The Frankincense port Samharamm

The ancient frankincense trade center Samharamm is located on a hill next to Khor Rhori, one of the most beautiful lagoons in the Dhofar region. Samharamm has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

The port of Samharamm was built in the 2nd century AD, when the region was still part of the Yemeni Hadramaut kingdom. Its king had recognized the strategic importance of a safe storage area and export port, which prompted its construction. From here, frankincense and myrrh were shipped to Yemen and then north via the Red Sea. The complex is commonly referred to as the palace of the fairytale Queen of Saba (Sheba), who lived however some 1000 years earlier.

Of importance are the inscribed tablets set in the walls, which give information about the beginnings of the city, among other things. The walls are made of massive, once almost white limestone blocks. The monsoon has weathered the site, and the walls are darker today. Worth visiting is the small informative museum, where the site and findings are explained.

The location of the site beside the lagoon leads the visitors to guess how it came to be named Samharamm, which means "the site is impressive."

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  • Karin NowackKarin Nowack
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