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The Frankincense Store

10 Chepstow Rd

London W2 5BD

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+44 (0) 20 7018 2100

 

 

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 The Frankincense Store 2017

 

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Sumhuram - Khor Rori

Sumhuram the ancient port for Frankincense and a UNESCO World Heritage site is located in Salalah - The Dhofar region of Oman. Dating back to 3rd century B.C -to 5th century A.D the area was  inhabited by the Hadramites. Legendry Queen of Sheba has known to have palaces here. Sumhuram was once the heart of the world's Frankincense trade, shipping thousands of tons of Frankincense to Europe, China, India and Africa. This ancient city was once the hustle and bustle of Arabia, with merchants trading in other commodities such as silk, cotton, bronze, copper and spices.

In the port there was a sea gate , a secondary entrance to the city used for goods being imported and exported. There is a vast store house complex composed of long chambers. This is where the Frankincense was stored awaiting loading on board the ships. Incense burners have been excavated in the area made from limestone, with images of Eagles, Goats, Lions and tribal patterns engaved in them.

Inscriptions in the South Arabian alphabet give clues which indicate the city was built to reinforce its people’s control over the frankincense trade. Coins also found indicate it was the site referred to as Sumharam and the port of Moscha in two Greek texts dating from the period between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.

The great gate of the town indicates that the citadel had an outer wall with towers and three gates, and that its main entrance was protected by square towers. It contained an inner structure which may have been a temple or castle consisting of large frankincense stores.

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