Friday, May 25, 2012

Forts of Arabia

This is the 3rd card sent by Claus and it is from Oman. The 1st picture shows the Bat Tombs at Ibry and the 2nd the Mausoleum of Bibi Maryam at Qalhat.

Carlton Cards
The protohistoric site of Bat lies near a palm grove in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman. The zone encompassing the settlement and necropolises of Bat is the most complete and best-known site of the 3rd millennium BC. In a restricted, coherent space, the necropolis of Bat bears characteristic and unique witness to the evolution of funeral practices during the first Bronze Age in the Oman peninsula. - in:
Together with the neighbouring sites of Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn, it forms one of the Oman Unesco sites, on the World Heritage List since 1988.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the most important city in the Arab Gulf was Hormuz. Between 1300 and 1507 Hormuz controlled many of the towns lying on the Arabian coast, including : Qalhat.
Every year many ships sailed from Hormuz and Qalhat to India with cargoes of horses, dates, pearls and salt. They returned from India with cloth, metalwork, spices and rice, which were then used in trade with people in Persia and other parts of Arabia. Some spices were also transported to Europe. Hormuz and Qalhat became very rich through trading. in:
 Reputedly devistated by an earthquake in the late 14th century and sacked by the Portuguese in 1508, the city was eventually superceded as the main port on the Omani seaboard by Muscat. By the end of the 16th century, Qalhat was an abandoned ruinfield. The only major edifice still standing at the site today is the so-called 'Mausoleum of Bibi Maryam.' Apparently dating from the early 14th century, this elegant structure incorporates features of both mausoleum and mosque and may be "one of the most beautiful mosques" described by Ibn Battuta, who visited Qalhat twicw, around the year 1320 and again in 1347. in:
Qalhat was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 4, 1988.

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