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Oman, the land of Sindbad the sailor

Alessandra Avanzini, Alexia Pavan and Michele Degli Esposti 2012, pp. 44

The exhibition that was set up in the Museo di S. Matteo - Pisa in 2012 intended to illustrate Oman by drewing connections between this distant, exotic land and more familiar things.

The title of the catalogue suggests how closely the fortunes and the destiny of the country were linked to the sea and to the courage of its sailors. For this people going to sea had many consequences, as well as to perfect their sailing and navigational techniques.

But Oman is not only the sea. The heart of the country, as the Omanis like to say, is the desert. To live in the desert or to cross its vast expanses, the nomad had to combine courage with highly developed skills and a profound knowledge of his environment. The technique of constructing subterranean canals or falaj, which spread from Oman to Iran and then the Mediterranean, provides proof of the engineering skills of the ancient inhabitants of Oman.