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Oman, the Land of Sindbad the Sailor: the exhibition

The exhibition drew connections between this distant, exotic land and more familiar things. It is well known, for example, that copper was an important raw material used in the fusion of bronze beginning in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, but few are aware that the land of Oman, referred to in Mesopotamian sources as Magan, was the principle source of copper in this long-ago period.
Most of us are familiar with the incense and some will no doubt be aware that in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome incense had a mythic connotation and was regarded as “the food of the gods.” But very few know of the tree that produces this precious resin, and the fact that the highest quality of incense has always and still does come from the southern region of Oman.
While we all know that Marco Polo travelled to China, few realize that his ship passed along the coast of Dhofar and that he described the port and the city of Al Baleed in Il Milione.
The title of the exhibition itself suggests one important aspect of the history of Oman: 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.
The last section of the exhibition is the description of how the ancient land of Sindbad looks like today.
Download the catalogue of the exhibition
Watch the news report 1
Watch the news report 2
Read the reviews in newspapers