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Book shedding light on medieval port city of Qalhat released

27 Feb 2024 Book shedding light on medieval port city of Qalhat released

Muscat – The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) recently released a scientific publication titled Qalhat, a Medieval Port City of Oman: From a Field of Ruins to Unesco, authored by Axelle Rougeulle, featuring insights by renowned international archaeologists. 

This important work, marking the 11th volume of the Archaeological Heritage of Oman series published by MHT, delves deep into the rich tapestry of Qalhat’s history, a coastal city of archaeological significance.

Published in collaboration with International House of Archaeology in Oxford, United Kingdom, the book has released globally, coinciding with its launch in Oman ahead of Muscat International Book Fair 2024. The book meticulously reconstructs Qalhat’s ancient narrative, a city that flourished during the Middle Ages and stands as a testament to Oman’s illustrious past.

The research initiated in 2008 by MHT shed light on the history of the harbour city, which was the twin capital of the Kingdom of Hormuz from the 13th to the 16th century. 

Surface surveys and excavations have revealed the plan and chronology of the city and its different districts. Mosques – including the Great Mosque built by Bibi Maryam around 1300 – and other religious buildings, fortifications and water supply systems have been identified and studied. 

The craft and economic activities of the city and the regional and international commercial links of the port have been reconstructed, as well as the daily life of its inhabitants, revealing the wealth and cosmopolitan character of this ancient Omani metropolis.

These findings were led by Prof Axelle of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), whose expertise in medieval port cities and the trade history of the eastern Islamic world and the Indian Ocean has been instrumental in shedding new light on Qalhat.

This collaboration not only broadened existing understanding of the city but also played a cru-cial role in Qalhat’s recognition 

as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2018. The publication is available at the MHT pavilion in Muscat International Book Fair 2024, where readers are invited to explore the legacy of one of Oman’s most significant archaeological treasures.

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