OMAN GUIDE

HISTORY OF OMAN

In the two centuries between 550 - 350 BC the northern part of Oman with Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates is controlled by the Achaemenian Empire, as part of the satrapies of Maka (province). When Alexander the Great conquered Persia he mentioned a visit to "Serepsis", the island of Masirah.In the 3rd century BC Greek traders learned to use monsoon winds to sail the Indian Ocean from Arabia and Africa to the coasts of India. The anonymous text of the Periplus of the Eritrean Sea describes in detail the ports, the winds to reach them and the times of navigation. The opening of the sea routes caused a spread of ports along the coast and a simultaneous decline of land routes and cities along them. The first to achieve this remarkable result was the Greek navigator Eudoxus of Cyzico, who sailed three times between 117 BC and 109 BC.

 

Control of the spice trade was much sought after by all the ancient powers. The nascent Roman Empire also tried to gain control. In 26-24 BC an army led by Marcus Helios Gallus, governor of Egypt, tried to invade the southern part of Arabia. Gallo's army was led by a Nabataean officer who led them along a tortuous and difficult path. After two years of losses and epidemics, Gallus' army was defeated by the Sabeans and forced to retreat. Oman's strategic position was crucial on the trade route of the Indian Ocean and over the centuries was subject to numerous invasions. The native inhabitants always found alternative solutions to foreign control and went back to the land routes which they only could walk. We can still see the stone landmarks they left as “triliths”.

 

In the millennia the land of modern Oman undergone many challenges but managed to grow stronger and proud. On July 23, 1970 the 30-year-old Sultan Qaboos bin Said, took power and the modern renaissance of the country began. Immediately following the seizure of power, he concentrated on improving infrastructure, developing health facilities and schools. 

 

Sultan Qaboos began a process of "omanisation" in the early 1980s, giving the country the objective of quickly replacing all foreign specialists with Omani personnel. It encouraged the country to differentiate the use of resources by avoiding focusing solely on oil. He has founded numerous universities of international prestige throughout the country. An important point of reference in the democratization of the country came in 2003, when the right to vote was granted to all homeless citizens over the age of 21 years.

 

In 1994, Oman opened the border to tourism, which today has become an important resource for the country and allows a growing number of tourists from all over the world to come and see with their own eyes the history of this ancient culture.

The history of mankind is closely linked to the events that have changed the climate of the wonderful and strange planet on which we are walking. At the end of the last ice age, the large polar deposits melted, flooding the earth and beginning a wet phase that made the Arabian Peninsula a fertile region. Numerous studies propose a greater dispersion of the human population from Africa to Arabia during the late Pleistocene, between 50 and 100 thousand years ago. They left stone artifacts around their hunting places and shelters on the wadi banks in the Nejd region. Until the beginning of the Holocene, subsistence was guaranteed to small nomadic groups by hunting wild animals, fishing and collecting wild growing herbs, berries and fruits.  We can still see through their eyes by admiring the petroglyphs they left on the rocks of their paths. The economy of food production began with the so-called Neolithic (about 8000-4000 BC) with the domestication of wild goats and the first agricultural settlements. Some huts are still visible on the surface of the most remote places untouched by the growing urbanization.

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