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Samahram showcases ancient history of Oman


The area of Khor Rori, Samharam, is one of the important areas for human settlement in Dhofar Governorate in the prehistoric period.

Samharam, with its historical port, is located 4 km to the east of Taqah. The city played a role in the frankincense trade with the ports of Al Baleed, Mirbat and Hasik. This led to the prosperity of the ancient kingdoms via the caravan route from Dhofar to Shabwa, Marib and Petra to Mesopotamia, Egypt and the coasts of the Mediterranean south and east to China.

The city is called Samharam due to the discovery of inscriptions on its gate dating back to the first millennium by the American mission in 1952, but the historical facts that were revealed in 2000 confirmed that the city was founded in the third millennium.

It is believed that the name was for one of the kings who ruled the kingdoms of southern Arabia before Islam, as it is likely that he took power during the third century. this is indicated by the coins carrying his name that were found under the ruins of the city during the excavations of the Italian mission during the period from 1996 to 2019.

Samharam is a historical seaport. The name is connected with many places around the world, such as the Mediterranean, the Gulf region, northern Oman and India.

The natural and geographical features of the port and the city also helped the flourish of the frankincense trade. the frankincense that is extracted from the trees scattered in the Najd region behind the mountains and overlooking the coasts of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The history of settlement in the city of Samharam extended to periods of Islamic history when the surrounding area was inhabited. the architectural arts refer to the Islamic era. A large settlement was found with walls extending from the ground on the eastern part of the sea hill. The settlement is guarded by a wall of manufactured stone bricks extending for 700 metres. The Italian mission examined several buildings surrounded by the wall and it was confirmed that they were inhabited during the Islamic era between the eighth and tenth centuries.

During 2008 and 2010, a new religious building was discovered, which is a small one-room mausoleum, and many valuable and distinctive tools such as censers, pottery and bronze plates were found inside it, which indicates the settlement of the city in different historical periods.

The commercial and religious activities were not the only ones that were discovered in the city and port of Samharam. There were several industrial workshops carried out by the city’s residents, such as metal industries, which were evidenced by the kilns spread in different areas of the city.

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