Omani Soapstone vessel
Omani Soapstone vessel 4000 years old

It is impossible to discuss the long history of Oman and Zanzibar at length in this website. In the web-page page below are listed Internet links to sites,  relating to the history of Oman and Zanzibar. We also added several of the Youtube films used in our website . We do not take responsibility for the contents of all these links, even more so because the content is changing over time.  In the References page we have listed relevant books (present in our collection) . 

 1) Archaeology in Oman. Important locations: Early shipping routes: Ras Al Had on the coast (see also the trade-winds section) The beehive tombs in Bat, Tomb / Towers at Shir of the Umm an-Nar Period etc. Important research with regard to early mining of copper and melting was done by Gerd Weisgerber. A lot of the earlier research on Oman was published in the Journal of Oman studies (which very unfortunately has been stopped)

Youtube film regarding excavations in Oman:

2) World Heritage site: Beehive Tombs at Bat (Necropolis)


3) The incense route.

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4) The Periplus a Greek / Roman book describing travels to the land of incense. Based on this information The Roman Cartographer Ptolemy produced some maps that later were enhanced by Ortelius. See the map in our antique maps and prints section.

5) The lost city of Ubar

Ancients caravan roads visible on NASA radar images below the sands in Oman and Saudi Arabia assisted in locating the ancient site Ubar:


 6) The Omani traveller Ibn Battuta:


7) The Kingdom of Hormuz was run by Persians and Omani Arabs. The coastal towns of Oman (Qalhat, Sohar, Muscat and Sur) were part of this important empire.


8) The Falaj watersystem in Oman:


9) The Travels of Marco Polo who also visited Oman:


10) The travels of  the omani Sindbad the sailor:


11) The Omani Navigator Ahmad Ibn Majid


12) The Portuguese Vasco da Gama is shown the route to India and China by an Omani sailor and the Portuguese take over all strategic harbors with enormous violence.

13) Oman is strategically located. In the right season the "trade-winds" / monsoon blows ships form Ras Al Had in Oman to East Africa. In the other season it blows ships to southern India and beyond.

14) Historical Muscat,_Oman

15) Explorer Carsten Niebuhr Explorers from 1761 Arabia (and the Yemen in Particular) He also visits Oman and produces the first map dedicated to Oman. See our History and Antique Books section.


16) In 1763 a Dutch VOC merchant ship was shipwrecked off the coast of Oman and the surviving crew members tried to walk along the coast to safety. These events were in 1776 documented in a gentlemen´s magazine. A fascinating book has recently been published on this topic and archaeological research to locate the wreck is taking place in 2013.


17) Emirates: From Pirate Coast to Trucial


18) Said Bin Sultan (the great) of Oman and Zanzibar who moved his residence form Muscat to Zanzibar.,_Sultan_of_Muscat_and_Oman

19) Mtoni on Zanzibar. The giant palace Sultan Sayyid Said build on an estate he confiscated when he moved to Zanzibar and where Omani Princess Bibi Salme (the later Emily Ruete) was born and lived for several years. Over a thousand people were living in the palace. See also the unique photo in our collection to get an impression of the size of the building.

Video in Arabic about the Omani history and monuments in Zanzibar:

20) In 1820 the British launched an expedition against the pirates of Bani Bu Ali. In teh first expedition the British were butchered by the Omani. In a second expedition with the help of the sultan of Oman the pirates were beaten.

21) Princess BIbi Salme / Emily Ruete,

22) ) Heinrich Rudolph Ruete was the son of princess Bibi Salme. Groomed by Bismarck Germany to become potential sultan of Zanzibar and author of the biography of his grandfather Sultan Sayyid Said (see our History and antique books section).

23) (Professor Snouck Hurgronje was the most famous Arabist of his time inherited the manuscripts, books and other possessions of Bibi Salme (via her son Rudolph) , subsequently Snouck passed his collection on to the University of Leiden). The Ruete library was "rediscovered" in recent years and in the books many important letters were found that are being researched.

24) In 1835 Wellsted and Whitelock explored the interior of Oman and produced the first book dedicated to Oman (Travels in Arabia) see our antique book section. The book includes the first detailed map of Oman

25) In the 1840´s Capt Haines and the ship Palinurus chart the coastal waters of Oman on behalf of the Indian Navy

26) 1840 The Omani ship Sultanah visits New York


27) Slave trader Tippu Tip, whose biography was first published in German

Youtube film regarding slavery via Zanzibar:

28) The Germans take over control of the east Africa mainland from the Arabs. See several fascinating photos of Germans incl some of their chained prisoners in our Zanzibar photos section. Interesting exchange of culture takes place: German colonists starting their own harem, slavery becomes forced labour and the son of Tippu Tip presents visitors with his own business card.

 29) The shortest war in History (lasting 38 minutes) was by the British against the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1896. See our History and antique books section for a miniature Koran that was "found" in the ruins of the sultan´s palace.

 30) Bertram Thomas. British Civil servant, Explorer and advisor to the Sultan of Oman from

31) The Buraimi dispute. No clear boundaries were defined between Oman and its neighbors. The discovery of oil and oil exploration rights highlighted this issue and resulted in some conflicts.

32) 1953-1959 The war in the Jebel Akhdar

Youtube film of the Omani-British society regarding the war in Dhofar:


33) 1962-1976 Dhofar Rebellion in southern Oman


34) 1964 Revolution in Zanzibar

Youtube film with the horrific scenes of massacre of Zanzibar Arabs. Until today it is unclear where the hundreds of guns and ammunition came from used by Okello and his men:


35) Beekeeping in Oman:


36) British museum "collections on-line" 

Via the following link you can search for items from Oman or Zanzibar. E.G. type Oman in the search box.


37) British Museum Research paper on Omani silver:


38) Useful website on history Zanzibar including many illustrations:


Youtube film of 1997 regarding the restoration of Zanzibar stone-town:


39)  Exhibition Omani silver British Museum 2011 (unfortunately no catalog was issued)

40) Very interesting website with trips around Oman:

41) Bait al Zubair is the best private museum in Oman with a great collection of Omani artifacts including loads of Omani silver jewelry and fine Omani khanjars, swords and matchlocks.

42) Another charming little private museum in the emirates:

Youtube film regarding the Oman exhibition in Amsterdam:

43) 40 historic objects that shaped the UAE

Youtube film from the UAE about Omani silver earrings:


 44) Travel links to Oman:

Youtube film about Oman's ancient Falaj / irrigation systems: