al-Tabari, Ibn Hawqal, Al-Hamdani, etc.). Ibn Mujawir [henceforth IM], died in 1228 so scholars have suggested he was born ca. 1150-1160. He was a merchant probably from Nishapur, in modern Iran, and worked from Baghdad. His authoritative study has as the full title Sifa bilad Al-Yaman wa Makkah wa-ba’d al Hijaz Al-Musamma ta’rih Al-Mustabsir [Henceforth abbreviated as TM]. IM began his TM account in Mecca and journeyed south to Jeddah and Zabid. He then moved to Aden where he describes the port economic practices and prices in great detail for the late Ayyubid period. He probably ventured into Zafar via the Hadhramaut specifically from Qabr Hud and documented his journey making twelve stops-all watering places. Of these, Wadi Mahrat is the most extensive. Moving north of Zafar, he describes Ras Al-Hadd, Qalhat, Muscat and Sohar. He ends his work with a description of Qays (Kish) and Bahrain. IM states the old town of Zafar was leveled in 618/1220 by Ahmad Al-Habudhi in fear of the Ayyubid ruler Al-Masa’ud (612-626/1215-1228). He then rebuilt the town and named it Al-Qahirah, which became inhabited in 620/1223. Smith in his commentary goes on to state that Habudhi came from Habudah/Habuzah in the Hadhramaut and the family controlled Zafar until the Rasulid conquest in 1278. Ahmad Al-Habudhi first arrived as a sea captain/ship owner (nakhoda) and served the Minjui ruler in Mirbat ca. 1200 AD. By the time of the Rasulid conquest, three generations of Habudhi had ruled or were present in Mirbat and/or Zafar: Ahmad’s father from Habuza named Mohammed, 1) Ahmad, 2) his son Idris, and 3) his grandson Salim (covering 78 years). Of course, when Habudhi or his earlier relatives came from the Hadhramaut just outside Seiyun to Mirbat/Zafar is open to question. IM’s map of Zafar makes sense when viewed as two maps. IM notes first in the upper part Zafar Qadim (old Zafar) which lies on the Indian Ocean. The second phase of the map or lower one, shows Al-Mansura-Habudhi and Al-Harja to its west. Harja or Bab Al-Harja would be west of the settlement as noted by IM. Old Zafar is much larger than the newer town. The new reduced town can be seen physically on the ground as the earlier eastern half of the town which was reduced in half. Second, the east-west lagoon familiar to visitors perhaps only came into existence for the new town as Habudhi diverted the waters from the main western lagoon (Figure 4.1). 56

The Medieval city of Zafar. Periods II-IV

Figure 4.1. Ibn Mujawir’s map of Zafar (Al-Baleed) (After Löfgren 1951).

IM notes that the town subsisted on agriculture which, presumably was carried out to the north outside of the walled administrative center of Al-Baleed. IM’s description of the water source as a khalij (and not khor) suggests sweet water coming from the wadis and not the seaside lagoons. As brief surveys of larger Zafar have shown, the cut stone basins and drains served as irrigation channels. These ancient wadis produced a very fertile plain on which IM describes the cultivation of a myriad of crops and plants. Staple grains included sorghum (dhurrah; Sorghum bicolor) and millets (kanib/kinab; Eleusine coracana). Fruits of all kinds are found including Indian betel nut (fawfal/fufal). Ibn Battuta in 1327, some 100 years later, uses the term tanbul for the betel nut. Actual remains of the nut have been found in excavations at the husn. Coconut imported from India (naranjil; Cocos nucifera), grown in Zafar during IM’s time. Additional local and exotic crops mentioned by IM found at Zafar include coastal fruits (sugar cane, bananas), Iraqi pomegranates, grapes, date palms; Indian lemons, limes (laymun), citrons (utrunj), and oranges (naranj). Also from India came the nabaq (fruit of the sidr or Zizyphus spina Christi) and from the Hijaz, the doum palm. IM does not elaborate on the obvious domestic animals found in Zafar, but they would have included domestic sheep and goats, donkeys, cattle and camels. 57

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The Rasulid conquest of Zafar in 1278 AD Our knowledge of Zafar and the history of the region is enhanced by information concerning one of the most important events and periods in the city’s history, that of the Rasulid conquest in 1278 AD. This event was recorded by contemporary authors and adds valuable insight from both a historic and economic perspective. As pointed out by various authors, this Yemeni dynasty is unique in its attempts to control much of southern Arabia by political and military conquest and may emulate the earlier Omani attempts of the late 1st millennium AD. The accounts of the year 1277/1278 AD are given in detail by a contemporary, Ibn Hatim in his kitab al-Simt al-Ghali al-Thaman fi Akhbar al-Muluk Min al-Guzz bi al-Yaman: Salim ibn Idris, Habudhi’s grandson, is called upon by the people of Hadhramaut who were experiencing a famine and required assistance. Apparently, they changed their mind when he gave them the aid and opposed him. Meanwhile, the Rasulid king Al-Mudhaffer had sent an important delegation to Persia with presents and they were accompanied by merchant ships. They were seized by Salim as compensation for the Hadhrami reversal. He seized the money, presents and goods intended for the Persian monarch. Apparently, Al-Mudhaffer had good relations with Idris’ father. Idris’ brother, Musa, compounded the problem by being a close ally to the governor of nearby Shihr, Rashid son of Shijra, also an ally of the Rasulid king.Musa hoped to become governor of Zafar when Idris was expelled or killed. This was not to be. We know that the governor of Shihr was contracted to pay a fixed amount to the Rasulid treasury. While we have no figures for the period in question, 1270-1280, we know from later accounts what this amount might have been. In 1412 when the economy was stagnant, the levy for Shihr was 200,000 dinars and gifts such as ambergris, camphor, pearls, Indian dancing girls and wild civet cats. One would imagine that in 1275 the amount would have easily been doubled. Reacting to these events, the governor of Aden, Shihabud-Din Ghazi was sent to control Zafar and Shihr. He was repulsed and Idris and the viceroy of Shihr proceeded unchecked to pillage to the very frontier of Aden. The Rasulid king, Al-Mudhaffer, finally assembled a force to carry out an invasion constructing galleys (shawani), other naval transport, ships and barges. He equipped land forces consisting of infantry and cavalry with appropriate munitions. Concerning the galleys, the Daftar texts contemporary to Al-Mudhaffer, indicate that they were used originally to thwart piracy off the Aden coast. Here they are used in the Zafar conquest. The crews of these gallies (gilman Al-shawani) included cross-bow bearers (karrahiyyin), rowers, soldiers (ajnad) and sailors. The Sultan Al-Mudhaffer devised a three-prong attack: 1. The first by sea (with the bulk of the infantry) under the command of Sheikh Faris ibn Ibul-Ma’ali. 2. The second, a land force of 300 “Arab” horsemen by way of the Hadhramaut, presumably to subjugate the allies and relatives of Idris. They proceeded to Zafar from Sana’a. This route is virtually impassable in at least three locales: Ras Fartak, the area east of Ghayda Al-Mahra, and the highlands west of Raysut. In any case, there was another army marching along this route.

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They proceeded from the town of Marib in Mahra to Habarut, the latter being a large oasis on the current Yemen-Oman border with springs. IM then notes Al-Tahudi, (Mudhai?), Al-Sh’ib (a source of the ben oil tree), and then Haluf. Modern Haluf is located just east of the springs of Ayun, a major source of water and archaeological sites. They proceed to Al-Ghayl springs and Jebel Al-Asfal. The last stage takes them to Zafar. Note the route heading to the meeting place at Raysut. IM notes that all the places had abundant water. 3. The third push was via the seacoast. Four hundred horsemen were supported by the naval Mamluk guard and bodyguard of the Sultan. Naturally, when this force approached the coast, it was resupplied by ships. When this contingent was forced to march into the interior around headlands the task proved difficult. The expedition having travelled along the coast from the west had to leave this relatively easy coastal route near Mayfa’a, an old South Arabic period seaport. A description of the force is rather detailed. Overall in charge was the “Marshall of the Household”. The expedition was constantly supplied with various food requirements. Their weapons included spears, shields, swords, chainmail, helmets, buff-coats, bows, arrows, slings, bridles, and horseshoes. Six mangonels with supporting equipment including gears, legs, and stone balls were also carried by ship. A series of smooth stone balls from a mangonel attack recovered from the husn of Zafar may be the remnants of this battle. All three contingents met at Raysut. The navy advanced with small boats, barges, and larger ships. Bands played, colors were raised; in one of the large ships was a chest of 400,000 dinars from the treasury to pay the troops. Various types of clothing were provided as the dress of honor for the officers. At Raysut, the assembled army included 500 horsemen and 7,000 infantry. This force marched to Auqad, “one of the villages of Zafar”. Medieval period houses, mosques and cemeteries can still be seen in Auqad, now a western suburb of Salalah. Salim bin Idris made the fatal mistake of marching towards the assembled force away from the Zafar husn and walls of the town. He was killed at Auqad along with 300 other Zafari troops and 800 were taken captive. The Rasulid troops advanced to Zafar. The city falls without a shot on 21 December 1278 (27 Rajab 677 AH). On 20 January 1279, Rasulid forces also captured Shibam in the Hadhramaut. On the 7th of February 1279, the family members of Salim bin Idris were taken to Zabid and supported by the Rasulid State treasury until they died. In 1292 (692 AH), 13 years later, the Sultan Al-Mudhaffer installed his son, Wathiq, as governor of Zafar. He ruled from 1292-1310 (692-711 AH). His tombstone placed originally in the Al-Robat cemetery is now located in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Musa bin Idris was captured a year later in 1279 by Wathiq in a second sack of the husn at Al-Baleed. Based on the recovered financial accounts of the period (1290-1295) soldiers (djundi, diwani), and various officials (mukattib, Al-rattabi and Al-najjab) continued to proceed to and from Zafar by land and sea from Aden on government service. They were given rations and monetary subsistence. For example, soldiers traveling to Zafar received three months salary of 27 dinars. Officials traveling by ship were provided a per diem of 60 dinars when traveling from Zafar to Aden. Concerning the later Rasulid history of Zafar, we know from other sources that Al-Faiz, his son, succeeded al Wathiq in 1311 and ruled until 1325. He was followed by his grandson Nasir Al-Mugith in ca. 1325 who ruled perhaps until 1347, who refused to continue paying tribute (hadiyah) to Taizz. Another grandson/cousin of Wathiq had an elaborate tombstone in Al-Robat of the Gujarati type, namely AbdulQadir bin Abdul Wahid bin Wathiq. He may have succeeded Al-Mugith after 1347.

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The later successors of Al-Mugith remain somewhat obscure. An envoy was sent to Taizz in 1366 to reaffirm the client status for Zafar. By 1393, power at Zafar alternated between supporters of the Rasulids and another Al-Faiz. One Al-Mujahid Al-Wathiq Al-Dhofari is mentioned in 1397 and he may have petitioned the Rasulid Sultan in 1403 for financial assistance. We know from Shanbal that the Al-Kathiri took Zafar in 1404 and expelled the Rasulid deputy. Rasulid control over Zafar extended from 1279 to 1404, a period of some 125 years. Marco Polo The Italian Marco Polo (1254-1324) made a remarkable journey to the Middle East and Asia covering some fifteen years (1275-1290). When he described Zafar he was probably at Hormuz where he received reports on the many seaports of southern Arabia. It is likely that he never actually visited Zafar or any part of the south Arabian coast. In later narratives, Marco Polo writes of Al-Mudhaffar, who in 1291 sent troops to the Mamluk Sultan to support the attack on Acre, the last crusader state in the Levant. His description of Zafar can be bracketed within a time frame of 1280-1290, perhaps 6 to 11 years after the Rasulid conquest. His account, while fairly brief, supports the description of IM: Zafar is a large and respectable city or town, at the distance of 200 miles from Escier (al- Shihr) in a southeasterly direction. Its inhabitants are Mohammedans and its ruler also is a subject of the Sultan of Aden. This place lies near the sea, and has a good port, frequented by many ships. Numbers of Arabian horses are collected here from the inland country, which the merchants buy up and carry to India where they gain considerably by disposing of them. Frankincense is likewise produced here and purchased by the merchants. Zafar has other towns and castles under its jurisdiction. Other sources provide more information on this horse trade and tell us the ships were loaded with bales that were covered with hides, while a top cargo of horses were placed above. Some ships carried 100 soldiers/ passengers and more than 70 horses. According to Marco Polo, the metropolitan city controlled many other towns and villages which would be identified today as Al-Robat, Auqad, Dahariz, Salalah, Hafa, Raysut, Taqa, Ain Humran, Mirbat, Sadh and Hasik. Marco Polo accurately notes the vassalage of Zafar to the Rasulids and states that a governor [segnore uno conte] was in place reporting to Aden [il reame d’Aden]. When he suggests it has a very good haven, perhaps he means Raysut as Zafar has no real harbor. He accurately notes the great profit from the sale of horses to India. Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta [henceforth IB], 1304-1377, originally from Tangier, wrote the rihlat tuhfat al-nadhar fi gharab al-imsar wa ‘aja’b al-isafar (The Travels of Ibn Battuta). He has the distinction of visiting Zafar twice during its heyday in 1329 and 1349. His first visit by ship from Calicut to Zafar in 1329 took 28 days. On his second visit, some twenty years later in 1349, IB’s sojourn occurred at the time of Al-Mugith, the grandson of AlWathiq. He sailed from Kilwa directly to Zafar taking some 3-4 weeks. He also refers to the town as Zafar Al-Humud (Habudhi). He notes the town is at the “extremity of the land of Yaman”. From it, thoroughbred horses were exported to India. 60

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Unlike Marco Polo, IB says Zafar had no dependencies, perhaps indicating a vast change in 75 years. IB notes that the suq is outside the city in a suburb called Al-Harja. The area is fly ridden due to the large amount of fruit and fish sold there. Recall IM who refers to the Western Gate as Al-Harja, meaning “leading to the outside”. IB notes that in the suq was a species of fish called sardine (cf. ayd of IM) used to feed animals (alsamak al-yabis wa-huwa al-ayd in IM). IB says most sellers in the suq were indentured servants (khaddam) dressed in black. IB also notes that the people grew sorghum (dhurra) and millet, and that the crops were irrigated from deep wells. The buckets from the wells were poured into tanks. The fields were manured by fish remains. The people ate ‘alas (barley or wheat), but rice was the principal food which was brought from India. IB describes Zafar and its tree groves, which grow large number of bananas, betel nut and coconuts. He also makes an additional very curious statement: “The people of Zafar are engaged in trading and have no livelihood except for this”. Based on these statements, it seems clear that the formal government apparatus and merchant activity lay within the Al-Baleed walls and the farming activity and tree groves must have been located in Al-Robat outside the Al-Baleed city walls. IB also notes that the Zafaris used the coconut fiber to make rope for stitching ship planks and ship ropes. A special honey, a mix of coconut, milk and honey was sold by merchants to India, Yemen and China. IB provides a description of the ships arriving at port and the process of offloading goods, largely paralleling the activities at Aden. When the vessel (markab) arrives from India, the sultan’s servants (khadam) go to the shore and come out to the ship in a small sumbuq. This statement confirms that ships anchored offshore at Zafar (up to 1 km from shore) and not at the so-called natural anchorage at Raysut. This type of anchoring at roadsteads was also practiced at Sohar, Siraf, Shihr, al Kharidj and Kidmet Eurob. IB continues that the Sultan’s khadam servants/slaves bring new clothing for the owner of the vessel (sahib al markab) or his agent (wakil) and also for the captain (rubban) as well as for the ship’s clerk (kirani/karrani). Three horses (afrat) are brought for them as they go into town accompanied by drums and trumpets to the Sultan’s residence (dar al-sultan). IB notes that Al-Mugith lived inside the city in a palace (qasr), which is called the castle (husn), a large and extensive building. The congregational mosque (masjid al jama) is beside it. At the husn gateway, (which would be the Southern Gate) he had drums, trumpets, bugles, and fifes sounded there everyday after afternoon prayers. On Monday and Thursday, troops stood here in review for an hour outside the audience hall (mishwar). On Fridays, the Sultan goes out for midday prayers (presumably to the congregational mosque and enters by a special door) and returns to his residence. The emir jandar (military commander) sits at the gate of the audience hall and is given petitions. The reply is given at once. There the newly arrived greet the vizier of the Sultan and the military commander. Hospitality is extended to everyone on the ship for three nights. They stay at the palace for three days. The vessel’s guests and crew eat in the Sultan’s residence (dar al-sultan). According to IB, courtesy is extended to all because of the need for the goodwill of the shipowners (nakhoda). The Zafar men are people of humility, of good disposition and virtue, and have an affinity for strangers. The clothing of the Sultan and his staff as well as merchants is made of cotton, which is brought from India. They wear belts/wraps, i.e. sarongs around their waist. Most men wear only two such cloth wraps and bathe frequently due to the heat. The town has many mosques and in each mosque several lavatories exist. At prayers, they turn to face each other and shake hands. According to IB, in the town, the people manufacture silk, cotton, and linen cloth of very good quality. 61

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Both women and men suffer from swelling of the feet (dal al-fil), which has been suggested to be elephantiasis. This symptom, however, is likely associated with the condition as caused by bilharzia or hook worm. Most of the men suffer from a hernia condition (tiftin) as well which could also be caused by malaria, bilharzia or hook worm. In conjunction with the idea held by pre-modern scholars that malaria was caused by “bad odors”, IB suggests that Zafar too had a malarious air. Sultan Al-Mudhaffer ca. 1280 writes to Dahir Baybars in Egypt to send a physician to Zafar because it is an unhealthy place. Malaria may have been the culprit, an observation supported by the great amount of still water found at in the vicinity of Al-Baleed, particularly during the monsoon season. In fact, Sultan Al-Mudhaffer went on to write a treatise on medicine, almu’tamid fi al-adwiyyah al-mufarridah. IB goes into some detail giving the current political situation in Zafar. At the time of his second visit, the ruler of Zafar was Al-Mugith son of Al-Faiz. Apparently, Al-Faiz used to send a “gift” to Yemen. AlMugith refused to send this “present”. The decision was made to invade Zafar again but was halted due to the “wall incident” which happened as follows: Al-Mujahid (Ali ibn Dawood) Sultan of Yemen (1321-1362) wanted to reassert his control over Zafar which had apparently lapsed. He appointed a cousin of his to command a powerful force to seize Zafar from its king who also happened to be a cousin of Al-Mujahid. As they prepared to leave, a wall fell on the commander and his guard and so the Sultan gave up any claim to recover revenues from Zafar. IB in his stay in Zafar for the second time, lodged in the house of the khatib (herald/town crier) near his principal hospice/shrine (zawiyah). His name was Isa b. Ali, a man of great distinction and generosity. He had many slave girls, two of whom were called Bukhait and Zad Al-Mal. IB notes that most of the male inhabitants do not cover their heads and do not wear a turban (amama). Prayer mats can be found inside the house where the master performs prayers and people generally eat millet. When the Sultan desires to ride outside of the Al-Baleed city walls, he goes with riding animals and his mamluks. A camel is brought with a litter and a covering in cloth with gold embroidering, and the Sultan and a close companion ride out not to be viewed. When he goes to his garden, he may ride a horse. No one may confront Al-Mugith, look on him, or make a complaint upon pain of a beating. The vizier (faqih) of Al-Mugith is named Muhammed Al-Adani. Originally a teacher of school children, he taught Al-Mugith to read and write. Thus, he became the vizier on the future king’s promise. Unfortunately, he turned out to be incompetent and others had to do the work. IB left Zafar and sailed towards Oman in a small boat belonging to Ali b. Idris Al-Masiri. The next day they stopped at Bandar Hasik. Here he found a number of inhabitants (Arabs) who were working the incense trees and fishing for a dogfish called lukham (Figure 4.2). Ibn Khaldun Probably the least reliable of the Arabic accounts concerning Zafar, Ibn Khaldun probably never visited either the Yemeni or Omani namesake cities. He was born in Tunis (1332-1406 AD) and, of course, is best known for his Al-Muqaddimah (Prologue to History). He wrote his tarikh al-yaman (General Geography/ History of Yaman) sometime in the late 14th century. His account is largely derived from earlier compiled sources such as Ibn Battuta, Al-Janadi, Ibn Mujawir etc. He notes that the Hadhramaut is separated from Aden and Oman by the sandy wastes of Al-Ahqaf, the dwelling place of the Ad people.

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Figure 4.2. Ibn Battuta’s itineraries in Southern Arabia (After H.A.R. Gibb 1929 reprint, Volume 2, Figure 3).

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He states that Al-Shihr is a Kingdom of the Arabian Peninsula separate from Hadhramaut and Oman. The countryside is known to belong to the Mahra. Al-Shihr is sometimes conjoined with Oman. It produces frankincense and seashore ambergris. Al-Shihr originally belonged to the Ad and then the Mahra. Ibn Khaldun confuses Zafar of the Himyarites with Zafar Al-Habudhi. He, like IM, states that Habudhi was a wealthy merchant. He gained access to the prince of Mirbat with goods and gained the latter’s confidence. Then he was appointed by the Mirbat prince to the office of wazir, and after the prince died, he became king. In 619, he destroyed Mirbat and Zafar and he built on the coast the city of Zufar which he surnamed Al-Ahmaddiyah. Unlike IM’s explanation, Ibn Khaldun states that Habudhi destroyed the old city because it had no anchorage. Chinese sources The Arabs have a long history interacting with the Chinese and the lands of China beginning perhaps in the early 1st century BC. Al-Masa’udi, in his maruj al-dhahabi, (Meadows of Gold, ca. 950AD), writes of Chinese trading ships visiting the Gulf and Hira during the Sasanian period, sailing via Sohar, Bahrain and Basra/Obolla. The Chinese referred to the Arabs as Da-shi (Arabian Gulf) and specifically to the Abbasids as black cloth Da-shi. The archives of Jia-Dan (730-805 AD), who wrote “The Route to the Foreign Countries across the Sea from Canton,” was excerpted in Xin Tang Shu’s (ed. ca. 1060 AD) “New History of the Tang Dynasty”. The former described the trade route which went via Sohar, Siraf and Basra to Baghdad. Zafar became directly involved in Chinese trade in the Northern Sung period 960-1127 AD, a fact supported by Northern Sung coins found at Al-Baleed. The Sung are said to have invented the compass. Their navigation skill was tied to “dragging the star”. We also have the account of Zhao Ju-Kua who was a member of the Chinese royal family and superintendent of merchant shipping in Quanzhou under the Southern Sung (ca. 1225 AD), and therefore a contemporary of IM. His account is called Zhu Fan Ji (Records of Foreign Nations). Ju-Kua notes that traveling east from ma-lo-b/pa (Mirbat). Passing nufa (Zafar), you reach weng-man (Oman), which could be either Sohar or less likely Qalhat. The journey continues northward to bail-lian (Bahrain) then you arrive at bai-da (Baghdad); later voyages also stop at Hormuz (ho-lo-mo-ssu). If you travel west from ma-lo-ba (Mirbat) by way of shi-hi (Al-Shihr) going to luoshi-mei (Aden? Also rendered as a-tan) you arrive at ma-jia (Mecca). Zhao Ju-Kua goes on to describe the people of weng-man and also wu-ba (coastal Mahra?) who eat baked wheat cakes (bread), mutton, milk, fish and vegetables. The country has lots of dates and the people fish for pearls. Horses are gathered in the mountains. He concludes that the country is rich and prosperous. Northern Sung period records mention shih-ho (Shihr), ma-lo-pa (Mirbat) and nu-fa (Zafar) (also rendered as Tsu-fa-erh) as tied into the frankincense (ju hsiang) trade. The latest Chinese reports were composed by the secretary/translator, Ma Huan, to the Chinese Muslim admiral Zheng-He in 1433 titled Ying-yai Sheng-Lan (Triumphant Visions of the Over-All Survey of the Oceans’ Shores). He summarizes the seven voyages undertaken by the admiral on behalf of Emperors Zhu Di (1403-1424) and Xuan De (1426-1435 AD). The admiral sailed into the Indian Ocean from 1405 to 1433 for reasons debated by modern historians but perhaps ostensibly to cement trade relations, impose Ming foreign policy, but also to make the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once.

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Figure 4.3. Chinese Map of Frankincense Trade (after Wheatley 1959).

The Chinese emperor Yongle had a series of stelae carved and inscribed in China in advance of the ZhengHe expeditions and ordered them placed in selected locales from Southeast Asia to India. One such stone, inscribed with a formal trilingual inscription was found in Devundara near Galle, Sri Lanka in 1911. With a magnificent two-sided carved top the inscription was inscribed in Chinese, Tamil and Persian and dated February 15, 1407. Another stela was placed at Cochin but has not been recovered (Figure 4.3). Ma Huan describes his first visit to Zafar: When the services of God’s Day begin, trade and business in the market cease before noon. Men and women, young and old, all bathe. Then they use rosewater or aloeswood incense oil and rub it over their faces and body. Each person puts on freshly washed clothes. They then take a small amount of incense with aloeswood, sandalwood, ambergris and stand on an incense stand. They then perfume their clothing and body. They then go to God’s House. When the service ends, they go back home. The incense smoke remains for some time in the streets of the market, which they walk through. Ma Huan also describes the clothing worn by the Sultan when making a public procession: He (the sultan) uses a white, fine foreign cloth to bind around his head; on his body he wears (a robe) which has fine silk embroidery in a blue floral design as large as one’s thumb and covers the head or else he has a robe with gold embroidery and on his feet he wears foreign boots, or else leather shoes with a shallow face. When he goes about he rides in a sedan chair or else he mounts a horse. Before and behind him are ordered ranks of elephants, camels, companies of cavalry and men with swords and shields. They blow whistles and pipes and proceed in a dense throng.

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In a separate entry from the Ming Shi (History of the Ming Dynasty) by the interpreter Fei Xin we learn that in 1421, the city of Zafar sent representatives to the Ming Dynasty together with officials from Aden and Al-Ah’sa. This important document clearly suggests that Zafar was an independent entity by 1421 under the control of the Kathiri sultans. Based on this visit, the Chinese emperor ordered Zheng He to repay the visit with gifts and credentials (1421-22 AD). Upon this occasion, the ruler of Zafar (the Kathiri Sultan, Ja’afar or Umar) sent his own representatives to China. They arrived in Beijing in 1423 and spent three years there. Zheng He visited Zafar for the last time in 1425. His interpreters were the previously mentioned Ma Huan and Fei Xin. The latter recorded his impressions in Xing Cha Sheng Lan (Triumphant Visions of the Starry Raft). An anonymous Rasulid chronicler noted in 1419 the arrival of a junk at Aden (marakib al-znk) and the gifts given to the Sultan En-Nasir. These included silk cloth with gold threads, musk, storax (al-‘ud al-ratb) and many kinds of Chinese porcelain ware bowls worth 20,000 mithqals. The last Zheng He voyage to the Indian Ocean took place in 835/1432. In addition to the activities of the Admiral Zheng He, the Ming Shi also provides a brief description of Zafar, which is paralleled in earlier IM and IB accounts. It notes that when sailing from Kozhikode, India with the wind, you may arrive after 10 days. The account notes that the sea is to the southeast and the mountains to the northwest. All year long the weather here is like China in August and September. Grains and vegetables are grown and various kinds of livestock are raised. People are tall and strong. All are Muslims. Many mosques are built. The Zafar king asked the Chinese to continue in the trade of frankincense, myrrh, storax oil, benzoin, ambergris, dragonsblood, leopards and other kind of spices. The Zafar king sent his representatives to China with frankincense, ostriches, lions, leopards, horses, giraffes, oryx, zebras, and wild asses. The Chinese brought porcelains, gold, sandalwood, rice, pepper and satin goods. Chinese ships of the mid-15th century were said to be very large. Several scholars have suggested that big junks (baoshan) could be 160 m long and 66 m wide with nine sails and displace 20,000-30,000 tons each. Of the 247 vessels, which sailed with Admiral Zheng He, one-fourth were said to be these big junks. According to these accounts, the total men on the ships numbered 27,800. According to Ming records, over thirty-four groups of representatives came from the Arabian Peninsula to visit China between 1406-1600 AD. After 1411, most representatives came by land. From 1500 onwards, due to Portuguese pressure, the Chinese emperors engaged in the policy of “Locking the Country” or avoiding foreign trade with the west.

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Chapter 5

Archaeology of Zafar, Periods II-V (950-1700 AD)

Archaeological work at the site first took place in 1952. Many excavations have followed and a wealth of information has come to light. Because of the historical data available, it is important to coalesce this information with archaeological data. The following is a general chronology of the site: City Period II is associated with the post-Abbasid period and the reign of the Habudhi ruling family (950-1279 AD). City Period III is defined by the Rasulid invasion and occupation (1279-1420 AD). City Period IV is post-Rasulid and covers the period of the Chinese histories as well as the Kathiri domination (1420-1520 AD). City Period V is the decay and collapse of the medieval town (1520-1660/1700 AD) brought about by a variety of factors but including the intervention of the Portuguese and Ottomans. The use of this periodization scheme of course is somewhat arbitrary vis-à-vis the archaeological record, but future work inside the city will undoubtedly refine the time frame proposed here both from an architectural, stratigraphic, coinage and ceramic perspective (Figure 5.1). The Husn / Dar Al-Sultan It is well known that Carter was the first European to describe the husn ruins which in 1340 AD, IB called the Dar Al-Sultan. He visited in 1839 and describes the “citadel” in its correct location. In 1883 Miles described the husn as square with thick walls standing on an eminence about 100 feet above the plain. In fact, the highest point on the citadel is at 13 m or 40 ft. He continues that it had two gates one facing the east and other west, which are both erroneous statements. He suggests a 30 ft deep well was located in the northwest bastion. This could be possible since in the “juncture area” near this location, excavations uncovered drains and washing areas. In 1895 Bent called the husn an “acropolis” and also thought it was 100 ft high. The citadel mound as currently seen is roughly square in plan, approximately 60 m on each side, orientated towards the cardinal points with offsets. It covers an area of almost 5,000 sq. meters. The interior has a significant depression, which represents an open courtyard surrounded by rooms on all sides. Already in 1932 HM Sa‘id bin Timur cleared a portion of the south husn wall and adjoining southeast tower. The 1952 AFSM survey noted the nature of the offset outer walls, in some cases reaching a height of 11 m and the ad hoc nature of periodic rebuilding. Their most extensive work was reserved for the southwest corner where they uncovered the remains of the last private residence of the local ruler. Here the walls, approximately 2 m thick and heavily plastered with cement, created a large rectangular room.

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Figure 5.1. Landsat image of Al-Baleed on the coast of Salalah (Courtesy of W. Isenberger, Digital Mapping and Graphics).

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

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Such a massive structure was created most likely to withstand cannon fire from the Portuguese and Turks. The history of the husn can be broken down into five distinct chronological phases: Phase V the latest (1500-1700). This phase involved the bolstering of the husn’s defenses necessitated by the introduction of cannons by the Turks and Portuguese, ca 1498-1525. These outer walls seen principally on the south (facing bombardment from the sea) include the area east of the main gate. They employed the now familiar technique of constructing a semi-attached curtain wall of roughly cut stones stabilized with small stone chinking and plastering. For this Phase, one could argue that the rounded and semi-rounded towers found at the three corners and in the mid-north wall (southwest, southeast, northeast, mid-north) together with the most recent exterior curtain walls are the latest and last additions to the husn, in an attempt to fortify the complex from cannon fire. Phase IV (1278-1450). This phase is attested only by the clearing of outer walls along the northern side of the husn. The earlier husn walls here are made from the typical Al-Baleed style cut and semi-fitted stones with chinking and plastering. Wood beams, sometimes from the remains of ships, were laid horizontally between every 6-10 courses of stone. Phase III (1200-1278AD). The husn underwent renovation as part of a larger restructuring and rebuilding of the town. This phase is represented by the appearance of the first sandwich-style walling with cut stone facings filled with a rubble interior. The grand staircase and associated southern wall may have been built in this period since they abut onto the north Phase II monolithic wall. Phase II (950-1200 AD). This phase is characterized by the presence of walls at the husn constructed of very large, cut-to-fit blocks. The squared blocks using a header/stretcher method bonded with lime mortar can be seen along the South Gate area. Based on the location of the early walls, it may be that originally the husn was a smaller, square structure without bastions. This style of construction can also be seen in the early west and north city walls, the early quay by the west bridge area, and at all city gates. Phase I (600-950 AD). Underlying the husn are building remains attributed to this phase which were primarily identified only in 2006-2008. These buildings were constructed of smaller more modest walls. These walls were found under the southwest bastion, the southeast and northeast towers. Based on style and stratigraphy, they can be tied to similar building remains found at other parts of western Al-Baleed. They may represent a settlement pattern of the 5th - 6th centuries AD underlying the congregational mosque as also noted at Siraf. The only formal gate found at the husn to date lies on the south side of the building. Based on the descriptions of IB and IM, the South Central Gate allowed the Sultan to go directly to the maydan and the ZCM. A smaller gate on the north wall of the husn may be present which was built in Phase II or III, but it was probably blocked and has yet to be properly excavated. A small rectangular bolt hole some 2.5 m in length, constructed for use with a wooden door throwbolt, was built against the wall of the formal South Gate. The slide was constructed of retrieved ship wood and all four planks can be seen in situ with original dowel holes and coir lashing (Figure 5.2). 69

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Figure 5.2. South side of the husn looking north.

The Zafar congregational mosque (ZCM) This imposing building, the Zafar congregational mosque [henceforth ZCM], was first described in a ruined state by Carter in 1839 and referred to it as a temple. He did, however, note that 183 columns (actually 144) could be seen as well as a courtyard in the center of the structure. Miles also described it as a large building with round and octagonal columns eight feet high. He located the mihrab and the “headstone” west of the mihrab. The block was 6.0 feet long and 1.5 ft square with a long inscription. Miles is the last scholar to comment on this important inscription stone although the hole location is still currently known west of the mihrab and under the current parking lot. Bertram Thomas photographed the ZCM in 1930 from the southeast with the husn in the background. Of note is the composite cushion block capital on top of a composite drum pillar. The AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) team was the last to describe the ZCM without the benefit of excavation. Their observations in 1952 when the structure was relatively more intact help underpin the later calculations necessary for the reconstruction of the ZCM. The building lies 30 m southeast of the husn. Externally, Phillips measured the ZCM as 40 m by 47 m and noted that it was situated on a 1 m high podium platform. Staircases and entrances were found on several sides. Based on their examination of the columns and courtyard, they deduced the courtyard was open to the sky and that this colonnade consisted of a total of 132 columns (actually 144). 50 columns which were still visible were examined. Of this total, 26 were monolithic and 24 consisted of two or more shaped stones forming a column or drum. Some of the columns had integral capitals while others did not. The notches cut into the capitals provided the evidence for a flat roof. All of the columns had integral bases sunk well below the floor. 70

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Square pilasters or support piers were found along the walls. They were in line with the columns and probably carried the arches, which supported the roof. Some areas of the ZCM appeared to be built later as evidenced by the more recent wall partitions which exhibit a different construction style. For example, these additions and changes can be seen in the southeast corner, the west end and other areas where supports for the weakening arches were added. The roof rested on these arches. The north end of the east wall contained a small room (which we now know to be the minaret) and a well south of this structure. Albright cites IB’s description of the ZCM and notes that he provides the only date for the use of the building. By the late 1970’s more of the ZCM had fallen into collapse. But the accurate description by Phillips supplemented by the earlier Thomas photographs provided a basis for further work. Costa began excavations in 1978 and produced the first accurate detailed plan of the building. He also described the courtyard and its 143 (actually 144) columns. Concerned about the preservation of the structure which a full-scale excavation would expose, he decided to superficially clear the relevant architectural points and dug only in three main areas: 1) the qibla wall and western gallery, 2) the eastern wall and ablution area, and 3) the center of the mosque or courtyard (shamsiyyah). In addition, he undertook two small soundings to determine the history of the area prior to the construction of the mosque. The qibla area (with the mihrab/minbar included) and adjoining walls were constructed in the typical Zafari style with large semi-hewn blocks, chinked with smaller stones and chips which were finally plastered with juss. Wooden beams were also utilized to together with stone courses again in typical Zafari construction. This technique is common throughout the region and is still used to the present day (e.g. the Bait Sidouf house in Mirbat, built approximately 100 years ago). Seven doors and three flights of stairs served as the original and principal entrance to the ZCM on the mihrab wall. Note the double door on the northwest corner, which undoubtedly gave access to the private royal entrance. This is unusual, since one expects the ablution area located on the eastern wall to provide the principal entrance to the ZCM. However, it may be that the western entrances, as noted by Costa, overlooking the courtyard to the west, were reserved for notables and their retinues coming from the husn. The adjoining western gallery is six aisles wide. Upon excavation, it was found that the qibla wall was preserved to 2 m in height and largely undecorated. As noted earlier by Phillips, the platform/terrace wall was constructed approximately 1 m above the courtyard. The excavation of the double door room in the northwest corner yielded the remains of a square minaret constructed of re-used blocks for a later phase (II) of the building. Additional testing revealed the presence of a wooden ceiling as well as wooden shelving. Costa also cleared the east wall and ablution area with tiny rooms. The well he saw was plaster-lined with drains. He also remarked on the original minaret and the two doors along the east wall. He defined the central courtyard as forming a rectangle, based on limited excavation and suggested its use as a light well (shamsiyya). Costa maintained that a smaller mosque in the southeast corner either was reserved for women or functioned as a school or madrasa. Large timber beams were incorporated into the construction of the ZCM. One very large beam with two-sided carving was found near the northwest corner. This outstanding piece, made of teak, was an integral part of a dismantled ship. Beginning in 1996, new work was undertaken at Al-Baleed after a hiatus of a quarter century. The German RWTH team excavated a considerably larger area. They cleared up to one meter of debris from the west wall and an equal amount of wall fall and debris inside the lateral mosque. Visible stratigraphy can be seen in the excavations along the north wall. Final work inside the ZCM consisted of cleaning the main floors of the Prayer Hall, uncovering courtyard walls and exposing the foundations to find the possible location of all known pillars. 71

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According to the RWTH team, the ZCM had three major structural phases. In spite of the evidence for earlier walls and buildings below the ZCM, no monumental structure underlies the ZCM. This perhaps can be ascertained by noting that the platform was built up and not dug out. .

Phase I a-c. A large rectangular monumental structure was constructed with 144 columns, external terraces, and a minaret in the northeast corner in Phase Ia. No columns were placed in front of the mihrab and minbar. Possibly the area of the mihrab was roofed with a dome, 4.5-5.0 m in diameter which supported an arched arcade. Upon excavation, it turned out that the north wall had six entrances and the west wall containing seven. A period of abandonment followed which can perhaps be correlated with the Habhudi rebuilding. Rebuilding, perhaps Phase Ib, may belong to the post-Habudhi period. The 144 columns formed 14 aisles parallel to the qibla wall. The columns, 1.8 m high, were set on plinths 50 cm high. They, in turn, were capped with a simple capital made from carefully cut stone. These columns supported arcades of low stone arches built from small squared blocks, set in lime mortar. The roof was constructed of close-set beams of local mountain hard wood overlain by reed mats and a coat of thick plaster. The roof was sloped for the runoff of rainwater into stone gutters/water spouts. The central courtyard measured 12.0 x 13.3 m and functioned as a shamsiyyah. The original minaret was set in the northeast corner and fitted with an external staircase. RWTH, based solely on architectural elements, suggest a post-12th century AD date for Phase Ib. No exterior courtyard or ablution area has been found associated with Phase I and RWTH suggest they lay behind the eastern wall and were destroyed by later rebuilding. In Phase Ic, the ZCM walls were rebuilt as well as a number of columns inside the Main Prayer Hall. Some of the blocked doorways date to this period. Additional doorways were placed inside the western wall. In Phase Ic, there is the first evidence of the new formal terracing found on all sides of the ZCM. Phase II. Following the collapse of the main columned hall and its roof, a new, smaller mosque referred to as the Lateral Mosque, was built at the west end of the ZCM with a new east wall along the line of column row 3. This smaller, more modest mosque was flat roofed, utilizing the square-cut capitals above the columns. An additional wooden post was placed in front of the mihrab to support the much wider span. Costa’s Room A was built in the northwest corner and the northeast minaret was moved there and enlarged. The small rooms or ablution chambers can be seen for the first time behind the east wall. (Note that the rectangular walls shown in Phase II interspersed with the ablution area may belong to a much earlier phase building complex unrelated to the mosque). The small, northwest room may be a maqsurah for the local ruler. The room is less well constructed with poorly cut and fitted wall stones. Phase III. This last phase was represented by a much smaller rectangular mosque built into the southeast corner of the former main prayer hall. Note the missing columns in the qibla wall. These were removed when the structure was rebuilt. The south wall was also rebuilt. Costa suggested its use as a mosque for women, but structurally it represents a formal main mosque in its own right. It contributed, however, to a further subdivision of the ZCM. Another significant detail can be seen in the secondary use of the columns initially erected in the ZCM. Also note the three rough rectangular rooms attached to this mosque on the east wall. This phase of the ZCM should be dated to post-1500 AD. It was later suggested that a sequence of a long and protracted decline in contrast to the idea of a sudden abandonment of the ZCM. This idea also applies to the entire town as a whole. In other words, there was no sudden end to the mosque.

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Figure 5.3. Al-Baleed/Zafar congregational mosque (ZCM).

Concerning the ZCM’s origins, considering a dome construction, the initial phase of the ZCM dates post the 12th century AD. It was probably the first building built after Habudhi’s destruction in 618/1221. However, the earliest C-14 date for the ZCM is between 810-850 AD. Thus, it is tempting to suggest the ZCM was probably constructed by the 10th century AD, and the earliest occupation at the site being pre-800 AD attributable to buildings below the ZCM (Phase I) (Figure 5.3). Other Al-Baleed mosques Ibn Battuta, Miles and Phillips were all struck by the number of mosques at Al-Baleed. The various authors have noted over two dozen mosques inside Al-Baleed and “many others” which lie in ruins in the surrounding area. This assertion has been confirmed by recent local survey. In view of their profusion, it may that individual merchants or families built their own mosques to serve as hostels as well as places of private worship and eventually burial plots. The recovery of food remains in the mosque excavated in 2005 at every level helps support this assertion. At Al-Baleed, the description of the ruins of these private mosques from a surficial architectural point of view is quite detailed. Most are square with small four interior columns to support the roof. Two doors are usually placed on the northern and southern walls. The main entrance is usually in the center of the east wall.

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Wells are usually found outside the east wall and entrance stairs for the waddu (ritual ablution) are clearly marked. The mosques sit on a large platform and are often surrounded by a sacred precinct. Costa, in his surface research on the city mosques, focused primarily on column style and development. For example, he describes the large unique mosque, already mentioned by Phillips, which may have had sixteen columns, uniquely decorated in arabesque/vines and stylized leaves. In the upper column, a twin-branched tree sprouts from a stepped mountain. The mosque measures 15 m on a side with a well/ablution area located to the northeast corner. A later study refers to this mosque as a “quarter mosque” and the distinctive fleurde-lis design on the columns as representing a stylized sorghum plant (durra). One of the most important and enigmatic structures excavated by Costa was located in the center of Al-Baleed in an area he called Area B. He uncovered the foundations of a very early structure he called the Phase I building. It was constructed of very fine cut blocks well cemented with saruj. Roughly rectangular, it measures 26 x 22 m. Its orientation is close to the local qibla axis. The massive foundation walls built on beach sand and local bedrock, average over 1.5 m width. External features included buttresses and circular holes for wooden sockets. The building was divided into many compartments constructed around a central courtyard. In an important observation, he notes that the building was probably never built above the foundations, or was razed to its foundations later. Is early construction parallels the south city wall complex uncovered in 2009-10 and probably belongs to Phase II of the city. It may also be possible that the plan of the Area B mosque was actually built as the ZCM much further to the west. Excavations of a small mosque in 2005 had as its principal aim to chronicle the building’s occupational history. Excavations reached a depth of over 4 m and sterile sand was found at at 2.5 mean sea level. Four distinct phases were recognized: Phase IV (post-mosque use as a seasonal habitation), Phase III (1250-1400 AD), Phase II (1000-1250 AD) and Phase I (600-950 AD). From all Mosque phases, food debris was recovered including goat, cattle, fish, lobster/crab and various marine shells. Such food remains suggest that meals were being consumed in the mosque itself-a practice known from other examples cited above in historical texts. For example, IB notes (1327) the practice of eating in mosques in Nizwa in northern Oman, “the inhabitants make a practice of eating meals in the courtyards of the mosques, every man bringing what he has and all assembling together to eat in the mosque courtyard and travelers eat among them”. Phase I represents the remains of Al-Baleed secular houses, forming the initial town as also seen below the ZCM and the husn. The uncovered remains here may be parts of two distinct houses or two rooms of one house. Similar house walls are known from the discoveries of a similar nature at Siraf. Madrasas At Al-Baleed, we know that schools flourished during the city’s history. As we noted earlier, Costa has suggested the northeastern section of the ZCM served as a madrasa. From a historical perspective, we have a number of examples. We know that Al-Mudhaffer (1249-1295 AD) built a madrasa (school) in Zafar. However, in fact, it was Jihat Al-Dumluwah, his daughter, who sponsored the school. The daughter of the fourth sultan, Al-Muayyid (1297-1320) built a mosque (and school) in Zafar as well to commemorate her brother Al-Wathiq. It is likely the scholars and schools in Zafar that attracted such distinguished visitors as IM and IB to the region.

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The town square (Maidan/Suq) Miles states that west of the jami mosque (ZCM) (and the husn) across the ditch (lagoon) lay the city’s interior and more unwalled ruins. IM describes the area in 1220 as being the city’s suq or marketplace west of the city gate. Thus, we would expect an open area to be seen on the ground, a plaza (maydan) or marketplace (suq). In addition to the large open area west of the husn across the lagoon/khor, an open area between the ZCM and husn is also clearly visible. Excavations since 1998 have uncovered the simple remains of buildings here perhaps interpreted as stalls or shops. The permanent suq may be identified with the large ruins and open area south of the ZCM. Such open-areas or markets have an earlier manifestation in the region at Khor Rori. The excavators report that east of the monumental building, “a huge open square”, measuring 20 x 13 m was found. At least one street ran through the area. Recovered from the debris were a huge amount of seashells Oliva bulbosa with a small hole on the narrow side. These shells also including Cypraea moneta, as well as cut shell rings are not part of a “workshop producing seashell necklaces” but strings of money as later described by IB used in the bazaar or suq. Much larger numbers of such shells, often in caches, have been found at a number of locales at Al-Baleed itself as well and of course represent money used in commercial transactions. The marketplace was often directly attached to major religious buildings such as the ZCM. Such areas, either described by historians or excavated by archaeologists, usually were open plazas, supplemented by regularly spaced covered halls, alleys, and streets. The marketplace served as the central retail quarter. In sum, it would appear that several areas adjoining the husn, the ZCM and the area outside the West Gate most likely are to be identified as the marketplace of Al-Baleed. Having described the most important buildings, cemeteries and other structures in the Al-Baleed and Salalah areas, we now turn to examining the larger formal layout of Al-Baleed as a town. IM states in his visit in 1220 AD that Zafar had a wall made of stone and plaster around it with (at least) four gates. He actually provides us with a schematic yet puzzling plan of the walls. He begins by informing us that in 1220, Habudhi is said to have fortified Zafar out of fear of attack by the Ayyubids thus creating a new town plan. IM then produces a puzzling visual plan of both old Zafar (“the ancient original town”) and the new town (“Al-Mansurah, the construction of Ahmad al Habudhi”) as it was laid out, presumably the new town of 1223. If the sea is depicted to the south, the old, original town lies immediately to the north. Unfortunately, the new Mansurah probably lies north of the present day major east-west lagoon but south of another unidentified lagoonal system in the vicinity of Al-Robat. Alternatively, old Zafar and new Mansurah both lie south of the main east-west lagoon. Such a wall (and associated protective towers) was constructed presumably to protect the city from attack. However, as both Phillips and Albright observed, its modest height suggests it was intended to separate the official government and its business quarter from outsiders. In addition, based on satellite imagery, the husn itself was surrounded on the east by a secondary set of walls perhaps defining the houses of the immediate staff of the sultan. Work along the north city wall produced a sequence of five phases of construction/occupation between 1133-1650 AD. More recent work of clearing and stabilization of the entire northern city wall took place in 2011-2012. The curve of the northern wall followed the banks of the lagoon, but the distance from the water varied depending on recent erosion and deposition. The wall was recognized and cleaned along its entire route and varied in height from a few stones to over 1 m. Interior buttresses were placed every 10 m along the wall (up to 1 m long and 30 cm wide) up to the rectangular tower adjacent to the modern bridge.

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In 2008 the entire western city wall was cleared from the bridge to the sand bar crossing the west lagoon. The cleared wall was observed in its entire length and four to six courses were cleared up to a maximum height of 1.5 m. Conservation work in 2011 and 2012 confirmed the city wall by Phase III had been badly eroded especially the exterior face. The interior blocks in many cases are readily visible after Phase IV and V debris had been cleared. The west wall is defined by a series of small semi-circular towers and a number of stone wall jetties extending into the lagoon. They were designed to offload sambuqs as described by IB. Since soundings in the western lagoon revealed an active lagoonal system reinforcing IM and IB’s accounts of goods arriving into Zafar, when was the western lagoon filled with sediment as seen now? Most likely, at some late point between 1500-1650 AD, the lagoon water ceased to flow south into the major western lagoon arm and flowed only eastward along the northern city wall perhaps being diverted by the northwest tower. A very interesting bridge area was constructed to cross the western lagoon, which was at least 15 m wide. This remarkable feature was supported by twelve monolithic pillars varying in size, carving and style. They were perhaps taken from a dilapidated ZCM. This suggests that they were part of a late phase of the city. In City Phase IV or V the bridge was rebuilt with extra pillars. Subsequently, the lagoon completely dried up. In terms of past archaeological investigation, the south wall of the city facing the sea has received the least amount of attention. Phillips who noted that the south wall paralleled the sea and was set back 120 m from the present shoreline. In 2008, the entire South City Wall area was surficially cleared. Despite sand and vegetation, clear depressions of the towers and wall could be seen guiding the excavations to clear additional walls, gates and towers. Al-Baleed city wall, gates and towers Uniform in construction, the seaside city wall parallels the seashore and runs for over 1,100 m westward to the corner on the west lagoon. It incorporates eighteen towers, four gates and four breakwaters. The wall, uniformly constructed of cut limestone blocks is approximately 2 m wide at the top of the foundation in most places although it narrows in some places between the towers. The latter is stepped with at least three courses and set on a mud-sand base of lagoonal sediments. The uneven appearance of the top of the wall, is due to stone robbing and in many cases only one or two courses of the wall above the foundation were visible. In all cases, the sand and debris above the stone courses obscured the lower remains of the wall’s stone blocks. The highest extant portion of the wall can be seen on the northeast corner of the middle breakwater as nine courses of the wall are preserved to a height of approximately 3 m. The wall was plastered along its entire visible external face as fragments are found in random locales (in some cases the white plaster was up to 10 cm thick). Both mudbrick and fired brick were used in construction of the wall as well as part of the superstructure. A clear rough plaster line is preserved at the juncture of the last foundation and first wall courses. This suggests the location of the sea msl waterline (or the fresh water lagoon line) in the 10th century AD at 2.1 m msl or at least 1.5 m higher than at present. All of the eighteen towers are semi-attached and were placed approximately 50 m apart. The limestone blocks were cut to fit and semi-curved to define the outer curved walls of the towers. The interiors on occasion were partitioned with a doorway leading into the city wall. Later reuse created angled arrow slots or windows. The towers are uniformly 4 m wide at the juncture with the city wall and extend outwards approximately 7 m.

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The constructed city wall largely parallels the seashore and thus requires occasional angle corrections (e.g. between Towers 7-9). Stratigraphy outside and above the towers and wall reveals a long period of abandonment following the original construction and early use. Accumulated beach sand over 2 m thick in some locations overlies the towers and wall. On the western end, this beach sand underlies a later building construction phase represented by 2-3 m of debris. Such late buildings are also found above the western city wall (Figures 5.4 and 5.5). The original south city wall had three large, associated gates and at the Southwest Gate, the city wall surprisingly turns south for over 30 m to what in 2010 appeared to be a freestanding corner bastion. From this complex, the original city wall then runs to the west breakwater and continues further west to a large corner square tower placed on a large platform base. This may be the remains of a lighthouse or signal tower. West of the breakwater a series of large formal drains are visible. The jog southwards was deemed necessary as the planned and constructed city wall had deviated slightly northwards away from being parallel to the seashore. The original city wall then can be traced northward from the southwest corner as part of the original western wall for over 20 m. The first semi-attached western tower is cut by the more recent Phase III city wall described above. Between Gate 4 and Tower 14 the original city wall was emended by a much later parallel wall built of reused stones. This construction created a casemate pattern and thus between the walls, a series of small rooms were maintained supplied by a small rectangular well. This construction was intended to refortify the south city wall perhaps due to the effect of ships’ cannons and thus this work dates to a very late phase of the city. Just to the east of tower 15, a free-standing small rectangular tower was uncovered almost abutting the city wall. Some three courses thick, its purpose remains unclear but again it was constructed long after the initial towers and wall. The original city wall and associated breakwaters and towers were most likely constructed sometime in the 10th century based on C-14 dates, stratigraphy, construction technique, ceramic typology and geomorphological analysis. Concerning the city’s magnificent gates, IM (1220) states that four gates characterized the city wall. The (Southern) Gate leading to the sea was called Bab Al-Sahil. Unfortunately, this term could apply to any number of gates now known from excavation such as 1) the Southwest Gate, 2) two sea gates on the central southern wall or 3) The Southeast Gate attached to the customs area. IM mentions two land side gates as well: 1) Bab Harqah is said to lead to ‘Ain Fard. Smith notes that harqah could mean “kiln” in local Omani Arabic. Alternatively, it has been suggested that harqah is the Jibbali name, Harkem, for the site of AlBaleed. This term could also refer to the excavated far Southeastern Gate near the “Customs Area Annex”. Ain Fard (spring of the Customs Area) could refer to the excavated complex in this area, which did indeed include a spring complemented by an associated dam, sluices and stone walls. The second land side gate which he mentions is Bab Al-Harja leading to Al-Harja which was a small village situated on the seashore near Zafar. This western gate is most likely the one situated on the central western wall and partially excavated. It leads by bent axis across the bridge and lagoon into a large open square. To the west of the gate and city wall would be the small settlement called Al-Harja. Al-Harja then may be a quarter name (hafa) for Al-Baleed where fish were dried for cattle and camel fodder. Finally, it should be noted that the layout of the town as drawn by IM in 1220 does not indicate any gates. The West Gate area as described originally in the 1950’s contained a large number of monolithic blocks strewn about, typical of early Al-Baleed gate construction. This gate is 15 m north of the Costa “bridge” and 25 m south of the semi-attached bastion on the west wall.

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Figure 5.4. Landsat image of Al-Baleed, note the city wall and 18 towers (Courtesy of W. Isenberger, Digital Mapping and Graphics).

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Figure 5.5. Al-Baleed Southwest Gate.

The use of typical juss/cement mortar and cut large blocks suggests the gate belongs to City Phase Ib or II. In March 2008, the gate was restored using the near-by robbed monolithic blocks and the broken threshold stones were replaced in situ. In 2008, a major clearance of debris took place to expose the entire west lagoon and city wall up to the enclosing sand bar. In the process of excavation, it became clear that the original city wall north of the Costa bridge and south of the buttress tower, was constructed of large monolithic blocks which were covered by a thick plaster. It is clear from the original wall and the discovery of the original quay area (see below) that the visible threshold stone and associated blocks of the West Gate form part of the Phase II City and that it was a later addition built into the quay wall. Much of the gate east of the threshold has been robbed but it does appear that it was not constructed on the bent-axis plan found on all the southern wall gates; rather the gate led straight to the Customs Building. Based on the 2008 clearance, it also appears that we can see two phases of the gate’s development. The earlier gate was most likely 7 m wide and the two original northsouth walls culminate in massive buttresses along its east side. The entryway here is 5 m wide. This gate has no visible lagoon entryway and thus it was probably the original gate built into the city wall. The City Phase II gate is smaller and the visible blocks and threshold stone belong to this phase. The Southeast Gate on the so-called “Annex” or “Customs Area” island is the most enigmatic. It was excavated only partially by the AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) in the 1950’s and thus stood in isolation far from the husn and other large formal buildings of Al-Baleed. Built in the same style as Costa’s Area B mosque and other early formal walls and thus part of City Phase Ib (900-950 AD), it appears to represent the focal point of the Al-Baleed export trade. It is possibly the entry to the eastern jetty and associated open areas. We note that this gate is 50 m north of the southern end of south sea wall. 79

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The eastern city wall where it joins the gate is 2.70 m thick which in turn opens onto a sill or door 4.40 m wide. Albright suggested it was a two-leaf gate with beams opening inward. The 4.40 m wide gateway in the main annex wall is the largest in the city. He also suggested the gate was placed on the eastern main harbor and it may have functioned as the main business gate. The complete gate, as part of the walled city, was excavated in 2010. Albright’s work had cleared only the top two courses and some of the interior. This massive gate, largest of all uncovered to date, is 5.80 x 16.50 m. Total visible height when cleaned is over 2.50 m. It was founded on two rows of large cut blocks serving as a double foundation with a lower course apron of two courses projecting over 1.50 m from the foundation itself. Some of the foundations blocks are over 2 m in length. The two upper level courses were bonded with the typical juss/cement of the City Phase I builders. The main sea/lagoon entrance lies on the north and is defined by two large projecting entryway blocks and an original threshold, which was later raised and reused. More of the gate was visible when excavated in 1955 but a number of blocks have since been removed. Notches for door hinges and throwbolts are in evidence and Albright postulated a double door system operating at the sea entrance. Cleaning the excavated interior revealed three rooms (triple gate) and notches where the wooden floor would have been placed. The bent-axis approach leading to the interior door set into the city wall has been destroyed. The original gate was similar in construction to the now restored Southwest Gate. At the entry, two blocks are visible in situ but based on the plan of the Southwest Gate, six blocks, about 3 m in total height, were probably placed above the threshold to a final stone holding the roof notch. A sand apron outlined in stone may have been constructed just north of the main gate entrance and served as a landing approach (as was the case in Gates 3 and 4). Phillips describes the threshold stone and several well-cut blocks of a small gate, which was bonded by cement/juss into the city wall. All that was left from a small postern gate, it opened to the sea 2.50 m from the eastern breakwater. Here the wall width is 1.40 m. There was no evidence of the sandwich style characteristic of most city wall construction. The south wall and the postern gate abut the eastern breakwater directly and it seems the gate was used for private pedestrian traffic. While the gate stones are still visible and two courses are preserved below the sill, the base of the wall consists of six courses and rests on shore sand. Water was encountered 80 cm below the wall. The clearing of the wall in 2010, revealed it to be an integral portion of the city wall just west of the formal eastern jetty/breakwater. What remained in 2010 were a few large blocks and the threshold stone. This small gate was attached to a large interior basin or building inside the city wall. From a brief surface survey of the south wall, Costa described the visible scanty remains of stone blocks possibly forming a small gate in what is now the approximate middle of the south wall. He noted it may possibly have had a bent axis approach. Clearance in 2010 revealed a typical Al-Baleed south wall gate as surmised by Costa located between the middle breakwater 2 and tower 10 (South Central Gate I). The gate, cleared to basal sand deposits, is the smallest and most modest of all the gates and measures 5.8 x 11.20 m. It was attached to the city wall running along the north side of the gate. Much of the gate walls were disturbed but three to four courses were still in place composed of carefully cut rectangular/square stone blocks (50 x 50 x 20 cm), the smallest of the gate blocks typical of major City Phase I Al-Baleed gates. The heavy cement/juss bonding held the interior sandwich blocks of the walls in place. Five foundation courses were cleared cut more roughly than the gate walls and the lowest course was angled outwards to support the massive foundation. The lowest course monolithic blocks of the formal sea entryway were visible on the west side, which led into a one-room interior. The bent axis plan revealed the large formal blocks of the doorway leading into the town placed at the far south end of the gate. 80

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A buttress projects from the middle of the south wall and the later infilled wall abuts the original south and east walls. The south wall of the gate has three or four courses visible. A flag stone pavement placed on the sand and held in place by blocking slabs, defined the entryway into the sea door. A C-14 date from level 3 inside the main chamber dates an occupation after the initial construction to the early 11th century. The surface to the west of South Central Gate I was littered with over ten typical square stone blocks turned black with algal growth which we now know are typical of Al-Baleed City Phase I gate construction. However, no prior mention of this gate was found in the literature. Also uncovered in 2010 a second South Central Gate, which resembles all other Al-Baleed seawall gates. 6.20 m wide and 12.50 m long, the city wall joins the gate at its base on the eastern side. However, on the western side, the basal city wall is over 3 m northward of the gate corner (9.70 m from the south corner to the city wall) and supplemented by a small plastered basin. A second city wall (later in date) parallels the earlier wall on the south and creates a casemate effect. The foundations for the gate are truly massive and corner blocks measure 2.20 x 60 x 50 cm in some cases. Three corner foundation and six interior course foundations are visible of which the upper layer is well plastered (a characteristic of the entire south city wall). Three or four courses of the gate are also visible. Again, the entryway blocks are monolithic and define a bent axis approach. The threshold stone on the sea entry is well defined leading from a flag stone apron set on sand. The entryway into the city is set against the eastern wall and also has monolithic entryway blocks in place. The gate blocks again are cemented in place following the typical Phase I city construction pattern. The third gate Costa recognized in his survey is the southwest city gate. A number of fallen, well-cut stones with jambs were recognized laying next the west entry. Costa suggested the gate was attached to a large, formal building to its northwest represented by a large rubble mound. Again, this gate would appear to have no connection to the gates described by IM. In 2008, the west entry of the Southwest Gate was cleared and the area was identified as part of a large gate. The fallen blocks were indeed part of a larger in situ complex. Further clearance confirmed that the gate had the usual bent-axis pattern with the interior entryway leading along a road to both merchant/official buildings as well as to the ZCM and husn. Further investigations revealed that the City Phase Ib gateway was built against a large rectangular building to the northwest. Above the building were the foundations of two later mosques. In 2011, the gate was cleared in its entirety and placed in the context of the original city wall. 6.80 m wide and 13.50 m long, it is the second largest gate at Al-Baleed, somewhat smaller than the Southeast Gate. In contrast to the gates to the east along the south sea wall, the city wall joins this gate on its eastern side in the middle of the gate wall. Clearance of the wall uncovered the typical square blocks of City Phase Ib construction. On the southern side it created again the cemented sandwich type wall. The eastern interior has been modified over time and a small room had been built into the northeast corner of the gate. In addition, the southern interior had been fitted with a long stone bench running along the entire south wall sometime in City Phase III or IV. The entryway leading into the city still retained its monolithic blocks. Excavations at the seaward side revealed a large typical monumental gateway defined by three blocks in situ and other blocks strewn about as noted by Costa. The south corner retained three blocks in place above the foundation and clear socket fittings for crossbars and turn poles for the door leaves are still visible. The threshold stone is still in place and the open doorway measures 3.5 m in width. The northern corner retained three monolithic blocks and a well-defined gate wall leading to the wall of the associated formal building lying to its north as observed by Costa. 81

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A sounding at the base of the north corner revealed a massive 6 course foundation placed on sand just above the water table. It would appear that the city wall is integrated into the formal building and runs west for 10 m along its base. Original buttresses along the south wall of the gate may have supported arches or roof supports. Following the abandonment of the formal gate, a series of cist grave burials outlined by stones, blocks and mudbrick, were placed both to the west of the main seaward entryway and to the south of the gate wall. In 2010, a deep sounding was placed at the northeast corner of the gate revealing its location as belonging to strata dated to the 10th century AD, and well above the lowest city walls in the sounding. A deep sounding along the northeast corner of the gate also revealed that the gate was an integral part of a much larger building, perhaps a warehouse to the northeast. In 1979, Costa undertook excavations in an area of Al-Baleed he called Area B. Superimposed on a City Phase I early mosque foundation, he found the remains of a circular tower and gate cut from large, formal blocks (the inner city gate). It would appear that this gate directed traffic between the urban western part of town and the open-field areas of the eastern part. Putting it another way, the inner city gate and wall reflect the duality of the town. The western part being defined by mercantile and governmental buildings and the eastern part associated with the storage of bulk exports. Further support for this idea comes from a small tower found on the northern wall area which could be the northern terminus of a projected city wall running north from the Area B gate. South of the Area B gate appears to be a moat and possible a city wall, as of yet unexplored. This moat system terminates at the middle jetty. Jetties As already briefly noted, Phillips and Albright noted the position of three jetties/breakwaters/piers on the south sea wall of the city. Cruttenden, already noticing one of these stone piers next to the lagoon, erroneously suggested they were platforms for guns. Medieval written sources clearly state that high seas ships were anchored in roadways at least 1 km from shore and lighters (sanabiq) delivered the cargoes to the customs area. Thus the position of the excavated jetties may or may not support this description of offloading ships at Al-Baleed. For on-loading, a different method was used at the eastern end of the site (Figure 5.6). As seen by Albright, the east jetty was part of the east city wall and extended 40 m beyond the south wall. The 4 m wide north end expands to a rounded tower-like south end, 5.5 m wide. Phillips noted that the lower jetty stones showed evidence of wear by seawater washing against them, and current excavations supports such evidence suggesting this view was correct. However, Albright’s view that the lower blocks at the end of the jetty rested on bedrock is erroneous since he was describing only the foundation courses. In fact, the entire structure rests on blueish/gray lagoonal deposits. Excavations in 2010-2011, revealed a much larger substantive structure, which was an integral part of the entire southeast complex. The imposing stone jetty most likely served several purposes. First and foremost, it was a breakwater designed to protect the eastern city wall and the “annex/peninsula”. It also served as a loading ramp, pier or wharf for goods destined for maritime export. The 4 m interior width of the jetty expands to 5.5 m at its southern seaside creating a slightly tapered 42 m long ramp. Excavation and clearance of the structure’s surface revealed that the surface blocks, five courses above the foundation (now 3.5 m high above the water line), were set into a solid cement mortar, similar to that encountered already in the construction of the early gates as well as the south city wall. 82

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Figure 5.6. Jetty near the Southeast Gate, note the large blocks that once held a dock in place.

Impressions of wooden buildings can be seen in the remaining cement flooring. In profile, two construction types can be seen. At the south end, large, monolithic blocks were used in construction. At the north end, much smaller blocks can be seen framing the jetty. The original city wall to the east can be seen attached to the jetty at its approximate midpoint-19 m from the south end. This wall was cut and rebuilt just 3 m to the east and it defines the city wall and associated towers as well as the monumental Southeast Gate as it runs east and then turns north, framing the eastern side of the annex or peninsula. A much smaller retaining wall was built at the southern tip of the jetty/breakwater, 2.5 m from the southern tip and it too runs east and turns north culminating in a small square tower (lighthouse?) in the reeds/marshes of the lagoon northeast of the annex wall. The eastern jetty is also bonded into the city wall on the western side but 36 m north of the tip and some 12 m north of the eastern city wall. The small postern gate, excavated by Albright, lies 2 m just to the west of the jetty on the city wall. The eastern jetty was undoubtedly built before the attachment of the city walls because its northern end continues 6 m beyond the west city wall and 18 m north of the eastern city wall. A small building evidenced by a substantial wall and foundations also was probably an integral part of the eastern jetty. It was initially uncovered 6 m inside the west city wall but remains unexplored. An earlier phase of the eastern jetty can also be seen underlying the structure at the northeast corner. An extensive “walkway system” coming from the northern lagoon and paralleling the east side of the site terminates and joins the eastern jetty. Composed only of one or two courses of prepared stone and 2.5 m wide, it on occasion also has ephemeral stone foundations for light canopy superstructure attachments undoubtedly for onloading goods and animals first along small installations found on the lagoon itself and then onto the eastern jetty directly. 83

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At the base of the eastern jetty and continuing into the waterline, excavation revealed regularly spaced holes on both sides. Sixteen holes were cleared on the west side with corresponding holes also on the eastern side as well. 20 cm in diameter they were designed to penetrate through the jetty itself. Attached to the holes on both sides, were the remnants of large iron nails used to secure iron screen mesh/grate fittings. Presumably, the construction allowed water to pass through when needed, relieving pressure and preventing detritus from blocking the holes. In addition to the grates and holes, a series of regularly spaced intricate vertical and horizontal wooden posts/beams were placed within 30 cm along side the jetty. On the corresponding eastern side, a series of more random wooden posts form irregular lines beside the jetty but extending out over 3 m to the east. These wooden posts of Ziziphus mauritania (jujube) were driven into the mud. This tropical fruit tree is native to India (and East Africa?), but has been grown in southern Arabia since at least the Bronze Age (ca. 2000 BC) thus making it difficult to decide if the wood posts were locally obtained or imported. One of the posts was C-14 dated to 850 AD suggesting the complex was constructed sometime in the 9th century. Currently, the water surrounding the jetty is fresh sweet water either seeping in from the lagoon or from near-by springs. Since no erosional wave marks produced by the ocean can be seen on the stone blocks of the “seawall,” a large freshwater lateral lagoon may have fronted the seawall in this period. However, the use of cement sealing/water proofing only at the juncture of the highest foundation and lowest wall blocks is consistent all along the city wall. It could be suggested that water level either from the sea or the lagoon was present at this height. As noted by many authors, the current seashore is 60-70 m south of the city wall and when in use, the south wall facilities could not have functioned without water of some kind encircling the jetties and seawall. Sea level for the Medieval period in general was probably different than currently but coastal landrise also adds to the difficulty of an exact placement in this period. Other scholars have also suggested that the jetty functioned as a dry dock. Water inside the area east of the jetty was allowed in during high tide to float in ships and this water was allowed to escape at low tide to dry dock the vessels. Additional high tide water was prevented from entering the area by inserting beams and poles into the sixteen horizontal jetty holes until ship repairs were finished (or the ship finished loading). Upon completion, the beams were removed for high tide water to ease the ships back into the lagoon or sea. It may be noted that neither the central or western jetties have such associated bored-hole mechanisms. Immediately to the south of the jetty but joining its southern face are a series of very large, carved rectangular stone blocks. These were excavated some 3 m below the top of the jetty lying just above the current water line. Four rows of these blocks originally approximately 10.5 m wide were locked into place by cut mortise joints with perhaps original iron bars joining them. These rows of stone blocks are still in place along the outer edges but the interior two rows have been jumbled due to wave action over the ages. These rows of blocks can be recognized for over 15 m south of the jetty and trenching into 3 m of sand into the modern beach revealed their presence a further 10 m to the south. In the summer of 2011, the monsoon waves exposed the remains of at least five additional blocks 25 m further to the south on the modern beach. Thus, the entire stone block complex may have extended well over 50 m from the jetty’s tip. Many of the blocks especially those on the outer edge and still in place, contained two large holes (10-15 cm in diameter) with some still containing the remnants of vertical poles. The immense size and weight of the cut blocks (some over 500 kg) suggests they were used in conjunction with the wooden posts to serve as a wooden jetty extending into the water.

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Taken as a whole at Al-Baleed, the construction of the stone jetty/pier, its adjoining wooden post system and the large rectangular blocks together with the open road/wall facilities associated with it, suggest an elaborate docking system to onload bulk goods described in historical texts destined for export (see the description of the Annex). Such a complex of anchorage, docking and loading facilities (including the placement of the city wall, Annex, and Southeast Gate) suggests that in the pre-11th century AD, larger ships may have docked directly at the quay. By contrast, the later written sources (alluded to earlier) state that large ships were anchored at least 1 km offshore and small boats (sanabiq) delivered export cargoes to them. The ruins of the center jetty project along a line running slightly to the east of north with an original estimated length of 28 m and a width of 6 m by the AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) team. Work which began in 2010 to clear the structure revealed in fact that the center jetty was originally a typical early semi-attached tower (Tower 10) and part of the city wall. 7 m long and 6 m wide, the integrated tower construction belongs to City Phase Ib. At some later point, perhaps in City Phase III, a long breakwater/jetty was built against it, extending it to a total length of 34 m. As noted by Albright, the 6 m wide structure near the tower measures over 8 m at its southern end. However, in contrast to the tapered aspect of the east jetty, the addition of the central jetty consists of a narrow northern shaft 6 m in diameter ending in a well-defined circular southern end 8 m in diameter. That this is a later addition can be clearly seen as the added walls are not as well built, lack the cement mortar, and utilize smaller scale blocks. The addition when cleared also revealed that it consisted of two extended parallel stone walls 1.80 m wide with a sand-filled center. In addition, the cement waterproofing mortar applied on the last foundation and first courses of the city wall and towers is lacking along the addition. Excavation at the base failed to identify any of the holes, timber supports or jetty blocks associated with the eastern pier. Because of the deliberate interior sand fill, the surface of this jetty has only one visible structure. Inside the southern end, two stone extension walls created a small restricted entryway, 3 m wide. The lack of a proper foundation has also caused the addition to sag slightly into the sand below particularly along the southern end. The ad-hoc nature of this additional construction to Tower 10 suggests that an increase in the volume of trade, a need to reinforce the protection of the city wall or changes in the ecology along the seashore required the construction of a second breakwater/pier. The surface ruins of the west jetty were also originally described by the AFSM (American Foundation of the Study of Man) in 1955. Work in 2011 revealed a surface structure, which was similar in construction to that of the central jetty. In other words, a long narrow northern section between 3-4 m wide terminated in a much larger oval pier, 5 m wide at the southern end with a total length of 27 m. Work along the early city wall at the same time revealed the location of the west jetty to be just 32 m east of the original city corner. In contrast to both the east and center jetties, one can see the evolution of the west pier over time. The original jetty was just 2 m wide and extended southward to create a long jutting straight structure. Work at the southern end, revealed that the original jetty projected at least 3 m beyond the later circular modifications but the full southern extent cannot be determined due to damage by sea action. In its current form, it extended over 30 m. from the city wall. The use of large blocks, strong cement and plaster foundations suggest it was built in City Phase Ib. Its placement is also interesting as the pier angles/slants westward away from the city wall. In subsequent phases, the small original pier was modified by an additional massive wall 3 m wide added to the northern end on the east side. The larger circular southern end was constructed in conjunction with the wall modification.

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Surface clearing also revealed the presence of numerous formal drains cut into the original jetty, perhaps for interior drainage. A small rectangular building was added to the west side of the jetty as well. Clearing of the circular southern end also revealed the presence of five cut rectangular drainage passages leading from the expanded circular interior structure. Two of the drainage channels lie on the east side and in both cases stone blocks cover the interior passage leading to the outer wall. Three other rectangular drainage channels lie below these two along the southeastern face. These drainage channels are unique to this jetty and were not found on the other two. Again, in contrast to the east jetty, no wood pilings or horizontal holes in the structure were located. The original jetty therefore was constructed in conjunction with the original city wall and towers and dates to the later 1st millennium AD. The later modifications were undertaken to increase the size of mooring space to offload goods. Excavations of the original city wall near Tower 16 uncovered a series of buildings overlying the wall and placed well above an initial sand beach cover, which is characteristic of the city wall from this location well beyond the Annex. Excavations in late 2010, cleared the city wall in this location and a typical semiattached tower was located (Tower 16). Its construction, architecture and location date it to City Phase Ib. However, as in the case of Tower 10 and the center jetty, at some later point (City Period III?) a longer breakwater/jetty was built against it, extending south for 25 m. The use of smaller stone blocks and lack of cement waterproofing mortar point to this later date. Surface clearing yielded no visible signs of interior structures and, as in the case of the center jetty, the expansion was created by merely adding two exterior walls with debris interior. As with the case of the center and west jetties, this addition suggests either greater prosperity derived from maritime trade or changes in the local seashore ecology perhaps necessitating this additional pier. By City Phase V, this small breakwater was cut in half and its interior was reused as a much smaller, more modest landing jetty or house. Surprisingly, the excavation of the Southwest Gate, failed to identify the westward continuation of the original city wall. Excavation of the south face of the adjoining building however, revealed that 10 m from the Southwest Gate corner, the city wall unexpectedly turned south. It proceeded in this direction for 30 m to a freestanding circular bastion. On its western face, the city wall then again turned westward leading to the west jetty and the corner of the city. This bastion then defines a formal corner of the city wall at this location. The circular bastion was located underneath a later building (City Phase IV) and over 1.5 m of later debris. Somewhat irregular in shape forming an oval 3 m in diameter, it was constructed of typical City Phase I stone blocks cut to fit. Two courses of the bastion and five courses of the foundation were excavated, with the lowest creating a step affect. The city wall was bonded into the bastion both on its northern and western faces. The clearance of the bastion’s surface uncovered a large complex of radiating plaster drains designed to relieve pressure on the superstructure. Clearing sand debris on the southern face yielded 15 basalt blocks of varying sizes used for ships’ ballast. In 2010, in the process of finding the city wall and defining the round bastion, we were puzzled why it was deemed necessary to run the city wall south 20 m at this location before returning to its westward path. The answer came in 2012 in the process of defining the small cist grave cemetery located next to the Southwest Gate. The clearing of stone debris south and southeast of the circular bastion defined a much larger City Phase IV house. Upon its removal, we encountered a very long wall under the house, which ran east from the circular bastion. Closer inspection proved that a very small portion of this wall had been cleared in 2010, but forgotten at the time. At this point, however, the 17 m long wall was exposed in its entirety and revealed that it formed a 7.5 m wide jetty terminating in a rounded end. A much larger structure was constructed later at the end of this jetty with a rounded base 12 m in diameter. 86

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This walling was only 2 m wide and sand debris filled the interior. Excavations to the base of the structure (2 m in height) revealed well-cut stone blocks encased in fine plaster-a hallmark of the early city. In several cases, looting had removed some of the blocks, but many remained in situ due to its abandonment and later covering. In this respect, the original structure modified over time, is quite similar to the construction history of the west jetty already described. This complex, built in City Phase Ib, is unique to Al-Baleed. Thus the remains represent at least two phases of a very long and formal jetty running east perpendicular to the city wall and freestanding tower. It was later abandoned and replaced by the free-standing circular bastion (City Phase II) described above. By City Phase III-IV, when the entire area was modified for use with later buildings spilling over the old city wall, a cist grave cemetery cut the northern quay/jetty wall in half. The original roughly rectangular space, some 20 x 25 m, created between the jetty, the city wall and Southwest Gate, provided the opportunity to offload small lighters (sanabiq) in calm waters and then take the cargoes through the Southwestern Gate and into adjoining warehouses before proceeding to the Al-Furda for taxation or reshipping. The city wall continues west from the free-standing bastion/east-west jetty to the west jetty. 30 m west of the west jetty the south city wall culminates in the formal southwest corner of the city, situated on the western lagoon. Long visible from the surface, a small rectangular structure stained black by the summer monsoon contains an intrusive later single burial as evidenced by head and foot stones. Excavation on its eastern face yielded the remains of the original city wall, severely modified and broken by later occupation and stone robbing. The excavation of the small rectangular structure on the southern and western faces indicated that it was in fact placed on a much larger square platform, defining the corner of the original city and perhaps a lighthouse. The walls on the southeast side were considerably damaged due to sea action and the latest visible structure is a small semicircle of reused stones perhaps used for fishing. The southwest side of the original platform is well preserved with several wall courses and stepped foundations visible. The interior of the platform has the usual heavily cemented/bonded stones and plaster typical of early city construction. An added interesting feature is the presence of a long southward extension of the city wall past the platform. It would appear, as in the case of the west and east-west jetties that the 2 m projection 6 m south of the platform may have served as an additional or original pier. Its southern end is badly damaged, again perhaps by sea action. A much later small wall runs diagonally across the platform. This wall is part of the much later building complex of two large structures located along the southwest corner of the city spilling over the original city wall. It is difficult to say if the small upper rectangular platform with the tomb was an integral part of the city construction and served as a watch tower or it was constructed much later solely for the purpose of housing the tomb. To conclude, the original west city wall runs north approximately 80 m to a typical associated semi-attached tower. This tower, only one third intact, was truncated by a much later addition to the city wall, drains and a staircase.

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Chapter 6

Al-Baleed ceramic typology

Since ceramics appear late in the Dhofar Governate chronology, perhaps only by the Iron Age (ca. 700500 BC), their accurate periodization and classification from the excavated sites of Khor Rori, Shisr, Mughsayl and Al-Baleed, together with work further west on the Yemen Indian Ocean coast as well as Sohar and Qalhat in North Oman, can significantly help in understanding spatial and chronological settlement patterns throughout the entire province. Since ceramic materials are sensitive to fashion and cultural preferences, their observed changes over time can be rapid. Our current study of the material from the Dhofar Province, Khor Rori, and Al-Baleed covering City Phases I-V spans then over 2000 years. The Khor Rori ceramics generally involve largely imported Hadhrami, Western Classical, Indian and Parthian wares but rare locally made dot/circle and rice ware sherds do occur suggesting a Late Iron Age provenance contemporary with Iron Age sherds from Taqa. The accurate sequencing of Iron Age ceramics also will require work since we have excavated material only from Khor Rori and Taqa. The abundant Iron Age site remains in the Dhofar hills and near Nejd will eventually reveal a long-range ceramic sequence. To date however, this imprecision ties into the settlement history of Dhofar as well since the Late Antiquity period through the Early Islamic periods (400-800 AD) is still poorly understood. However, the recovery of better understood imported ceramic material not only helps us understand the time periods in Dhofar better but helps elucidate the wide-spread contacts throughout the Indian Ocean as well as suggest the presence of possible foreign populations at Al-Baleed. All local ceramics manufactured in Dhofar from the Iron Age through to the lifespan of Al-Baleed were hand-made without the benefit of a wheel. The clay sources as well as the firing kilns have yet to be found. Ethnographically, some MSAL groups obtained their clay in some quarries in the Dhofar hills for the manufacture and firing at home settlements. Based on several regional archaeological examples, we know that obviously firing kilns were usually placed away from town centers. At Siraf, some pottery kilns were found west of town, on the beach. At the Wadi Masila site of Al-Qisha, the local kilns and wasters were located outside the settlement. At Sharma, the kilns were located some distance from the site of Yadgat. Local ceramic vessels in the Iron Age and throughout the sequence at Al-Baleed to 1600 AD show a remarkable conservatism with few changes. They were either made from grit or shell temper, fired to a red color, and generally very utilitarian. As a general rule, red grit ware has a greater percentage of the corpus in the earlier phases, and shell temper increases through the later periods. Shapes tend to favor bowls, plates, jars/bottles as everyday ware. The red grit wares, often incised, have direct antecedents to late Iron Age wares from Taqa. The shell temper wares are tan/red but often take on a black appearance due to soot caused by fires. Bowls and jars are common often with a punctate incised decoration on the neck and rim. Based on a few parallels from Khor Rori, Iron Age ceramics in the region and at Al-Baleed included thin and hard red wares in the shape of small bowls and jars, More specifically, isolating those ceramic elements which represent Late Iron age and the Early Islamic (pre-Abbasid period), we see several distinctive local wares including, 1) basement grit ware using crushed granite rock from the Mirbat area as temper and often painted with red dots; 2) a dot-circle ware which is well-burnished and shaped in small beakers or bowls. Below the rim is a row of dots/circles made by a bow drill, followed by four horizontal incised lines. 88

Al-Baleed ceramic typology

Below that follows an imbricate pattern of rocker stamp, chattered and rouletted created by applying a marine shell edge. Near the bottom are additional horizontal incised lines converging on a dimple base sometimes also decorated with a series of dot/circles. The rim is often ticked; 3) riceware (or chevron ware) is a handmade, finely burnished red/tan ware with finely incised chevrons, ticks and triangles. Both dot-circle and rice ware are locally distinctive and found throughout the Dhofar Governate in all ecological zones and date perhaps to the Late Classical through the Early Abbasid periods (350-900 AD). Incense burners made locally also occur in all three periods. The early types, sometimes plain or sometimes decorated, usually have a small rectangular shallow basin and four legs. The earliest types are found throughout Arabia beginning by the Iron Age, 1000 BC with even earlier examples from the Bronze Age in stone (e.g. Ras Al-Jinz). From the following Late Antiquity period, small circular jars or bowls with attached handles make their appearance along the South Arabian coast. They often are decorated with the dot/circle motif. A third type from the Medieval period is larger with wavy lines heavily incised or painted. Imported wares begin to appear as early as 300 BC as excavated from Khor Rori. From Al-Baleed, only painted/slipped orange RPWs, and Sasanian/Parthian early Barbotine blue ceramics have been recovered from a Late Antiquity date. Himyarite type Late Antiquity pottery with ties to western Yemen have also been excavated from inland Shisr. Local wares described above continue in use in the Abbasid period (750-950 AD) without much change. However, imported Islamic wares from Iraq/Iran include the famous barbotine blue, with a yellow body and blue glaze, sgraffiato under-incised geometric wares, splash, and tin-glaze as well as black-slipped red wares. From the following Medieval period (1000-1600 AD) besides the typical red grit and shell temper wares other burnished and painted wares appear. They are called Ain Humran burnished wares because of their high polish and shine on the exterior surface. This ware has fewer temper inclusions (well-levigated) and commonly is shaped into ring based jars and bottles. Both Ain Humran polished and the local red grit wares are often painted with purple/red painted designs including triangles, tick rows, crosses, vertical wavy lines, suns, x’s, dots, zig-zags and rarely animal figures. Post-Abbasid and Medieval period imported pottery by contrast is all wheel made, better levigated and has surface treatments not found on local wares. These include glazed Islamic wares from Iraq or Iran. Specifically tied to the Rasulid expansion (1270-1430 AD) are Yemeni yellow bowls with black geometric designs on a yellow slip. Haize cups with green glaze also come from Yemen. Fritwares from Iran often have white bases with blue or black designs painted floral or geometric designs. A common import is Bahla ware or called Khunj (Iran origin) or khatt (UAE) is a hard fired stoneware with ring base and bowls, etc. Later imported wares (post 1700 AD) include Julfar ware (poor red grit, white slip red paint decoration) and European hand painted plates. Indian wares are generally called red polished wares (RPW) because they are generally red in color with a highly polished red slip. In Dhofar they are recognized by their unique mica paste and distinctive carinate shape. Most vessels have incised and folded elaborate rims with an inside ridge for inserting a lid and almost always a carinate body. They originated from primarily western India. Most Indian wares in Dhofar can be divided into 1) plain red ware, 2) black polished ware, and 3) orange slip ware usually made in small necked vessels. Some of these wares are decorated with paddle stamp. Others are moulded or painted in black on red wares with white slip. 89

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Inherently conservative, Indian red wares have been recognized in India as early as 800 BC but they are first found in Classical context at (300 BC-350 AD), then in the Himyarite period in Shisr, and through all phases of the Abbasid and Medieval periods in Shisr and Al-Baleed. These low-fired Indian wares are cooking pots and kitchen vessels were not traded for their intrinsic value, but rather for their utilitarian functions. Based on Indian ethnographic parallels, the carinate vessels regardless of color or shape were regularly used to cook fish curry. Southeast Asian and Chinese stonewares. Stonewares in terms of texture and firing temperature are placed between the coarser earthenwares (local red and Indian wares) and the finer porcelains. Sometimes called ironware or semi-porcelain, stonewares begin to appear in China is the late centuries BC and continued to be manufactured through the following years. The earliest Chinese stoneware in the western Indian Ocean and as far west as the Red Sea and East Africa is Changsha appearing in the Abbasid period. By the Northern Sung Dynasty period, plain white wares include bowls, plates and cups with underincised carved lotus designs as well as the peony flower or gold fish as the central interior motif. These are followed by Dehua cups often called Marco Polo ware because of his description of the ware. While these ares are found in Al-Baleed, more popular are the Southeast Asian stonewares such as Swankhalok from Thailand, (pepper ware), Vietnamese high fired stonewares, Dusun jars from Borneo and Martaban wares from Myanmar. East African wares. The only pottery known to derive from East Africa and imported into Al-Baleed is called Gray Tana ware. The ware is either produced in small jars with cross hatching on the neck or much larger gray amphorae–style vessels with similar neck cross hatching. Most examples originate in the Abbasid period but continue to be imported throughout the Medieval period. Amphorae. At least eight different types of large storage vessels with handles appear to have followed the Classic period amphorae and the Late Antiquity Gaza/Aqaba type torpedo jars. The majority without handles appear to represent Indian types. Large wheel-made barrels with the neck in the center are called bariga vessels and imported from Egypt. Gray amphora with incised necks may represent East African types (Figure 6.1). Chinese porcelains. Porcelains made from kaolins and white china stone (putunzeh) were fired at much higher temperatures than stonewares and were usually pure white. They began to appear in the western Indian Ocean by ca. 750-790 AD together with Chinese stonewares. The earliest examples in Al-Baleed may date to the late Tang Dynasty. By the following Northern Sung period, at Al-Baleed a large number of white Chinese porcelains appear and are popular until the end of the Southern Sung (1290 AD). These vessels subject to import tax in the MF are called Sini. They are described by their size (platters, plates, drinking vessels and cups). Following the decline of white wares, green celadons appear by 1300 AD with plates and bowls on ring bases. Underglaze decoration included leafy vines, vertical fluting, carp fish, and fiery dragons or presentation verses in Chinese. As a group, they appear to be found at Al-Baleed primarily in the Medieval period. They were popular at Al-Baleed due to attributed magical powers of warding off food poisoning.

90

Al-Baleed ceramic typology

Figure 6.1. Amphorae: 1) Qana, 1st century BC- 3rd century AD (Sedov 1996: 15, fig. 3); 2-3) Masirah, 5th -7th century AD (Shanfari 1987: pl. 7/3 Site 64); 4) Mahawt; 5) Alto Bay (East of Mirbat), found at a depth of 11 m.

91

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Figure 6.2. Complete Celadon bowl from Al-Baleed.

Figure 6.3. Complete glass vessel from Al-Baleed.

92

Al-Baleed ceramic typology

Figure 6.4. Complete glass vessels from Al-Baleed.

93

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Blue/white porcelain appears by the mid-14th century and geometric decoration dominates the Arab market. They are easily spotted al Al-Baleed and continued to be imported until the end of the 18th century. They are usually associated with the Ming Dynasty. It is possible the Abbasid blue-white tin and splash wares were the basis for the Chinese manufacture of the blue white wares. By 1560 there was an explosion of the blue white porcelains due to the European emerging market. Following the intervention of the Europeans, famille rose and Batavia cups appear at Al-Baleed. In sum, Chinese porcelains remained popular along the South Arabian coast throughout the Abbasid and Medieval periods (Figures 6.2 to 6.4).

94

Chapter 7

Al-Baleed and the international Indian Ocean trade

Goods that were shipped to and from Zafar during the various medieval Islamic periods made money for the government by taxation. Our information during the Rasulid period is especially rich as the trade made taxation money for both the local and Aden/Taizz governments. While we have little direct historical evidence for Zafar itself, accounts from such sources as the Nur (1290-1295) and MF (1412), provide some statistics both for goods imported/exported from Zafar based on revenues generated for the Rasulid government. The customs tax was called ‘ushr pl. ‘ushur. Almost 300 goods passing through Aden in the late 13th century were subject to tax. Three taxes on them specifically are called: ‘ushur, shawani and dilalah. Profits on goods sold and purchased by merchants and/or government monopoly also generated tremendous income. Already in the 2nd century AD an Alexandrian maritime contract with a shipment of cloth textiles, ivory and nard from the Indian port of Muziris was valued (for customs) at 9 million sesterces. The historian Umara, describes the income for the Ziyadids in 976 AD as over one million aththari dinars from taxing Indian ships, the trade in copal (amber), pearling and the control of the Dahlak islands. At AlBaleed, Khazraji recounts how Al-Wathiq in Zafar entertained an important family from Baghdad (Rifai) and spent 1,000 dinars per day for three days. More generally, price establishment and its manipulation is well attested in a number of archives and texts on the Karimi merchants. Prices were controlled by merchants (or rulers) by creating a monopoly on certain goods (e.g. frankincense) or holding out until the right time for sale–hence the use of warehouses. International goods traded at Al-Baleed Maritime goods traded along the northern rim of the Indian Ocean from East Africa to China produced tremendous profits (Arabic maslahah) for merchants, taxes for governments and raised the prosperity of the countries in these regions in general. Goods shipped out of or into the Indian Ocean from the Mediterranean (Alexandria via Al-Fustat) were also important. Medieval Arab and Chinese texts are compilations of information culled from earlier sources. In the MF, compiled in 1412, the author refers to past practices in 1296, 1326, 1335 and 1301. Thus, a significant percentage of goods traded in Southern Arabia have a considerably ancient past. It is common for scholars to come across only general statements of goods “all kinds of Indian perfumes,” “medications,” and “spices too numerous to mention”. For example, frankincense and myrrh have been traded in the Red Sea since 2500 BC if not earlier and the varieties and grades must have been considerable. The reader can also examine a considerable list of traded goods in the Classical period Periplus, written ca. 150 AD, which were traded east to Muziris and west to the Red Sea and largely is similar to the goods traded in the Medieval period. Most pre-modern authorities commenting from the outside do not or cannot distinguish between local goods/commodities and those which were merely re-exported. While we have no specific lists of goods which either originated or were transshipped into and from Al-Baleed, four main sources describing the 95

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Zafar trade tangentially in either general terms or in more specific terms from other ports or records are known. The MF records over 300 taxable items and the Sung Chinese texts list over 339 items. According to Arab and Chinese sources, several prominent locales in Southeast Asia served as major transshipment ports with the West and China. Textiles / cloth / clothing By far the most popular and complex of trade goods were textiles (including cloth and clothing). The MF lists over 300 different types of textile and or clothing alone which was to be taxed (or a sale of local textiles for profit). Weaving centers for the production of textiles are also well known and a number existed regionally in Al-Baleed, Al-Shihr and elsewhere. For taxation purposes, classification was by material (silk, cotton, linen, wool and camel’s hair), weave, color, costly ingredients and origin. Forty-two types of textile/cloth are mentioned by geographical origin alone. As expected, textiles were used in every conceivable situation for domestic and official use (cf. the Rasulid army officers’ clothing brought for the conquest of Zafar) as well as household items. These included shrouds, blankets, cloaks, bed covers, sarongs (fuwwat) (14 types are mentioned in the MF, they are called “waist wrappers” or “waist skirts,” finished garments (thiyab), wraps, tunics, cushion covers, robes, veils (sata’ir), mantles and head wraps/turbans (ama’im). Silk (harir) textiles, clothing and prayer mats in the Medieval period came from both the East and West (after the 6th century AD) but were a primary Chinese export. Skeins of self-colored silk (produced as early as the 2nd millennium BC) were sent west via the Sri Vijaya great market by 600 AD. Middle Eastern silks also came from Spain and Sicily. By 600 AD, 50 ratls cost 100 dinars. Some examples of textile/cloth types available to the inhabitants of Zafar included brocade (Arabic dibaj) from either Chinese or Arabian Gulf sources, camel-hair cloth (shipped to China in the Sung period) from Camelus dromedarius, cloth interwoven with gold and/or silver threads, silk and cotton textiles, tabby (from Arabic attabi, a district in Baghdad where the cloth was produced named after the Ummayid governor ‘Attab), dyed, block printed, filigreed, peppery (fulfuli), satin (atlas), and skeins of yarn (ghazl). Little evidence remains of such vast textile production from archaeological sites. However, museums around the world hold fragments of such textiles from Byzantine, Sasanian and Islamic contexts (Table 7.1). Taxation by Government Governments made money by taxing arriving and departing goods. As late as 1970, each of the small towns connected to Salalah, such as Mirbat, Taqa, Sadh, Rakhyut and Dhalqut, had their own customs building for collecting dues as well as harbor facilities for travelers, perhaps a reflection of the earlier Iron Age-Abbasid system where custom’s houses may have been located in many of these smaller ports. At Aden the taxation system was probably a legacy from at least the South Arabic/Roman/Himyarite periods and the system increased in complexity during the Early Islamic period well into Ayyubid rule. The Muziris papyrus from the 2nd century AD, lists nard, ivory and textiles from a maritime shipment coming from Muziris in India. It was landed either at Myos Hormos or Berenike and taxed in Alexandria at a flat 25% of 9 million sesterces. The Ayyubid taxation system included according to Ibn Mujawir: a) ‘ashur qadim-custom house revenue (wa-huwa wal al-furda), b) ‘ashur al-shawani-tax for the galleys operating to protect shipping from pirates, c) adr al-wakala-merchants representing foreign mercantile 96

Damascus Al-Shihr

Bengali

Shawari

Calicut (calico)

Cambay

Al-Bunduqi (Venice)

Susi/Sawasi

(N. Tunisia)

Antioch

Thanah

Zafar

Zayla

Qoseir

Turkish

Aden

Shirazi

Yazdi

Tabriz (Tawrizi)

Baghdadi

Mewsli (Mosul) muslin

(Ar. Shashat)

Nahrawali

Qalhat

Mogadishu

Ayhdab

Suakin

Kharj

Hurmuz

Mecca

Qays

Genoa

Al-Jawani

Sarqasi

Khwarazini

Marwazi

Balbaaki

Aswan

Table 7.1. Textile types defined by geographical designation in the Mulakhkhas Al-Fitan (After Smith 2006).

Sinai

Dahlak

Damietta

Isfahani

Kanbuyah

Al-Daybul

Antali

Iraqi

Homs

Qus

Malta

Tabaristan (carpet)

Goa (Khwa’i)

Daybaq

Broach

Chinese (Sini/khitai)

1,700,000

1398

100,000

1436

Table 7.2. Port tax revenues at Aden (in gold dinars) during the Rasulid period (1229-1451 AD).

400,000

300,000 1432

1431

500,000

1,000,000

1414 1430

1,470,000

1411

1,000,000

750,000 (est)

1393

1410

300,000

600,000

1318

1228

Al-Baleed and the international Indian Ocean trade

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

interests and money, d) ar al-zakwa-alms-tax, e) al-dilala-brokerage tax and f) maks or kharj-exit tolls or taxes. The brokerage tax was given on behalf of the dallal, a customs broker whose fees were regulated by the Rasulid State. By the 13th century, the conquest and influence of the Rasulid State created the phrase Bilad Al-Tafariq-ports (east of Aden) upon which a levy of tax or contribution to a central treasury was apportioned out. In the Nur, dated to 1290, the ship taxes (ugrat al-sunbuq) were 60 dinars for ships coming from Zafar to Aden. How profitable was the taxation on goods specifically coming into or out of the ports? See Table 7.2 for examples from Aden, which would be similar at other ports, such as Al-Baleed and Al-Shihr. Income was enormous but as seen in the table above, it dwindled due to poor administration, warfare, the loss of lands during the Rasulid-Tahrid periods, and fighting with the Kathiris, etc. The revenues generated by the ports for the Rasulids were used to support the army, civil service and to subsidize rebellious tribes. Aden also controlled ash Shihr and Zafar as well as other smaller eastern ports (part of the Bilad Al-Tafariq noted above) to keep up a steady tax revenue stream and this required it to protect them from disruptions caused by local tribes and pirates. Thus, the rulers of these two cities were forced to pay taxes to the Rasulids. Governmental revenues were also used to protect merchant activities and thus their ability to generate taxes. But by 1421, at the time of En-Nasr, (1400-1426), Indian merchants bypassed Aden and went to Jedda due the ill-treatment of merchants according to Al-Maqrizi and Al-Suluk. Income was enormous but as seen in the table above, it dwindled due to poor administration, warfare, the loss of lands during the Rasulid-Tahrid periods, and fighting with the Kathiris, etc. The revenues generated by the ports for the Rasulids were used to support the army, civil service and to subsidize rebellious tribes. Aden also controlled ash Shihr and Zafar as well as other smaller eastern ports (part of the Bilad Al-Tafariq noted above) to keep up a steady tax revenue stream and this required it to protect them from disruptions caused by local tribes and pirates. Thus, the rulers of these two cities were forced to pay taxes to the Rasulids. Governmental revenues were also used to protect merchant activities and thus their ability to generate taxes. But by 1421, at the time of En-Nasr, (1400-1426), Indian merchants bypassed Aden and went to Jedda due the ill-treatment of merchants according to Al-Maqrizi and Al-Suluk. Al-Baleed, Rasulid civil service and the Indian Ocean trade The Rasulid royal court (al-bab al-sharif) had branches in various cities they controlled so at Zafar we have more details concerning officials and taxation than previously provided by various authors due to Rasulid tax documents. Our principal knowledge concerning taxes was written by a senior civil servant Al-Husayni, dated ca. 1412, but a compendium was in place from at least 1250. Husayni wrote under the name Ashraf Isma’il (1377-1401). Unfortunately, his own treatise: al-diwan al-jami’ li-il taysir fi ma’rifat altaghliyah wa al-tas’ir (the comprehensive register of the available knowledge of price calculation and the appraisal of crops) is lost. But based on a summary of information in it from other sources, in no particular order, we know that the following bureaus or offices existed in Zafar. The most important may have been the grand bureau (al-kabir), followed by the bureau in charge of crop tax (al-kharaj al-sultani), a “special” bureau (al-khass), a bureau in charge of moveable property (al-halal), the army (al-jaysh), the port customs house (al-furda), religious endowments (wuqufat), fortresses (husun), stables (al-istablat al-sa’idah), the treasury (al-khizanah), trading establishments (al-matjar), provision stores (al-hawa’ij-khanah), the secretariat (al-insha’ al-sa’id), the mint (dar al-darb), and a bureau in charge of immoveable property (al-amlak). An important bureau managed the madrasa (school) endowment. 98

Al-Baleed and the international Indian Ocean trade

Port

Tax Revenue Generated in Gold Dinars

Sunbulah (Aden)

1,470,000

Zafar al Habuzi

420,000

Al-Shihr

200,000

Jeddah

100,000

Al-Buq’ah (Zabid)

50,000

“Northern Ports” (Qunfudah)

50,000

Dahlak islands (Eritrea)

20,000

Azib (Hali)

12,500

Total

2,360,000

Table 7.3. Rasulid tax revenue generated from ports in 1411 (After Smith 2006: 40).

This bureau administered the endowment payments and bequeaths and maintenance of funds which accrued from them. They constructed new buildings, etc. The anonymous Mulakhhas Al-Fitan (MF) written in 1411 is a summary of registers dealing with imported/exported goods by Rasulid tax officers. The third section of the MF describes revenue from ports under their control. To give an idea of the sums involved, in 1303, the customs duty from one ship returning from China generated a tax of 300,000 dirhams. From the year 1411 the tax revenue for the Rasulids is recorded broken down by port (Table 7.3). Note that Al-Baleed as the furthermost eastern port of Bilad Al-Tafariq, at the end of Rasulid hegemony, contributed even in 1411 AD the second highest income from taxation. In kind taxation from the same year from Al-Baleed included a set number of cloth pieces/garments, including “mantles/cloaks,” veils and silk sarongs, these items of clothing were called futah, and were a distinctive clothing piece in Southern Arabia, anklets, bracelets, gold rings set with gems, musk, ambergris, perfume (incense), and Indian singing girls. From nearby Al-Shihr, the in-kind taxation included ambergris, camphor, pearls, wild cats and Indian dancing girls. Piracy and the Mujawwirun Naturally with these large sums of taxation levied on such great wealth, an incentive arose to either steal or capture competitors’ ships by piracy or avoid taxation all together. Some merchant ships were armed with greek fire (naft) to prevent piracy, and they tried to protect themselves also by sailing in convoys. Yet, a third category existed. Merchants known as mujawwirun are mentioned in the Rasulid Anonymous Chronicle. The base term may have come from jawwara “to smuggle” or in the sense of “to evade (taxes)”. Al-Maqrizi uses the term jawwara il la Jidda, jawwara an ‘Adan, marakib al-mujawwarim (“ships of smugglers”), as well as min al-tujjar al-mujawwarin (“merchant smugglers”). A specific term, shadd, came to define soldiers of the tax team punishing evaders. The Rasulids struggled with protection and security (al-dhimmah wa al-amanah) using galleys (shawani) of the earlier Ayyubid period to safeguard precious articles (tuhaf) and protected ports (al-thagher al-mahrus). No official standing military navy existed at this time but the Rasulids did use “armed ships” in their attack on Al-Baleed in 1278/9. 99

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Principal exports from Al-Baleed The principal export products (not transit goods) which yielded the greatest profit for both the Zafar government acting as a monopolistic agent and merchants residing at the town included: 1) frankincense (as well as other aromatics such as myrrh, terebinth, fossil copal, etc.), 2) natural dyes, 3) dried sardines, 4) horses, and 5) textiles. The latter, discussed above, also generated income and taxation but perhaps both from transshipment and from local production, both were known. Frankincense and myrrh Frankincense, Boswellia sacra (Arabic luban) comes from lbny in ESA texts, from which is derived the Greek libanos. The resinous sap from this tree is probably the most famous product of South Arabia and was probably known to both Pharaonic Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia since at least 2000 BC if not earlier, but largely associated with the descriptions of its cultivation and sale in the Classical period to the Roman west. The discovery, which only took place in the late 19th century of its restricted growth area to parts of Dhofar and northern Somalia, was soon coupled with our current knowledge of the summer monsoon. As a result, we know that the growing area of the “best” frankincense trees is to be found in a restrictive belt to the north of the Dhofar hills within the near Nejd. Pliny’s accounts, that only a certain number of families controlled the trade and sale of frankincense, gave rise to theories concerning monopolistic practices and the prices associated with the product in the classical western world. The survey and excavation of Khor Rori (Sumhuram), its surroundings and the associated collection station at Hanun in the near Nejd has also clarified the pattern of collection, distribution and relationship to the local owners. The incense was harvested in late spring and the heat of summer in the Nejd and exported after September when the seas have become calm after the summer monsoon. It was shipped by sea to Shabwa via Qana or Mayfa’a. However, there is little understanding of the process of wholesale/retail pricing and either the maritime distribution to Alexandria or the land routes to Gaza via South Arabic merchants. Frankincense was also traded eastward in the Classical period. Excavations at the southern Indian site of Pattanam (probably ancient Muziris) brought to light frankincense fragments C-14 dated to ca. 200 BC. The trade in Dhofari aromatics began much earlier than the Classical period, and its written attestation in the first regional superpowers with spendable income were of course Sumer to the northeast and Egypt to the northwest. Its popularity continued to grow after the Late Antiquity period but with a shift to different markets. Concerning specifically the incense trade in the Islamic period, Muhammed bin Habib, writing in 245/850 AD, describes “merchants of the sea” involved with bringing to seaports such as Al-Shihr varieties of incense. Clearly, these Abbasid period merchants are tied to the maritime trade involving numerous, small ports all along Dhofar. They, in turn, acted in concert with cooperating families bring incense from the near Nejd over the Dhofar hills to these ports via long established routes. From the early medieval period, Al-Biruni (d. 440/1048 AD) describes the great variety of luban obtainable at Al-Shihr. Luban is also described and taxed in a number of medieval business and tax texts. Marco Polo accurately describes the growth and harvest of frankincense at Al-Shihr. Our only real understanding as to the price manipulations and trade of frankincense comes from Marco Polo’s account (ca. 1290 AD) in his discussion of the towns of Al-Baleed and Al-Shihr. Concerning Al-Baleed, he notes that frankincense is produced here and purchased by the merchants. In his account of Al-Shihr, he goes into more detail. He clearly paints a picture of price manipulation by royal decree which involves the sale of frankincense to merchants. He notes that in this district can be found good, white frankincense of the first quality.

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This incense which Marco Polo says can be obtained quite cheaply in great quantities, however, is purchased by the ruler of Al-Shihr at a low price of 10 gold besants for one quintal and sold to merchants at 40 gold besants per quintal (a 400% markup). He does this under the direction of the sultan of Aden who monopolizes the commodity at this price. This account, 6-10 years after the Rasulid conquest of Al-Shihr and Al-Baleed, defines the monopolistic practices in the export of commodities which applied as well to madder, wars, indigo, ayd and horses. The size and value of such trade can be seen by a brief examination of the frankincense trade with Northern Sung China. Between 1070-1156, (contemporary to Al-Biruni), Chinese accounts record prices and amounts brought to China via Sri Vijaya. The Chinese record that the frankincense came from Mirbat (probably the medieval successor to Hasik), Al-Shihr and Zafar/Al-Baleed. In Sri Viyaja it was graded into thirteen types by desirability and fragrance. The best type was called in Chinese chien-hsiang “selected incense” or ti-ju “dripping milk”. In three years, (1076-78), 354,450 katis were unloaded at Hangchou (approximately 214,442 kg or 215 metric tons). In 1131 AD, 100,952 katis were imported (61,000 kg or 61 metric tons). In 1134 AD, a merchant brought in enough frankincense to be rewarded with 300,000 string of cash. In 1135 AD, 91,500 katis from Sri Vijaya (55,357 kg or 55 metric tons) were valued at 1,200,000 strings of cash, i.e. thirteen strings (13 x 37 grams) per kati. Foreign ambassadors brought frankincense as gifts to China as well. In 1156 AD a Sri Vijaya envoy brought 111,615 katis (67,527 kg or 67.5 metric tons). And in 1167 AD, a Cham emissary brought 100,370 katis of frankincense (60,723 kg or 60.7 metric tons). Due to its value and demand both locally and internationally, luban remained a trade staple well past the Rasulid period. Today, its distribution and volume harvested (primarily from northern Somalia) is somewhat limited but it can still be seen being sold by a variety of grades in modern markets over much of the Arabian Peninsula. Myrrh (Commiphora sp.) (Arabic murr) is the cousin of frankincense. This genus has over a dozen species and the famous myrrh is produced from a widespread number of small tree/shrub species found in southwest Arabia, primarily west of Dhofar. It was sold and traded in concert with frankincense and is mentioned in several medieval period taxation tables and treatises as being produced and processed at AlShihr, Al-Baleed and Mirbat. Never as internationally popular as frankincense, the Northern Sung Chinese obtained the gum resin from Mirbat and the Berbera coast in transshipment. Plant dyes The second trade item produced locally and exported were dye plants grown in the Salalah plain and west along other similar wadi deltaic plains as far as Aden. The least known of the dye plants is Memecyclon tinctorium which produced yellow dye. Ibn Khordedebeh, ca. 890 AD, Al-Hamdani ca. 850 AD, and AlBiruni (d. 1040 AD) all mention among Yemen’s commercial products which were exported the yellow dye wars(e). Ghazanfar, however, in discussing wars(e) and its use as a paste for facial application among the Harsusi, a Modern South Arabic Language group, says it is primarily yellow due to turmeric (Curcuma longa), also a local plant. The turmeric was mixed with aloe sap (subr) and flour, dried and sold in herbal shops. This may be a post Medieval usage once M. tinctorium was no longer grown. Indigo, Indigofera sp., Arabic nil, is a dye plant that reached southern Arabia from east-central Africa during the Late Neolithic (4000-3000 BC), together probably with cotton, sorghum and millets. It became a staple both for dyeing cloth and as personal adornment in South Arabia. It was treated also as a cash crop and traded in circular cake form as a concentrate by medieval merchants.

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Madder, Rubia tinctorum, Arabic fuwwa, is a red dye produced from the plant’s roots. It was grown extensively in Southern Arabia and an important cash crop for the Ayyubids, Rasulids and Tahrids. This color dye was exported on a large scale to the southeast Indian coast. Al-Mansur Oman’s visit to Aden in 1227 resulted in the forced sale of madder at an exorbitant price which echoes the monopoly practice involving frankincense at Al-Shihr reported by Marco Polo and the continued monopoly on madder by later Tahrid dynasts. The Rasulid annual visits from Aden to Taizz four times a year bearing the treasury receipts, revolved around a specific trip to the treasury with the monies received from the fuwwah crop which in 1228 averaged 150,000 gold dinars. Alternatively, the Indian nawahid picked up this cargo in Zafar, Qishn, Al-Shihr and took it to Aden. Fuwwah was the chief export from Aden in and that every year the (Tahrid) Sultan loaded 25 ships with it. Albuquerque noted in 1513 that substantial revenue for the Sultan came from madder produced in his lands. He stated that he loaded onto ships 20,000 sacks yearly and “only he can ship and buy madder”. He pays farmers 6 ashrafis and sells the madder in India for 22 ashrafis (xerafins). The Chinese imported the dye from caravan loads brought to Qais island. In ca. 1540, Badr bu Tuwayriq, redeemed at ship captured by the Portuguese and carrying madder (fuwwah) for 1800 gold ashrafis. Dried sardines Dried sardines (Arabic sardin, local Dhofari ayd) are specifically mentioned at Al-Baleed by Ibn Mujawir as being dried outside the west gate of Bab Al-Harja. Ibn Battuta mentions that sardine-feed horses from AlBaleed were shipped to India (1320). Both accounts suggest that the dried sardines were used only locally. Ethnographically, sardines are dried along the coast and are fed not only to local animals but also to the Dhofar hills cattle and camels. In 1997 the authors while surveying near Sayhut in Yemen observed bags of dried sardines carried out to waiting ships that were heading for the UAE in return for engine oil and spare parts. Using Ibn Mujawir as a guide, the sardines were not processed or dried inside Al-Baleed but outside either in adjacent villages or on the beach. In the case of frankincense, dyes, and possibly dried sardines (ayd), storehouses in the western part of Al-Baleed or large open areas (in eastern Al-Baleed) were needed to store such bulk goods destined for export. The horse trade (Mawsim Al-Khail) Horses (Equus caballus) were used primarily as a means of warfare and as an animal of prestige, once introduced into Arabia by 2200 BC. The Amorites, Arameans and Arabs soon developed specialized breeds adaptable to the desert regions of Arabia which included the now famous Arab thoroughbred. Because of their versatility in warfare, high status, and the expense involved in their breeding and maintenance, horses remained a prestige animal throughout the Peninsula well into the 20th century. From the Periplus account (ca. 150 AD), the author describes the exported goods coming to Qani, the seaport of Shabwa. It included horses, which by necessity had to come, as they did later, from the Arabian interior. The Shabwa kingdom controlled the seacoast to Ras Fartak and perhaps beyond, so the traditional sites and harbors must have contributed their share of horses, destined for the Indian market. From the Hellenistic/Parthian periods (ca. late 1st millennium BC and early centuries AD) cast bronze horse protomes (or spouts) as well as bits are known from Khor Rori, and north Oman in the Samad culture. Other examples come from ed-Dur, Mleiha and from Jebel Kenzan in the Dhahran area.

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Omani tradition involving the migration of the Azd also confirms the active horse trade in the early centuries AD and may relate the protome examples to the accounts. Malik bin Fahm is said to have brought horses northward from the Hadhramaut and bred them in the Wadi Bani Jabir area. Another legend suggests the famous Arabian breeds came from the Azd in Yemen and the Taghlib in East Arabia (Bahrain) descended from a delegation to the visit of Soloman and his prize horse stud. A third account suggests that the bursting of the great Marib dam ca. 550 AD drove horses into the desert where they were captured and bred by the Nejdi Bedouin. The name of one celebrated mare Kuhaylat al ‘Ajuz became a generic name for pure bred Arab horses (kuhaylan/kahlani/kahil). The earliest C-14 dates from Shisr/Ubar ca. 495- 595 AD suggest that the trade in goods across the interior of Arabia most likely already involved horses. The evidence for horse trade to India and their need for horse cavalry is already seen from the account of Cosmas Indicopleustes ca. 540 AD who actually traversed the Red Sea hence the name “Indian (Ocean) sea-farer/swimmer”. This Greek monk and scholar describes the trade in horses from Persia to Sri Lanka for cavalry usage: horses they bring to him from Persia and he buys them, exempting the importers of them from paying customs. The horse trade and its involvement with Al-Baleed directly takes several forms. First, relevant historical texts either deal with the trade from a merchant’s point of view or the government’s viewpoint of taxation of this trade. Secondly, artistic evidence is also available to document this trade. As we noted above in our description of the Zafar plain, the city was placed strategically from the viewpoint of climate, water and fodder. This was an ideal location for pasturing/penning and holding horses but a poor location to raise them. From here the mature animals could be shipped to India as part of the international trade. The evidence which directly involves Zafar begins with IM ca 1220 who notes that since at least 1150 AD, horses were brought to Mirbat and Zafar from the Arabian interior by Bedouin twice a year on the testimony of Habudhi. Additional Rasulid (1278) and Chinese (1422) sources document the procurement of horses at AlHasa for the journey south through the Rub Al-Khali. These routes, presumably are part of the road system uncovered by Thomas in 1929 and confirmed in 1991 by satellite imaging and visitation on the edge of the Rub Al-Khali west of Shisr. IM lays out the tax levies on goods brought to and leaving Aden in Late Ayyubid times (1202-1214). Accordingly, the ‘ashur tax was paid on horses (hisan). Goods listed as taxable coming to Aden from Zafar included some of the highest taxed items. These included levies on horses at 55 dinars a head half of which was paid in silk. A good horse in the contemporary accounts cost 100-200 ashrafis. Ibn Majid (1490-1494 AD), in his navigational treatise, specifically defines a season for the horse trade as mawsim al-khail. From contemporary Rasulid documents this season (mawsim) for the sale of horses to merchants and nakhodas in Aden began in May after foaling. Revenues generated from this taxation on horses shipped to India were so huge that they necessitated a special monetary shipment all its own to Taizz from Aden. Rasulid documents, especially the Dafter (1290-1294AD), shed more details on the horse trade. Horses from Aden were destined for the Hindu Pandyas Kingdom of Coromandel and also sold in Malabar at Fakanur and Manjalur (both seaports) in Southwest India. The continued sale of horses to India was necessitated by ill treatment and/or the Indian climate. Carswell notes that Arabian horses brought to the Indian port of Kayal in the 14th century died due to an entirely inappropriate diet given to them by their new masters. It has been suggested that the Tibi family in Qays and the Rasulids in Aden made a determined policy to control Zafar due to its lucrative horse trade. The Rasulid documents support Marco Polo that the Tibi family was contracted to deliver to Southwest India several thousand horses each year.

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Such an undertaking involved horses coming from the interior of Arabia and sent to Aden, Shihr, Zafar, Qays, Hormuz, Qalhat and Bahrain. On the other side of the coin, the Dafter also notes that horses were bought in Aden by the nawahid of India. The Rasulid documents also provide information on the list of gifts destined for Indian princes in Fakanur and Manjalur and Coromandel. In addition, the Rasulid kings sent grants to prominent Muslim merchants and imams in these same locations. Marco Polo, experiencing the events of the just-accomplished Rasulid conquest of Zafar, ca. 12801290, notes the importance of the horse trade. He observed that the horses were shipped from Aden, Al-Shihr, Zafar, Hormuz and Qays and destined for the Hindu kingdoms particularly the Delhi stables and armies already elaborated on by the Rasulid documents. The Indians, of course, also either exported these same horses to China or sold them to Chinese merchants in southern Indian ports. According to Marco Polo, the king of Ma’bar and his brothers each imported 2,000 horses per year at the cost of 100 marks of silver or 500 saggi of gold for each horse. Specifically regarding Al-Baleed, Marco Polo notes and reiterates that the many horses collected in the city came from the inland country and were shipped to India. To increase profits, he states that the Arabs did not send veterinaries on board the ships, allowing many to die. He continued by noting that the horses were shipped standing on top of other cargoes covered with hides. Samarqandi, traveling from Hormuz to Calicut, noted that the people and horses were divided into two groups. According to Vassaf, writing around 1312, Malik Al- Islam Al-Tibi of Qays was contracted to supply 10,000 horses annually to Ma’bar from Qalhat, Al-Hasa, Bahrain, Qatif, and Hormuz as well as 1400 horses from his own stables. The price of each was 220 dinars of red gold (100 marks of Marco Polo). The contract was honored even for dead horses, the merchant producing the dead animal’s tail as evidence of shipment. Barani, writing ca. 1300 records horse prices in tankas similar to those mentioned by Vassaf, the Dafter, and Marco Polo. The tanka was a Sultanate of Delhi silver coin used for price calculations. A first class horse cost 100120 tankas, a second class 80-90, a third class 65-70. Horses not fit for a master brought 10-25, the best pack mule cost 4-5 tankas and lower quality mules 3 tankas. According to IB, 1329/1349, he noted that racing horses destined for India came from al Yaman (Aden, Shihr, Zafar), Oman (Qalhat) and Fars. He also noted that Zafar horses were especially famous and from there thoroughbred horses fed sardines, were shipped to India. With the advent of the Portuguese era, the trade centers associated with the horse trade began to shift. AlBaleed, the center of the horse trade to India, belonged to the Al-Kathiri probably since ca. 1420-1450. As such, being a diversified tribal group, they controlled both the interior and the coast. Albuquerque (15071513) was quick to note that the horse trade had a political as well as economic side and he attempted to corner the market. By his time, one excellent horse cost 500 ashrafis, with an average horse bringing 100200 ashrafis. The horse trade, in spite of the Portuguese and Turks, however continued to thrive locally into the 16th century. Aden under the Tahrids continued to export them. However, the pressure to make a profit from the trade of horses was apparently too much for Badr Bu Tuwaryq (1516-1564) who was in competition with the Mahra sultans, the Portuguese, the Ottoman Turks and the Egyptian Mamluks. Why did he institute a ban (taridj) on the trading of horses, along with one on sardines and luban? Although he recanted the ban on sardines and frankincense export, the ban on horses was never lifted. Scholars have suggested the horse trade, once so prominent, attracted the Portuguese and Turks who would have destroyed the town to possess the horse trade. However, the incentives to sell only sardines and frankincense were not enough to stanch the loss of cash from the lucrative horse trade. 104

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Figure 7.1. “Abu Zayd and Al-Harith sailing” in Al-Maqamat of al Harīrī Al-Basrī, Folio 119 Verso, ca. 1237 AD (Bibliothèque Nationale de France).

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Thus, the lack of horse sales, meant a cash flow problem which led to agricultural decline as well as ending the town’s ability to maintain civic buildings. By 1630-1690, the horse trade had all but ceased to exist along South Arabian ports. From the desert outpost of Shisr/Ubar controlled by Al-Baleed, C-14 dates suggest a lively trade in goods including horses probably as early as 400 AD. Badr bu Tuwayrq built the last fort at Shisr perhaps around ca. 1525/1530. In the North a similar pattern can be observed. The horse trade from northern ports was extremely active during the 12th - 15th centuries AD. Both Rasulid and Chinese sources note the trade of horses from the Arabian interior, especially Al-Hasa, to Qalhat, which was already in decline by 1507. Power had shifted to Hormuz and Muscat. Albuquerque still noted however in the same year that Qalhat was a great entrepot of shipping where people came to take horses and dates to India. Even in 1529, Omani merchants were still active in shipping horses to Goa. The horses which were to be shipped to India required food and lodging until their departure. The plan of the paddock area near the north wall and the large open area east of the citadel and ZCM, suggests these open areas with available water from the small check dam and sluices stabled horses. The constructed sunshades supported by wooden poles on stone foundations also aided in their upkeep. In the North, Bras de Albuquerque describes Khor Fakkan: in the town there were [...] large stables for horses and many straw lofts for their straws, for this port exports many horses to India. At Qalhat the large open spaces outside the city walls were probably stable areas with water cisterns. How were the horses loaded onto sea-going ships? Excavations at Al-Baleed have brought to light facilities which both had the capacity to care for numerous horses while in transit and for their loading onto ships. The large east jetty complex with walls and superstructures, dry dock facilities, and small loading platforms on the interior east lagoon were constructed for shipping horses to large deep sea booms waiting offshore. Large dhows could accommodate 100 passengers and 70 horses for a total of 100-400 tons of cargo depending on ship size. Abdur Razak (1450 AD) discusses Arab dhows in India with both passengers and horses. At least two depictions of dhows and Arab horse traders are known. From a mural in the temple in Tamil Nadu, dated to the 17th century, Muslim merchants and horses in an Arab dhow are depicted. Finally, in the Hampi museum in south-central India, Karnatka State, a sculptured depiction of an Arab horse seller dated to the 14-15th century AD has been noted. Curiously, the Zheng-Ho expeditions to the Indian Ocean include among the treasure, supply, billet and combat ships, ships labelled “Horse Ship”. Why did the Indian Medieval political states require Arabian horses? Apparently these states insisted on large cavalry contingents including archers and it has been suggested the Indian climate, like that at AlBaleed, was inhospitable for the reproduction of first-rate war horses or that they were treated and fed badly. For prestige, local bred horses in India were considered poor quality. The rise of the Cholas (10701122 AD) and their desire for imported Arab horses, coincided with the growth of Al-Baleed. Thus, the west coast of India including Gujarat, Konkan and Malabar/Kerala had strong ties to South Arabia and Al-Baleed since at least the early Alupa Dynasty (ca. 650 AD). Subsequent dynasties (Calukya, the Colas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagara) improved and expanded the Arabian horse trade (the so-called kudiraichettis, the horse traders of Kerala). The Rasulids established embassies and delegations to presumably enhance the horse trade. Note that Rasulid ‘mustard ware’ sherds (also called Yemen Yellow) have been found throughout the South Arabian littoral from Abyan as far as Ras Al-Khaimah, East Africa and the Red Sea. Dated between 1270-1410 AD, the distinctive sherds have been reported from Sanjan as well.

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Zafar to Aden

November 2 (on the dimani Southwest wind or Monsoon winds)

Zafar to Aden

November 20 (arrival of the largest number of Zafari boats in Aden. Also July 25 and July 31-August 20).

Aden to Misr

November 21 (end of sailing (sa’ih) of the Egyptian karimi merchant ships from Aden).

Aden to Zafar

March 23 (sailing to Zafar to put in from a swell which allows Zafari boats to return to Aden, also December 23, May 24, June3).

Zafar

June 16 – the thick mist (kharf**) is present in Zafar.

Misr to Aden

July departure of Egyptian karimi merchant ships from Egypt to Aden.

Aden to Zafar

August 24 (sailing of Zafari ships from Aden by those who want to return to Aden in a short time.

Zafar

September 4 (the thick mist is lifted from Zafar).

Zafar to Hind

September 6 (last sailing of Indian ships from Aden and their first sailing from Zafar).

Zafar to Al-Shihr

January 17

Table 7.4. Sailing schedule for Zafar from the almanac al-Tabsira fi ilm al-nujum of Al-Malik Al-Ashraf (Varisco 1994: 231).

As noted earlier, while the height of Al-Baleed expansion and intensity with the horse trade started with the Colas and Hoysalas, the unique Al-Baleed installations described above are primarily contemporaneous with the Vijayanagara Dynasty (1350-1565 AD). Since Vijayanagara was an inland capital, the horses were imported through several western ports especially Bhatkal and Goa. The trade in horses to India did not cease with the problems associated with the South Arabian coast. The trade continued through the 19th and well into the 20th century but shifted north via Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait in the Arabian Gulf. Horses were brought to the coast from Hail and the northern Nejd. And they continued to be transported in a special type of baghalah with upper and lower decks, most likely very similar to those described and depicted in the medieval period from Al-Baleed. An average dhow could carry between 80 and 100 horses per voyage going to Mumbai. The ship would also pick up horses at Bandar Abbas and Hormuz. Even in the 19th century, the economics of the trade were still lucrative. In 1816 an average horse, costing 300 rupees (Rs) was sold in Mumbai for 800 Rs. Brucks noted in 1822-24 that a number of fine “Nujdee” horses were still exported from Al-Zubarah in north Qatar to India even after its initial demise by the Omanis in 1811. Leachman in 1912 noted that the town of Shagra northwest of Riyadh supplied horses to the Indian market.

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Mu’allim (Navigators) Ahmed ibn Majid was born in 1435 in Julfar and died in 1502. He was probably the most famous mu’allim, best known for his kitab al-Fawa’id fi usul al-Bahr wa al-qawa’id written ca. 1489 (The Book of Useful Information on the Principles and Rules of Navigation). Of course, sea travel by pilots and merchants certainly goes back to the Bronze Age (see above) and is well known in the Classical period, e.g. the Periplus, ca. 150 AD. In the Islamic period, Ibn Khordedebeh, ca. 850 AD, describes ports and safe anchorages. The earliest Islamic Indian Ocean pilots named in Ibn Majid are Persian ca. 1000 AD. The other famous pilot was Sulaiman Al-Mahri a native of Al-Shihr, ca. 1511. To him, Aden and Muscat were the most important ports. Al-Mahri, following earlier accounts, divides the southern Arabian coast as follows: 1) Oman, 2) Ras Al-Hadd-Masirah (Atwah), 3) Masirah-Fartak (Al-Ahqaf including Zafar and the home of the people of Ad) and 4) Fartak-Bab Al-Mandeb (Ard Al-Juzr). Both pilots describe Zafar as a main port as well as Qishn (Mishqas), Taqa and Mirbat. Al-Mahri also identifies Ras Mutawwaq (Jinjali), Khor Hasik and Ras Nuss (Portuguese Noz). Using the first kaws mawsim sailing dates for 1485 which involved Zafar as recounted by Ibn Majid and Al-Mahri, we see the following schedules: 1) Zafar-Gujarat and Malabar (February 15-20), 2) ZafarMalacca (Feb 25-26), 3) Zafar-Hind-Hormuz (September 3-14), 4) Zafar-African Coast (October 28) and 5) Socotra-Zafar (March 22). From the almanac al-Tabsira fi ilm al-nujum of al-Malik al-Ashraf (1295-1297), but probably written in 127, we see a more comprehensive sailing schedule for Zafar (Table 7.4).

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Chapter 8

The inland trade to the Hadhramaut and East Arabia

Maritime trade is of course important, but so was inland trade. Travel inland from port cities and generally overland in South Arabia during the Classical and Early-Medieval Islamic periods was arduous. The journey overland to the Hadhramaut from Al-Baleed took 16 days. The trip overland to Aden from Al-Baleed lasted one month. The journey overland from Al-Baleed to north Oman took 20 days. The Rub Al-Khali The inland trade of goods astonishingly went through the Rub Al-Khali sands to eastern Arabia and southern Iraq. To examine one of these routes, the Trans Arabia Expedition began in l989 by studying satellite imagery and matching it with the known coordinates supplied in 1930 by Bertram Thomas who was told of the road to Wubar across the sands. But the account of inland travel can begin with Ali Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Khazraji who died in 812/1408 and ended his narrative history in 803/1400. He paraphrases the account of the Rasulid conquest of Al-Baleed. Of interest here is his statement that there was a rumor that a cavalry contingent of Bahrain would aid the Habudite forces. At this time, the term Bahrain defined eastern mainland Arabia and included Hasa, Jabrin, Qatif and Dammam as well as Qatar and the island of Bahrain. The arrival of such a contingent would have of course meant using the route across the Rub Al-Khali described by IM some 60 years earlier. Yaqut (1225 AD), a contemporary of IM even suggested that Al-Baleed was subject to Bahrain. With the conquest of Al-Baleed by Al-Mudhaffer in 1278, other dignitaries paid homage to him including the Lord of Bahrain who came himself to Zabid. This narrative thus emphasizes that there was a strong link between Eastern Arabia and Al-Baleed. IM in 1220, some sixty years before Al-Mudhaffer’s conquest of Zafar, describes in TM 268 the journey to Raysut from Baghdad. Raysut he says is three parsangs west of Zafar and you cross Ras Al-Himar at the end of Ghubbat Al-Qamr. IM continues by saying that Raysut used to be a great town and there was a road to it from Baghdad (probably since at least 500/750 AD; see the site assessment of Raysut, above). It was probably this same road which later went to Zafar in 1150 AD. This road to Raysut was paved (mutabbaq) and plastered with gypsum and lime. Caravans brought goods (barbahar) or footware (khuff ) to Raysut, taking inland goods from India like brass (sufr), cinnabar (zunjufr or zinjifr), rosewater and silver bullion from old vessels and coins. He adds mysteriously that it was destroyed by constant use, which we can interpret to mean the abandonment of the route or a shift to Al-Baleed. IM also describes another old route from Baghdad to Zafar and Mirbat. He states that bedouin travelled along the route twice a year bringing horses to Zafar/Mirbat and taking back north incense/perfume and wheat (burr) or cloth (bazz). The “sandy tract” he refers to is the Raml Al-Juz used by the ‘Uqail tribe to gather horses near Wadi Dawasir with the Mahra. IM goes on to say that the use of this road system was halted in insecure times and according to the Bedouin was resumed with the control of Zafar by Habudhi.

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The Bedouin traveled on this road to Zafar directly with horses where they conducted business. Habudhi inquired of their origin which they stated was Najaf/Karbala in southern Iraq. They said that they then proceeded south to eastern Arabia where the road bifurcated-one road going to Al-Hasa and Al-Qatif and the other branch to Mirbat and Zafar. Habudi proceeded to suggest that more people from Baghdad would come south if they knew the road was frequented and populous. The Bedouin ceased to travel on it according to IM because of prolonged strife in the region (ca. 1219 AD). This suggests the route was used since at least 400 AD and well through the Abbasid period since the Raysut site dates to the Himyarite and Abbasid periods. Sprenger (1867) describes this route, translating Ibn Khordedebeh, who writes of the overland and maritime routes that linked the Abbasid Empire to the world and describes a definite Rub Al-Khali crossing to Mirbat/Zafar/Raysut. Looking at the route system from the northern end of the Rub Al-Khali, Philby upon visiting Jabrin noted the local legend that the Al-Murra Bedouins were driven into the desert by Ad ibn Kin’ad (Shadad) himself, the king of Wubar, who destroyed the area creating a large ash deposit (the Umm an-Nussi site). The attacks by the people of Ad presumably reflect on past incursions by the Shahra/Mahra into the area. Both “Hellenistic” and Islamic period settlements and forts have been identified at Jabrin – the first major and significant source of water for travelers coming from the southern desert. Whitcomb made a brief ceramic study of the Islamic period in the area from material collected by the Comprehensive Survey teams of Saudi Arabia in 1975-l977. The Early Islamic period (630-870 AD) was succeeded by the Carmathians (880-990AD) who inhabited Al-Hasa with incursions into Bahrain, Iraq and Oman. They received tax monies for escorting trading caravans as well as the Hajj pilgrims. By 1067 AD, power in Hasa and Jabrin shifted to the Beni Murra, under Abdallah ibn ‘Ali Al-‘Uyuni who was also related to the later Zafar Kathiris. Trade was conducted in lead currency recalling the later words of IB: “Zafar dirhams of this city are made of brass and tin”and used extensively at Siraf. Canal irrigation systems produced major agricultural harvests due to wealth generated by taxation. Between 1067-1339 AD, Uyunid control of the Murra and the southern oases was well established. After 1339, local politics led to isolation and fragmentation. By 1550-1750, Bahla wares reappear in the record, as well as Chinese celadons/porcelains due to Turkish domination in the region. Thus, the early routes from Al-Hasa and Jabrin to Baghdad and Raysut/Zafar were tied to the Carmathian experience. The road closings in the 11th century were most likely caused by the political changes initiated by the Uyunid Beni Murra. After 1339, a downward trade curve developed by the instability caused by Murra fragmentation followed by Turkish-Portuguese interventions along southern and eastern Arabia. Nevertheless, some trade was still flourishing along the old routes after 1500 AD since Carter states that Badr bu Tuwayq, ca. 1540 AD, built the (last) fort atop Shisr which guarded the waterhole. The physical Rub Al-Khali route Returning to our account of rediscovering the physical route Thomas had seen, we see that Thomas, in his initial crossing of the Rub Al-Khali, noted in 1929 that his guides said the road(s) they encountered in the area of Wadi Mitan went to Wubar. He noted this location by longitude-latitude at 18º 45’N and 52º 30’E bearing 325º. In 1989, scientists from JPL/NASA obtained space images of the precise area where Bertram Thomas had seen the Wubar roads some sixty years earlier. These images indeed showed faint traces of well-defined ancient roads. Based on these images, the Trans Arabia team visited the locale in 1990.

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Physical reconnaissance coupled with space images revealed over 30 km of these roads between large dunes along gravel plains at the southern edge of the Rub Al-Khali. The well-defined road was over 5 m wide in some locations and could be traced due to the high polish of the gravel plain left behind by animal and human tracks. Several locales with way stops revealed typical Shisr–Al-Baleed type ceramics of the Abbasid–Early Medieval periods. However, it should be cautioned that these tracks may represent only a skirting of the Rub Al-Khali as caravans and pilgrims moved westward only along its fringes heading to western Arabia and Mecca. The more direct northerly route across the desert to Jabrin as followed by Thomas and reported by Philby can be inferred by the presence of stone-cut wells in a number of locations such as Bir Muqaynima, Farajja (Ptolemy’s Faratha?), at-Tuiwayrifa and Bir Fadil. It would appear there were at least two major arms of the route from Shisr/Ubar, one branching more easterly through Farajja and Bir Fadil to Jabrin and the western route seen by Thomas through Bir Muqaynima helping affirm earlier historical sources. Wubar/Al-Shisr Thomas, as we have indicated, in his epic traverse across the Rub Al-Khali quotes bedouin who not only pointed to the area of the Wubar road but also indicated the direction of the “lost city of Wubar” which included a fort constructed of red silver with date gardens and rich in treasure, now lying under the sands. The initial Trans Arabia Expedition reconnaissance which took place in 1990 had as its goal to locate the Thomas road system and discover the legendary city of Wubar. In July of 1990, the first goal was accomplished but the identification of a lost city in the dunes of the Rub Al-Khali did not occur. However, if we assume instead, that the road system reported by Thomas came from Wubar outside the sands and did not lead to it in the sands, the site and ruined fort of Shisr (as well as perhaps Habarut) fits the various accounts of past writers. The site is located on a large prominent collapsed limestone dome at the base of which the cracked aquifer from the Umm Ad Radhuma A formation issues forth as a spring. Smaller collapsed and fractured valleys lie just north of the Shisr dome. It is possible that faulting and/or earthquakes created this local phenomenon. The geological setting and the location of the water was first described geologically in 1948 by the visit of Michael Morton. The site is reached from Al-Baleed by following a very old route via Ayun, Ma Shadid, Khadim and Matafah, along principally the Wadi Ghadun. Excavations at the fort took place between 1991-1994. It soon became clear that a fairly large structure (45 x 42 m) was constructed around the spring in order to guard and control its use. The outer wall, 90 cm uniformly thick and approximately 1.5 m high, was punctuated by a series of round and square towers. This wall contained regularly spaced internal partitions or rooms 1.10 m wide and extending inward for approximately 1 m. The gate in the wall was located on the west side just south of a large rectangular administrative building. Four-fifths of the gate has now collapsed into the cavern below. A 7 m gap in the east wall was probably made by post-occupation (ca. 1500 AD) bedouin bringing their animals inside for water. A careful examination of the exterior wall revealed a smaller inner portion and a larger outer part, perhaps similar in plan and construction to that at Al-Baleed. The only formal building located inside the walls is found in the western area-a type of “administration” building with several rooms and partitions. Orientated to the cardinal points, this building was later filled with stone and mudbrick and a small platform built over it as a promontory fort, perhaps in mid-16th century AD.

111

Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The current large hole and scarp over the spring below may have been much smaller in the ancient past, but over time, blocks of limestone have exfoliated and fallen. Even more recently, limestone blocks were observed cracking away from the dome (1993) and extending the size of the fissure. A brief examination of the Shisr spring area in 1992 with a radar sled suggested the drift sand deposit was underlain by earlier block debris at a 7 m depth. Small test excavations in 1994 revealed a deposit of camel dung 2 m in depth, preceded by visible evidence of the gateway stone collapse, which in turn was underlain by large limestone blocks suggesting a major cave collapse. Below this at 4 m depth, a living surface revealed sherds and flint. This unique outpost was surrounded in the distant past by gardens and trees on the south (just as it was in 1990) as revealed by a small-scale survey of the region. To the east, along the sandy plain, a remnant of an Ice-Age river system, in addition to numerous Upper Palaeolithic (100,00030,000 BP) and Neolithic sites (8000-5000 BP), a large number of fireplaces were encountered filled with fire-cracked rocks. Ceramic material was often present. Several C-14 dates prove that the encampments were contemporary to the occupation of the citadel area (1150-1370 AD). These remains suggest groups of people (and animals) camped in the region taking advantage of both the vital oasis food and water supplies during the heyday of Nejdi trade. The archaeological history of the site can be divided into phases based on the twelve recorded C-14 dates, localized micro-stratigraphy, and excavated artifacts. Excavations on a three m. square grid took place primarily in the small internal compartments of the wall as well as in the towers. Since each individual compartment had its unique history due to modern Bedouin usage (some were empty, some occupied early in the site’s history, some later in the sequence), a single overall chronology could not be obtained from any given compartment and thus this required the construction of a generalized composite sequence taken from all of the compartments emended by archaeological information found elsewhere in South Arabia. Based on these dates and the ceramic material excavated from Shisr, we can reconstruct a local time line which can be fitted into an already existing regional chronology developed at Al-Baleed and other Dhofari sites (Figures 8.1 and 8.2). Shisr, Sakalan, the Iobaritae and the Himyarites: Al-Baleed City Period Ia. In spite of Classical period texts such as Ptolemy cited above, the historical Classical period of the Shisr/Wubar settlement(s) has not been associated with archaeological remains. This could be explained by the vagaries of preservation at Shisr, the lack of our understanding of local Classic period ceramics, the attachment of the name to a different site, or the arbitrary nature of obtaining C-14 dates from available organic remains such as charcoal, shells, bones, etc. (This problem is also found in Pliny’s use of the term Hasich, which also has not been found in the area of modern, medieval or Abbasid Hasik). Ptolemy’s mention of the Iobaritae as a region, dated to ca. 150-200 AD, refers to a group of people living near the incense country called Sakalan/Sachalites (“then near the Sachalita region are the Iobaritae”). The term Sakalan, as we know, first occurs in formal ESA inscriptions at Khor Rori both in architectural texts as well as on portable bronze objects. In all cases, the full term is ‘rd s’klhn-Land of Sakalan. This term is also duplicated in the Hanun waterhole/frankincense collection point inscription. This term became Sachalite in the Periplus and Ptolemy. Sakalan as a geographical term for the Dhofar hills and the near Nejd, continued to be used in the Wadi Jowf Himyar period inscription of 489 AD, and in a corrupted form in Tabari (ca. 620 AD) as well as in Ibn Khordedebeh (ca. 850 AD).

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The inland trade to the Hadhramaut and East Arabia

Figure 8.1. Shisr/Ubar.

Figure 8.2. The chess pieces from Shisr dating to the 10th century AD (Courtesy of the Museum of the Frankincense Land).

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

The term Iobaritae suggests people living in a (northern) proximity to the Dhofar hills and the near Nejd, and could be interpreted to include the settlements at Shisr and Habarut. This term was regularized by Arab historians as Ubar/Wabar and Glaser thought the term referred to the Mahra. It was never used as a term to define one city but rather, in conjunction with the terms Ad and Al-Ahqaf, used to refer to various ancestral groups of the current MSAL speakers. The term may be retained in the oasis settlements of (H) abar(ut) and/or Al-Abr further west. At Shisr, a C-14 date suggests the initial complex was perhaps constructed in the 4th century AD. The presence of a very distinctive pottery type-a large open bowl with incised rims and body as well as appliqué suggests Himyarite imports. Very similar pottery was excavated at Aththar on the southern Red Sea coast and at Najran. These wares dated to the 6th or early 7th centuries AD, parallel the material found at Shisr. Himyarite connection at Shisr is also supported by the presence of mid-4th century AD Himyarite coinage found at Khor Rori as well as at Qani. More easily identified red and black Indian polished wares are present at Shisr in a wide variety. As we have shown earlier, such an Indian corpus type stretches back to the late centuries BC and continues in use uninterrupted at major sites in India and Sri Lanka (Muziris, Arikamedu, Tissamaharama) well into the Abbasid period. While a coherent seriation of Indian red and black wares has yet to be satisfactorily worked out, it is astonishing that such a large number of Indian wares are present at Shisr and undoubtedly reflect close contact with Al-Baleed/Raysut. We may venture to suggest that a small Indian community was present at Shisr to direct the important horse trade since at least Late Antiquity. Shisr and the Abbasid period: Al-Baleed City Period Ib The next period has a cluster of three C-14 dates (920-1150 AD) which belongs to the Abbasid period perhaps known as the Minjui period according to local Dhofaris. The dates are supported by the excavated remains of Abbasid barbotine blue and sgraffiato sherds. The very distinctive dot/circle ware found in City Phases I-II at Al-Baleed and elsewhere in Early Islamic context in Dhofar occurs in profusion at Shisr. Here, the type dates in large part to the Abbasid period perhaps ending by 1150 AD. A unique group of pottery consists of basement complex grit wares with punctuate design, usually found in the Mirbat-Sadh area, and excavated in City Phase Ib context at Al-Baleed. The finds suggest routes linking Hasik to Shisr in this period. The sandstone chess set consisting of eight pieces (three pawn/djundi/baydaq, one knight/faris, one castle/rook/rukh, one bishop/fil, the queen/firzan/wazir and king/shah) excavated at Shisr, belongs to this period and is a unique find from Arabia in stratified context. Shisr and the Medieval Islamic period Al-Baleed City Period II, defined by the Habudhi Dynasty, is represented by one date (1240 AD) at Shisr. The succeeding Rasulid period of Al-Baleed City Phase III is defined by four, 14th century dates here (13201370 AD). In terms of pottery, at the site we find a large number of red grit wares, shell temper brown wares with punctuate designs, as well as typical Ain Humran burnished jars with both incised and purple painted designs. The Indian red and black wares usually have more elaborate rims in this period. Clay lamps and incense stands are also typical of the period. Examples of Yemeni yellow ware (found throughout the Rasulid period phase at Al-Baleed), as well as steatite vessels and large circular basalt grinding stones provide a convincing tie with Al-Baleed and points west. At least twelve copper and silver coins most likely come from this period as well. They remain to be identified but two silver dirham coins found at Shisr were 114

The inland trade to the Hadhramaut and East Arabia

minted by the last Rasulid ruler Al-Nasir Ahmad (1400-1424 AD) to control Al-Baleed (and presumably Shisr). Glass vessel and glass bracelet fragments also are found in abundance. The latest phase of the site again is poorly represented. Carter suggested the late fort built on top of the administrative building was constructed by Badr Bu Tuwayriq (ca. 1540 AD). Haize green wares, of the 15th-16th centuries AD, have been found at the Shisr site, but most likely the site was reduced to protecting the water hole for Bedouin alliances, not for cross-Rub Al-Khali trade. The remarkable nature and location of this settlement clearly suggests it functioned as an outpost and terminal for interior Arabian trade on behalf of the city of Al-Baleed and perhaps Raysut earlier. This, in turn, clearly suggests and supports the view that Al-Baleed was founded by the Himyarite period and flourished (City Phase Ia) throughout the succeeding Abbasid/Minjui period (City Phases Ib and II). The importation of goods and luxury items (including games such as chess and mankala) also point to a rich international caravan trade to East Arabia (as described above by IM and others). With the exception of the key site of Habarut which has similar Early and Medieval Islamic materials associated with an imposing fort, Shisr/Wubar represents the sole site functioning in this deep interior capacity found along the Nejd/ Sands interface to date. The demise of Al-Baleed and the region In traditional terms, historians state that Al-Baleed, the town and region underwent a severe economic decline with the arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean in 1498 AD. It may have already been suffering an economic downturn with siltation problems of the lagoons and being supplanted in the West Indian Ocean by Gujaratis by 1530 AD. Thus, due to these and other historical, social, and ecological factors, it was abandoned as a thriving city sometime in stages between 1500-1700 AD. Archaeologically, this period corresponds to City Phase V. However, the situation is more complex than previously stated. AlBaleed, as the administrative and political center of Zafar, certainly was abandoned or severely dilapidated by the time of the Jesuit account in 1590. This was due to the decline and perhaps their inability to control the larger Arab Indian Ocean trade. The prohibition bans on trade by Badr bin Tuwayriq probably were enacted to deflect Portuguese and Ottoman attention. Loss of trade meant loss of profits and the demand for local products. This, in turn, affected taxation-the lifeblood of the Al-Baleed center. Therefore, the decline of the financial and political center led to people moving away to other more thriving ports or forcing people to pursue local subsistence farming activities in the Salalah plain away from formal Al-Baleed. Thus, the planting of cash crops (madder, wars, indigo, cotton) was halted and viable food crops began to be emphasized. This stimulated the growth and identity of smaller communities (Dahariz, Hafa, Salalah, etc.) at the expense of the formal town which shrank in size. A survey of regional cemeteries supports this view. In many cases, they date to post 1600 AD (see above). Thesiger in 1945 stated that 5000 people lived in the area and the small coast market had few merchants. In terms of archaeology, it is difficult to distinguish between the last/latest occupation of Al-Baleed in a formal sense and the presence of European and Chinese ceramic wares on the site after 1600 AD, which probably represent rubbish/trash thrown on the site from the surrounding small hamlets. Indeed, syringes, medicine vials, tires, ceramic plates, glass, and other rubbish typify to its use as a dump until 1978 when the first fence was erected to protect Al-Baleed. Certainly, Carter’s arrival and description in1839 suggests Al-Baleed had been abandoned perhaps for over a century or more. 115

Appendix 1

The historical chronology of Al-Baleed/Zafar

70-150

Pliny, Periplus, Ptolemy - first western historical mention of Sakalan coast (Book VI, 7,11). Khor Rori ESA inscriptions: ard skln

489

Wadi Jowf inscription mentioning the tribes of Sakalan

540

Cosmas Indicopleustes “Homerite Country”

630

Tabari references to Luban country, Shahra-Mahra

830

Ibn Ziyad

870

Ibn Khordedebeh – Awkalan land

970

Minjui moved to old Mirbat

1020

Minjui tombstone in Al-Robat

1096

Rashid bin Ahmed bin Abda (Ibn Al-Athir)

1116

Abdulla bin Rashid

1145

Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Manjuwija (Idrisi)

1156

Sultan Qutb Al-Din Tamahtan bin Turan-Shah ruler of Hormuz attacked Zafar

1159

Bani Majid expelled from Yemen, some went to Zafar

1200

Hadhrami troops repulsed after a siege of 50 days (Idrisi)

1202

Ayub killed (governor) Mohammed bin Mohammed

1207

Ahmed bin Mahmood Al-Himyari Al-Habudi (Minjui prince) Saif bin Islam ruler of Aden An enterprising Hadhrami from Habuzah just outside Seyyun, in charge of agriculture and tijarah (merchants) under the Badawi Manjui ruler succeeded the Manjuis in about 600/1203. He was in charge of revenue collection (jibayah) after the Rasulids conquered the Hadhramaut (1215?)

1219

Yamamah Bedouin bring horses to Zafar from the desert

1222

Habudhi destroys the town of Zafar rebuilding north of it a new town Al-Ahmadayya (fearing capture by the Ayyubid ruler of Aden) Ibn Khaldun

1227

Habudhi dies

1232

Mohammed bin Ali bin Hassan Al-Kallai (buried at Al-Robat)

1254

Abu Bakr bin Mohammed bin Amr Al-Hazaz (Minjui) Mohammed Abu Bakr (son)

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

1265

Persian Amir of Hormuz attacks Zafar Mahmud b. Ahmded Al-Kusi

1271

Salim bin Idris Al-Habudhi (came from Hadhramaut)

1278

Malik Al-Mudhaffer II kills Salim bin Idris at Auqad (Al-Khazaraji)

1292

Ibrahim bin Yusuf Wathiq

1285

Marco Polo description

1286

A great hurricane/cyclone hits Zafar

1301

Wathiq dies (see his tombstone in the V&A, London)

1311-1325 1325

Al-Faiz, his son succeeds him, army from Al-Shihr Cyclone Ibn Battutta visit Nasir bin Malik Al-Mogaith (grandson of Wathiq) stops payment to Taizz

1347

Ibn Battuta’s second visit (he describes the tombstone of Wathiq in Al-Robat, as well as the tomb and zawiyyah of Sheikh Mohmmed Abdul Qadir grandson of Wathiq (Sayyid Shamasa tombstone seen in Al-Robat)

1366

Abu Mahmud, envoy from ruler of Zafar reached Al-Afdal Al-Abbas (1363-1375) requesting status of na’ib for his master which was granted

1393

Mohammed bin Ahmed Qara (wali) to Al-Shihr

1394

Nasir Al-Din Mohmmed bin Amr Al-Tiryati, Rasulid control

1395

Rasa and Badr Al-Shahab Al-Habrali Al-Dhofari from Hadhramaut to Dhofar captured from Tiryati (Al Kathiri?)

1396

Shahab Ahmed Beni Al-Tiryati (Rasulid governor) with Ibn Jadwan Al-Hasarv (Bedouin) from Zafar Tiryati goes to court and asks for financial assistance

1397

Rasulids (Tiryati) defeated by Habrali (800 AH)

1398

Sayyid bin Ali Al-Habd attacked Sheikh Mohammed bin Abu Bakr at Al-Robat

1398

Taizz Sultan Al-Mujahid Al-Wathiq Al-Dhofari entered Al-Shihr and took Zafar. Sheikh Badr Al-Shahab Al-Habrali kept Zafar

1400

Al-Kathiri regain control

1446

End of Rasulid/Tahrid control

1446

Ali bin Omar Al-Kathiri

1470-1490

The Kathiris control Al-Shihr from Zafar

1507

Alfonso d’Albuquerque pillages the coast

1516

Badr bin Tuwayriq, Sheikh of Sayyun, takes Hadhramaut and Zafar as far east as Sharbithat

1526

Hector da Silva attacked Mirbat/Zafar

1539

Sulayman Pasha established rule in Sana’a as far as Zafar

1553

Portuguese attacked Zafar (repulsed) (Fernandez da Noronha)

1570

Badr bin Tuwayriq dies

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1590

Jesuits going to Ethiopia from Goa captured and brought to Zafar

1623

The Jesuit Manuel de Almeida describes land of “King of Dhofar and Shisr”

1692

Zafar warring with Al-Shihr and Qishn People trading coconuts, luban, ghee (same as in 1883)

1705

Hamilton/Symison visit

1800

Sayyid Mohammed Akil arrives at Zafar from Mocha

1805

At Kamaran island captured American ship Essex

1806

He kept American cabin boy from Essex

1829

The Qara kill Akil

1829

Sultan of Muscat Sayyid Said invited to Zafar

1835-1847

S.B. Haines, Wellsted, Cruttenden, Carter, Hultgen visit

1851-1876

Al-Kamil Al-Athir 13 vols, (al Kamil fi Al-Tarih), The Complete History. C.J. Tornberg 1851-1876 (13 vols.) Leiden: E.J.

119

Suggested readings

AVANZINI, A. (ed.) 2002. Khor Rori Report 1 (Arabia Antica, 1). Pisa, Edizioni Plus-Università di Pisa. AVANZINI, A. (ed.) 2008. A port in Arabia between Rome and the Indian Ocean (3rd C. BC-5th C. AD). Khor Rori Report 2 (Arabia Antica, 5). Rome, L’Erma di Bretschneider. BATTUTA, Ibn 1929. The Travels of Ibn Battuta. H. Gibb translator. London, Hakluyt Society. BENT, T. 1895. Exploration of the Frankincense Country, South Arabia. The Geographical Journal 6, 109–34. BOXER, C.R. 1969. The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415-1825. New York, Alfred A. Knopf. BOXER, C.R. 1983. New Light on the Relations between the Portuguese and the Omanis, 1613-1633. Journal of Oman Studies 6.1, 35–39. CARTER, H.J. 1846a. A Descriptive Account of the Ruins of El-Balad. Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society 7, 225–237. CARTER, H.J. 1846b. The Ruins of El-Balad. THe Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 16, 187–199. CASSON, L. 1989. The Periplus Maris Erythraei: text with introduction, translation, and commentary. Princeton, Princeton University Press CHAUDHURI, K. 1985. Trade and civilisation in the Indian Ocean: an economic history from the rise of Islam to 1750. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. CLEUZIOU, S. and M. Tosi 2007. In the Shadow of the Ancestors. The Prehistoric Foundations of the Early Arabian. Civilization in Oman. Muscat, Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman. COSTA, P. 1982. The Study of the City of Zafar (Al-Balid). Journal of Oman Studies 5, 111–150. FACEY, W. 1979. Oman. A seafaring Nation. Muscat, Ministry of Information and Culture of Oman GROOM, N. 1981. Frankincense and Myrrh: A Study of the Arabian Incense Trade. New York, Longman. HÖTZL H., A.R. Jade, H. Moser, W. Rautert and J.G. Zoetel 1984. Climatic Fluctuations in the Holocene. In A.R. Jado and J.G. Zoetl (eds.) Quaternary Period in Saudi Arabia 2. New York, Springer Verlag, 301–314. LÖFGREN O. (ed.) 1951. Sifat Bilad Al-Yaman wa Makkah wa ba’ad Al-Hijaz (Tarikh Al-Mustabsir). Leiden. MARGARITI, R.E. 2007. Aden & the Indian Ocean trade: 150 years in the life of a medieval Arabian port. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.

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MILLER, A.G., M. Morris and S. Stuart-Smith 1988. Plants of Dhofar, the southern region of Oman: traditional, economic, and medicinal uses. Muscat, Office of the Adviser of His Majesty the Sultan for Conservation of the Environment, Sultanate of Oman. NEWTON, L.S. and J. Zarins 2010. Preliminary Results of the Dhofar Archaeological Survey, 2008-2009. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 40, 247–266. NEWTON, L.S. and J. Zarins 2014. A Possible Indian Quarter at al Baleed in the 14th-17th centuries AD? Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44, 257–276. PENZER, N.M. 1929. The Most Nobel and Famous Travels of Marco Polo. Edited from the Elizabethan Translation of John Frampton by N.M. Penzer. London, Argonaut Press. PEYTON, W.D. 1983. Old Oman. London, Stacey International. PHILLIPS, W. 1966. Unknown Oman. New York, D. McKay Co. SERJEANT, R.B. 1963. The Portuguese off the South Arabian Coast. Hadrami chronicles with Yemeni and European accounts of Dutch pirates off Mocha in the seventeenth century. Oxford, Clarendon Press. SMITH, G.R. 2006. A Medieval Administrative and Fiscal Treatise from the Yemen: the Rasulid Mulakhkhaş Al-fiţan by Al-Hasan b. Alī Al-Husaynī: a facsimile edition of the Arabic text together with an introduction and annotated translation. Oxford, Oxford University Press. SMITH, G.R. 2008. A Traveler in Thirteenth Century Arabia: Ibn Al-Mujāwir’s Tārīkh Al-mustabşir. London, Hakluyt Society. THESIGER, W. 1959. Arabian Sands. New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. VALLET, E. 2010. L’Arabie marchande: État et commerce sous les sultans rasūlides du Yémen, 626-858/12291454. Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne. ZARINS, J. 2001. The Land of Incense. Archaeological Work in the Governate of Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman, 1990-1995. Muscat, Sultan Qaboos University.

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Index

Abbasid, 32, 33, 42-55, 64, 67, 88-90, 94, 96, 100, 110-115 Abdulla bin Rashid, 117 Abu Bakr bin Mohammed bin Amr Al-Hazaz, 117 Abu Mahmud, 118 Abu Sha’ar, 36 Abyan, 106 Acheulean, 11, 13 Acre, 60 Ad, 27, 62, 64, 108, 110, 111, 114 Aden, 22, 29, 33-37, 52, 56-66, 95-109, 117 Adulis, 35 Afghanistan, 22 Africa, 1, 6, 18, 22, 36, 84, 90, 95, 101, 106 agate, 21 Ahmed bin Mahmood Al-Himyari Al-Habudi, 117 Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Manjuwija, 117. See also Idrisi Aila, 33, 36 Ain Humran, 14, 36, 43, 48-55, 60, 89, 114 Ain Razat, 18 Akil, 119. See also Sayyid Mohammed Akil Al-Afdal Al-Abbas, 118 Al-Ahmaddiyah, 64 Al-Ah’sa, 35, 51, 66. See also Shihr Al-Biruni, 100, 101 Albuquerque, 102-106, 118. See also Alfonso d’Albuquerque Alexandria, 95, 96, 100 Al-Fatk, 6 Alfonso d’Albuquerque, 118 Al-Furda, 87, 96, 98 Al-Fustat, 95 Al-Ghayl, 59 Al-Hallaniyat islands, 31, 38, 42 Al-Hamdani, 56, 101 Al-Hamr, 43 Al-Harja, 56, 61, 77. See also Bab Al-Harja

Al-Hasa, 103-106, 110 Ali bin Omar Al-Kathiri, 118 Al-Isthakri, 56 Al-Janadi, 62 Al-Kathiri, 60, 104, 118 Al-Khazaraji, 118 Al-Maqrizi, 98, 99 Al-Murra, 110 Al-Nus, 42. See also Ras Nuss aloes, 6, 35. See also aloeswood aloeswood, 65. See also aloes Al-Qahirah, 56 Al-Qatif, 110 Al-Qisha, 35, 88 Al-Robat, xiii, 24, 42, 54, 59-61, 75, 117, 118 Al-Sahel, 38 Al-Shahri, 38 Al-Sharqiya, 43 Al-Sh’ib, 59 Al-Shihr, 9, 35, 48, 60, 64, 96-104, 107, 108, 118, 119. See also Shihr Al-Sodah, 38 Al-Tabari, 56 Al-Tahudi, 59 Alupa Dynasty, 106 Al-Zubarah, 107 amama, 62. See also turban amber, 22, 95 ambergris, 58, 64-66, 99 American Foundation of the Study of Man, AFSM, xv, 25, 36, 40, 42, 54, 67, 70, 79, 85 Amorites, 102 amphorae, 25, 28, 31-33, 36, 48, 51, 90, 91 Andhur, 14, 18, 29, 33, 52 Anga, 31 Aqaba, 32, 90 Arabian Bifacial Tradition, 14 Arabs, 62, 64, 102, 104 Arameans, 102 Ardanitti, 15 Arikamedu, 25, 33, 114

aromatics, 100 Artocarpus hirsutus, 32 Ashkenout, 15 Astoa, 31 Aththar, 40, 114 audience halls, 61 Auqad, 59, 60, 118 Ausara, 31 Avicennia marina, 9. See also mangroves Awali, 42 Awkalan, 38, 42, 45, 48, 117 Axum, 35, 36 Ayub, 117 Ayun, 14, 59, 111 Ayyubid, 56, 75, 96, 99, 102,103, 117 Azd, 103 Aztah, 21 Bab Al-Harja, 56, 77, 102. See also Al-Harja Bab Al-Mandeb, 108 Badr Al-Shahab Al-Habrali, 118 Badr bin Tuwayriq, 115, 118 Baeunu, 29 Baghdad, 42, 50, 56, 64, 95-97, 109, 110 Bahrain, 56, 64, 103, 104, 107, 109, 110 bananas, 57, 61 Bandar Abbas, 107 Bandar Hasik, 62 Bani Majid, 117 barbotine blue, 45-48, 89, 114 bariga vessels, 90 barley, 18, 28, 61 Basra, 64 Batavia cups, 94 beads, 21, 22, 25, 51 Bedouins, 35, 103, 109-118 Beijing, 66 Beni Murra, 110 benzoin, 66 Berbera coast, 101 Berenike, 32, 33, 36, 96 betel, 57, 61

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Bhatkal, 107 Bilad Al-Tafariq, 98, 99 Bir Ali, 1 Bir Fadil, 111 Bir Hima, 11 Bir Muqaynima, 111 black polished ware, 89 black-slipped red ware, 89 blue-white tin, 94 boat graves, 43, 51, 54, 55 Borneo, 90 Boswellia sacra, 6, 8, 100. See also frankincense, incense, luban bovids, 18 bow, 15, 58, 88 Brahmi, 27 brass, 50, 109, 110 bread, 64 brocade, 96 Bronze Age, 1, 15, 18, 21-25, 29, 35, 84, 89, 108 Buddhists, 37 Bulh, 40 Bulukh, 40 Byzantine, 35, 96 C-14 (Radiocarbon dating), 22, 23, 27, 35, 37, 55, 73, 77, 81, 84, 100, 103, 106, 112, 114 Calicut, 60, 97, 104 Caliphate, 36 Calukya, 106 camel, 57, 62, 65, 77, 96, 102, 112. See also Camelus dromedarius Camelus dromedarius, 96. See also camel camphor, 58, 99 Canton, 33, 64 caravans, 50, 109, 110, 111 Carmathians, 110 carnelian, 21, 51 cattle, 14, 18, 57, 74, 77, 102 celadons, 90, 110 Changsha, 90 Chatramonitae, 29 Chera period, 32 chevron ware, 51, 89 chickpeas, 18 China, 33, 35, 46, 47, 52, 61, 64-67, 90, 94-101, 106, 110, 115 Chola, 33 Christians, 37 cinnabar, 50, 109 citrons, 57 Classical period, 23, 24, 28, 29, 33, 36, 37, 45, 48, 52, 54, 95, 100, 108, 112

124

cloth, 61-66, 95, 96, 99, 101, 109 clothing, 59, 61, 65, 96, 99 Clysma, 33 Cochin, 65 coconut, 57, 61 Colas, 106, 107 Commiphora, 6, 101 Conus sp., 14 copal, 22, 95, 100 Coromandel, 103, 104. See also Pandyas Cosmas Indicopleustes, 32-36, 103, 117 cotton, 22, 61, 96, 101, 115 cyclone, 118 Cypraea sp., 2, 14, 75 Dahariz, 1, 60, 115 Dahlak Islands, 95, 99 Dammam, 109 Damqut, 52 dancing (girls), 58, 99 Dar Al-Sultan, 67 date palms, 57 dates, 64, 106 Dehua cups, 90 Delhi, 104 Devundara, 65 Dhahran, 102 Dhalqut, 96 dhar, 15 dhow, 106, 107 Dhu Raydan, 35 dibaj, 96 Deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, xv dogfish, 62 donkeys, 57 dot-circle ware, 88 dragonsblood, 6, 66 dried sardines, 100, 102 Dusun jars, 90 Early Holocene, 1, 9 ed-Dur, 102 Egypt, 62, 90, 100, 107 elephant, 35, 65 Embolium, 29 Epigraphic South Arabic, ESA, 23, 25-31, 100, 112, 117 Equus caballus, 102. See also horse Eshnunna, 22 Essex, 119 Ethiopia, 35, 119 European hand painted plates, 89 Fakanur, 103, 104 Farajja, 111

Farasan islands, 22 Fars, 104 Fartak, 2, 29, 35, 58, 102, 108 Fasad, 14 Fawq, 48 Fernandez da Noronha, 118 Flandrian Transgression, 9 foraminifera, 9 fort, 31, 43, 45, 48, 50-54, 106, 110, 111, 115 frankincense, 6, 8, 22-24, 27-29, 38, 43, 51, 52, 60, 64-66, 100-104, 112, 113. See also Boswellia sacra, incense, luban fritware, 89 Galle, 65 Gaza, 36, 90, 100 gazelle, 18 geometric ware, 89 Ghayda Al-Mahra, 31, 58 Ghayda Al-Kabir, 43 ghee, 119 Ghubbat Al-Qamr, 48, 109 giraffes, 66 glass, 42, 51, 92, 93, 115 Goa, 25, 97, 106, 107, 119 goats, 57 gold, 35, 62, 65, 66, 90, 96-104 Gorda, 29 granite, 52, 88 grapes, 57 Gray Tana ware, 90 greek fire, 99 grit ware, 51, 88 Gujarat, 32, 106, 115 Habarut, 24, 27, 38, 59, 111, 114, 115 Habudhi, xiii, 42, 56-60, 64, 67, 7275, 103, 109, 110, 114, 117, 118 Habuzah, 56, 117 Hadhramaut, 1-4, 28-31, 35, 37, 5464, 103, 109, 117, 118 Hadhrami, 27, 58, 88, 117 Hadhrami ware, 28 Hafa, 54, 60, 115 Hagif, 15 Hail, 107 Hailat Araka, 14, 16 Haima, 1 Hajj, 110 Haluf, 59 Hamah, 48 Hamdani, 42, 45, 48, 56, 101 Hampi, 106 Hangchou, 101 Hanun, 12, 28, 29, 45, 52, 100, 112

Index

harir, 96 Harun, 14, 17, 18 Hasa, 103-106, 109, 110 Hashman, 14 Hasik, 29, 31, 38, 42, 43, 48, 49-52, 60, 62, 101, 108, 112, 114 Hawqal, 38, 42, 45, 56 Hawta, 9, 35, 39 Hector da Silva, 118 Hellenistic, 102, 110 Herodotus, 29 Hijaz, 56, 57 Hikman, 42 Himyar, 35, 37, 112, 117 Himyarite, 28-35, 45, 51, 64, 89, 90, 96, 110-115 Hindu, 103, 104 Hinu, 42-47, 51 Hodor, 15, 20, 21 Holocene, 1, 9 Homerite country, 35, 117 Homo erectus, 11 Homo sapiens, 11 honey, 61 Hormuz, 60, 64, 104-108, 117, 118 horse, 42, 60-66, 100-110, 114, 117. See also Equus caballus horse trade, 60, 103-107, 114 Hoysalas, 106, 107 Huliya, 4 hurricane, 118 husn, xiii, 23, 38, 40, 42, 57-61, 6771, 74, 75, 79 Ibid, 35 Ibn Al-Athir, 117 Ibn Battuta, IB, 42, 57, 60-63, 66-71, 73-76, 102, 104, 110 Ibn Hatim, 58 Ibn Hawqal, 38, 42, 45, 56 Ibn Hordedibeh, 45 Ibn Khaldun, 62, 64, 117 Ibn Khordedebeh, 38, 42, 45, 48, 56, 101, 108, 110, 112, 117 Ibn Majid, 46, 103, 108 Ibn Mujawir, IM, xiii, 27, 42, 46, 48, 50, 56-62, 64, 66, 69, 74-77, 81, 96, 102, 103, 109, 110, 115 Ibn Ziyad, 117 Ibrahim bin Yusuf Wathiq, 118 Ice Age, 8, 9, 11 Idrisi, 56, 117. See also Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Manjuwija incense, 6, 23, 25, 35, 62, 65, 99-101, 109, 112, 114. See also Boswellia sacra, frankincense, luban

India, 1, 6, 21, 22, 25, 29-35, 38, 40, 46, 47, 50, 57, 60, 61, 65, 66, 84, 89, 90, 96, 102-109, 114 Indian Ocean, 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 21, 22, 28, 32, 35-38, 56, 64, 66, 88, 90, 95, 98, 106, 108, 115 indigo, 22, 101, 115 Indus Civilization, 21 Indus River, 33 Indus Valley, 21, 22 Intertropical Convergence Zone, ITCZ, 6, 7 Iobaritae, 112, 114 Iran, 22, 42, 56, 89 Iraq, 21, 22, 42, 89, 109, 110 Iron Age, 9, 22-31, 38, 39, 48, 50-52, 88, 89, 96 ironware, 90 Islam, 11, 27, 31, 32, 33, 35-38, 42, 45, 48-56, 88, 89, 95, 96, 100, 104, 108-110, 114, 115, 117 Islamic period, 27, 31-33, 36-38, 45, 48, 50, 51, 54, 56, 88, 95, 109 96, 100, 108, 110, 114 Islamic ware, 45, 89 Ismail Abu Al-Fida, 1 Italian Mission to Oman, IMTO, xv, 11, 14, 25, 28, 32 ivory, 35, 95, 96 Jabal Al-Asfal, 59 Jabal Ras Al-Himar, 48 Jabrin, 109, 110, 111 Jannabah, 42 Jayrut, 38 Jazirat Mahaut, 48 Jebel Kenzan, 102 Jebel Mirbat, 18, 23, 50-55 Jebel Nashib, 43, 44 Jebel Qamar, 2 Jebel Qamr, 6, 38 Jebel Qinqari, 2, 42, 51 Jebel Samhan, 2-6, 38, 48 Jebel Sharqiya, 43 Jeddah, 56, 99 Jesuits, 119 jetty, 79-87, 106 Jinjali, 38, 42, 46, 47, 51, 108 Jiz, 4, 6 Jol, 2 Jordan, 36 jujube, 84 Julfar, 89, 108 Juncaceae, 2 junks, 66 Juweina, 38, 45

Kamaran island, 119 Karbala, 110 Karimi, 95 Karnatka, 106 Kathiri, 60, 66, 67, 104, 118 Kayal, 103 Kerala, 31, 106 Khalfut, 29, 33, 35 khatt, 89 Kherfut, 31 khor, 9, 46, 57, 75. See also lagoon Khor Akean, 48 Khor Fakkan, 106 Khor Hasik, 108 Khor Janaif, 54 Khor Jnaif, 18, 21, 22 Khor Rori, xv, 1, 9, 14, 18, 21-38, 43, 45, 50, 55, 75, 88, 89, 100, 102, 112, 114, 117. See also Sumhuram Khor Sowli, 43, 54, 55 Khunj, 89 Khuriya Muriya Islands, 42 Kilwa, 60 Kish, 56 Konkan, 106 Kos, 31 Kozhikode, 66 kundur, 35 Kush, 37 Kuwait, 107 lagoon, 1, 8-11, 25, 42, 48, 51, 52, 56, 75-84, 87, 106. See also khor Lakhmids, 37 Late Antiquity, 9, 32-36, 88-90, 100, 114 lemons, 57 lentils, 18 leopards, 66 Levallois, 11, 12, 15 limes, 57 linen, 61, 96 lions, 66 luban, 38, 100, 101, 104, 117, 119. See also Boswellia sacra, frankincense, incense Ma’bar, 104 Madagascar, 22 Madasara, 29 madder, 101, 102, 115 Madder, 102 Madhhidj, 40 Magan, 22 Mahra, 14, 31, 38, 42, 43, 52, 58, 59, 64, 104, 109, 110, 114, 117

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Malabar, 31, 103, 106, 108 Malacca, 108 Ma’layba, 22 Maldives, 35 Malik Al-Mudhaffer, 118 Mamluks, 104 Mandjawiyyun, 40 Mandju, 40 mangroves, 8, 9, 24. See also Avicennia marina, Rhizophora Manjalur, 103, 104 Mansurah, 75 Manuel de Almeida, 119 Marco Polo, 60, 61, 90, 100-104, 118, 122 Marco Polo ware, 90 Marib, 31, 59, 103 Martaban ware, 90 Masila, 2, 4, 9, 29, 35, 54, 88 Masirah island, 6, 14, 21, 22, 31, 36, 38, 42, 48, 91, 108 masjid al jama, 61 Matafah, 14, 111 maydan, 40, 69, 75 Mayfa’a, 59, 100 Mecca, 56, 64, 97, 111 medications, 95 Medieval period, 9, 43, 52, 59, 89, 95, 96 Mediterranean Sea, 6, 95 Megalithic period, 31 Memecyclon tinctorium, 101 Mesopotamia, 22, 100 Metacum, 29 milk, 61, 64, 101 millet, 22, 18, 57, 61, 62, 101 Ming, 64, 66, 94 Minju, 37, 40, 42, 56, 114, 115, 117 Miocene, 6 Mirbat, 1, 18, 22-24, 31, 35-38, 4246, 48-56, 60, 64, 71, 88, 91, 96, 101, 103, 108-110, 114, 117, 118 Mishqas, 108 mishwar, 61 Mleiha, 102 Mocha, xv, 119, 122 Modern South Arabic Language, MSAL, xiii, xv, 11, 15, 23, 28, 30, 52, 88, 101, 114 Mohmmed Abdul Qadir, 118 Mohammed bib Abu Bakr, 117, 118 Mohammed bin Ahmed Qara, 118 Mohammed bin Ali bin Hassan AlKallai, 117 Mongol, 42 monsoon, 6-10, 14, 25, 28, 46, 48, 62, 84, 87, 100

126

Moscha, 27, 29 Mudhai, 11, 15, 18, 23, 59 Mughsayl, xv, 9, 14, 18, 42, 43, 51, 88 Muhammed bin Habib, 35, 100 Mukalla, 6, 36 Mulakhhas Al-Fitan, MF, 90, 95, 96, 99 Mumbai, 107 Murnaif, 51 murr, 38, 101. See also myrrh Murra, 110 Musaynah, 33 Muscat, 56, 106, 108, 119 mutton, 64 Muziris, 25, 31-33, 95, 96, 100, 114 Myanmar, 90 Myos Hormos, 96 myrrh, 6, 35, 38, 66, 95, 100, 101. See also murr nabaq, 57 Najaf, 110 Najran, 114 Naples, 31 nard, 95, 96 Narmada, 33 Nasir Al-Din Mohmmed bin Amr Al-Tiryati, 118 Nasir bin Malik Al-Mogaith, 118 Nejd, xv, 2-11, 14, 15, 18, 23-29, 48, 52, 88, 100, 103, 107, 112, 114, 115 Nejdi Bedouin, 103 Neogilla, 31 Neolithic, xv, 7, 14-18, 29, 101, 112 Nishtun, 29 Nizwa, 74 Nubian complex, 11 Nur, 95, 98 Obolla, 64 Oliva bulbosa, 14, 75 olive, 36 Omana, 31 oranges, 57 orange slip ware, 89 Organa island, 31 oryx, 66 ostriches, 66 Ottoman, 67, 104, 115 ovicaprids, 14, 18 Palaeolithic, xv, 11-15, 112 Palestine, 36 Pandyas, 103. See also Coromandel Coromandel, 103 Parthian, 25, 88, 89, 102

Pattanam, 31, 100 pearling, 95 pearls, 58, 64, 99 pepper, 66, 90 perfume, 65, 95, 99, 109 Periplus Maris Erythraei, 28-31, 48, 95, 102, 108, 112, 117 Periyar, 31 Persia, 35-42, 58, 65, 103,108, 118 Phragmites, 2 pier, 82, 85, 86, 87 pilgrims, 110, 111 piracy, 58, 99 plain red ware, 89 Pleistocene, 1, 4, 8-11 Pliny, 28, 29, 48, 52, 100, 112, 117 pomegranates, 57 porcelain, 47, 66, 90, 94, 110 Portuguese, 66-69, 102, 104, 110, 115 Pretos, 29, 35 Prion, 29 Prionotus mountains, 29 Prion river, 29 Ptolemy, 29, 31, 34, 35, 111, 112, 117 Qabr Hud, 35, 56 Qalhat, 56, 64, 88, 97, 104, 106 Qana, 32, 36, 91, 100 Qani, 1, 33, 36, 102, 114 Qara, 118, 119 qasr, 61 Qatar, 48, 107, 109 Qatif, 104, 109, 110 Qatn, 2, 4 Qays, 56, 97, 103, 104 Qishn, 29, 102, 108, 119 Quaternary, 1 Rakhyut, 96 Raml Al-Juz, 109 Ramlat Al-Sabatayn, 4 Raqeda, 29 Ras Al-Hadd, 56, 108 Ras Al-Himar, 109 Ras Al-Jinz, 22, 89 Ras Al-Khaimah, 106 Ras Fartak, 2, 29, 35, 58, 102 Rashid bin Ahmed bin Abda, 117 Ras Mutawwaq, 108 Ras Nuss, 42, 108. See also Al-Nus Ras Sajir, 2 Ras Sharma, 52 Ras Syagros, 29 Ras Tarfa, 22 Rasulid, 35, 56-60, 66, 67, 89, 95106, 109, 114, 115, 118

Index

Raysut, 22, 24, 31-38, 42, 43, 48, 50, 51, 52, 58-61, 109, 110, 114, 115 red grit ware, 46, 88, 89, 114 red polished ware, RPW, 47, 89 Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule of Aachen, RWTH, xv, 71, 72 Rhizophora sp., 9. See also mangroves Rhodes, 31 rice, 36, 42, 46-51, 55, 61, 66, 88, 89 riceware, 39, 40, 51, 89 Rifai, 95 Riyadh, 107 rock art, 15, 23, 29 Roman, 25, 31, 33, 96, 100 rosewater, 50, 65, 109 Rub Al-Khali, xv, 1-5, 8, 14, 103, 109, 110, 111, 115 Saba, 35 Sabkhat Matti, 4 Sachalites, 29, 31, 112 Sadah, 96 Sadh, 46, 47, 51, 52, 60, 114 Saif bin Islam, 117 Sakalan, 27-29, 38, 42, 48, 112, 117 Salalah, xiii, 1, 4, 8, 11, 14, 18, 22, 27-29, 35, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 56, 59, 60, 68, 75, 96, 101, 115 Salim bin Idris Al-Habudhi, 59, 118 Samad, 102 Sana’a, 58, 118 sanabiq, 82, 85, 87 Sa’nan, 28 sandalwood, 35, 65, 66 Sanjan, 32, 106 sardines, 100, 102, 104 Sassanians, 32, 36, 37, 40, 42, 64, 89, 96 satin, 66, 96 Saudi Arabia, 1, 110 Sayhut, 29, 102 Sayyid Mohammed Akil, 119 semi-porcelain, 90 sesame, 36 Seyyun, 117 sgraffiato, 32, 42, 46, 47, 48, 51, 89, 114 Shabwa, 25, 27, 37, 100, 102 Shagra, 107 Shahra, 28, 40, 110, 117 Sharhayt, 29 Sharma, 51, 52, 88 Sharwayn, 29, 33, 35 sheep, 57 shell-middens, 18, 22, 24, 25, 47, 48 shell temper ware, 88, 89

Shihr, 9, 29, 32, 33, 35, 42, 48, 51, 52, 58, 60, 61, 64, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 104, 107, 108, 118, 119 Shisr, xv, 8, 11, 14, 24, 37, 38, 40, 43, 50, 52, 88-90, 103, 106, 110, 111115, 119 Shuwaymiyyah, 1 Sicily, 96 Sifa bilad Al-Yaman wa Makkah waba’d al Hijaz Al-Musamma ta’rih Al-Mustabsir, TM, 56, 109 silk, 35, 61, 65, 66, 96, 99, 103 silver, 28, 50, 96, 104, 109, 111, 114 Sini, 90, 97 Siraf, 32, 40, 42, 52, 61, 64, 69, 74, 88, 110 Sitima, 43, 46 Socotra, 35, 43, 48, 108 Sohar, 32, 37-40, 48, 52, 56, 61, 64, 88 Somalia, 6, 100, 101 sorghum, 18, 22, 57, 61, 74, 101 Southeast Asia, 47, 65, 96 Spain, 96 spices, 66, 95 splash, 32, 47, 51, 89, 94 Sri Lanka, 33, 35, 65, 103, 114 Sri Vijaya, 96, 101 steatite, 14, 21, 114 stoneware, 46, 51, 90 storax, 66 storm, 9 Subr, 22 sugar cane, 57 Sulayman Pasha, 118 Sultan Al-Mujahid Al-Wathiq AlDhofari, 118 Sultanate of Delhi, 104 Sultan Qaboos University, 40, 42, 122 Sultan Qutb Al-Din Tamahtan bin Turan-Shah, 117 Sumer, 100 Sumhuram, xv, 24-32, 36, 38, 40, 43, 45, 47, 52, 54, 100. See also Khor Rori Sung, 64, 90, 96, 101 suq, 61, 75 Swankhalok, 90 Syagros, 29, 31, 35 Tabari, 37, 38, 56, 112, 117 tabby, 96 Taghlib, 103 Taizz, 59, 60, 95, 102, 103, 118 Tamil, 27, 65, 106 Tang, 64, 90 Tangier, 60

Taqa, 18, 22-25, 28, 31, 36, 38, 43, 45, 54, 55, 60, 88, 96, 108 Tawqim Al-Buldan, 1 Tectona grandis, 32 Tell Asmar, 22 Tell Wilaya, 21 terebinth, 100 Tertiary, 1, 2 tethering stones, 15 textile, 96 Thailand, 90 Tihama, 40 tin-glaze, 89 Tissamaharama, 33, 114 Tokhfi, 15 torpedo jars, 90 Trans Arabia Expedition, xv, 22, 51, 109, 111 trihedral, 14 triliths, 9, 23, 26-30 Trulla, 29, 35 turban, 62. See also amama Turkish, 97, 110 Turks, 69, 104 turmeric, 101 Typha, 2 typhoon, 9 Tzinista, 35 Ubaid, 18 Ubar, xv, 103, 106, 111, 113, 114 Umara, 95 Umayyad period, 38 Umm an-Nar, 15, 21 Umm an Nussi, 110 Umm er Radhuma, 8 United Arab Emirates, UAE, 89, 102 Varoli River, 32 Vietnam, 90 Vijayanagara, 107 Wabar, 114 Wabaritae, xv Wadi Ad-Dahariz, 14 Wadi Adhonib, 22, 48, 51 Wadi Attabarran, 48 Wadi Bani Jabir, 103 Wadi Darbat, 1, 2, 8-11, 23, 36, 43, 52, 54 Wadi Dawasir, 4, 109 Wadi Fisheree, 48 Wadi Garziz, 1, 9, 24 Wadi Ghadun, 11, 18, 111 Wadi Jiz, 6 Wadi Jowf, 45, 112, 117 Wadi Mahrat, 56 Wadi Masila, 9, 29, 35, 54, 88

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Dhofar through the ages – An ecological, archaeological and historical landscape

Wadi Mitan, 110 Wadi Sunayk, 29 Wadi Suq, 21 wars, 38, 101, 115 Wathiq, 59, 60, 74, 95, 118 wheat, 18, 28, 61, 64, 109 wild asses, 66 wild cats, 99 wool, 96 Wubar, 38, 109, 110, 111, 112, 115 Yamamah, 117 Yaman, 35, 56, 58, 60, 62, 104 Yaqut, 45, 46, 109 Yemen, xiii, 1-6, 14, 18, 21-23, 27, 40, 43, 51, 52, 59, 61, 62, 88, 89, 101-106, 114, 117, 122 Zabid, 40, 56, 59, 99, 109 Zafar, xiii, xv, 1, 9, 22, 27, 32-37, 40, 48, 50, 56-67, 70-77, 95-110, 115, 117-119 Zafar congregational mosque, ZCM, 38, 40, 42, 61, 69-76, 81, 106 zebras, 66 Zeek, 21 Zenobii islands, 31 Zheng-Ho, 106 Ziyadids, 95 Zoroastrians, 37 Zufar, 38, 64

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