HvWO 177

Chinese and other shards found in places like Qalhat, Julfar and Kilwa reflecting the past trade with China

Early Chinese shards found in places like Qalhat , reflecting the trade with China

Shards found in places like Qalhat, Kilwa and Julfar , mostly Chinese predating 1510 when the Portuguese Albuquerque plundered these cities.  Even Marco Polo has described the Omani city of Qalhat. In additional to Chinese also Islamic and Thai pottery porcelain shards can be found. Similar pieces found during the excavations in Julfar, see reference. This reference is very useful in dating these pieces.

 Antique Chinese procelain Oman

Collection of Chinese porcelain shards found in Oman. Similar sherds can be found in several ancient harbour sites in southern Arabia (e.g. Julfar) and East Africa.

Name: Chines porcelain shards

Period: 14th to 18th century

Origin: China


  1. Julfar an Arabian port. Its settlement and Far Eastern Ceramic Trade from the 14th to the 18th centuries  by John Hasman, Royal Asiatic society of Great Britain and Ireland 1985. Similar ceramics was found in julfar as in Oman. The book gives some indications of the origin and age of these shards.
  2. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 page 94-96 article on Qalhat
  3. The National Museum of Oman Highlights published by Scala Arts & Heritage publishers in  2016 page 48
  4. The National Museum of Oman Highlights published by Scala Arts & Heritage publishers in  2016 page 48 shows an early piece of China found in Sohar.
  5. Porcelain: Its Nature, Art and Manufacture by William Burton, Batsford 1906 (end Chapter VI) refers to John Kirk's celadon  porcelain collected in Zanzibar and the East African coast. John Kirk was British consul in Zanzibar. He accompanied David Livingston on his second Zambezi expedition. Kirk and his wife helped princess Emily Ruete to escape from Zanzibar and execution by her brother  the Sultan of Zanzibar when she got pregnant from the German Ruete and wanted to elope. Kirk was also a keen photographer in East Africa.