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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1398] (459/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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The remainder of the coast may be disposed of in six sections 'corresponding to its
principal divisions which are Barr-al-Hikman; Ohubbat Hashish; Bahr-al-Hadri,
a featureless stretch between Ghubbat Hashish and Has Madrakah; Sauqirah bay
between Ras Madrakah and Ras Sauqirah ; a short stretch between Ras Sauqirah and Ras
Sharbatat; and, finally, the large bay which contains the Kuria Muria islands. Each
of these we now proceed to describe separately.
Barr-al- Hikmdn. —Barr-al-Hikman, so called from being the domain of the Hikman
tribe, is a blunt promontory, 18 miles broad and only about 12 miles long, which points
south between Masirah channel on the east and Ghubbat Hashish on the west. It is low
and sandy and contains a large salt-water lagoon called Khor-al-Milh which is divided
from the sea only by a narrow ridge of sand ; the Hikman and the inhabitans of Mahot
and Masirah island resort to the Khor to fish and to make salt, and Sur boats also load
salt here for Sur and India, Barr-al-Hikman is covered with scattered bushes of tamarisk
and salsola and with tufts of grass and rushes. The U. S. ship " Peacock " was wrecked
on this coast in September 1835. The south-western point of Barr-al-Hikman is
Ras Zaiwari, a low sandy point situated in Lat. 20° 21' N., Long 58° 16' E.
Ghubbat Hashish. —Ghubbat Hashish is a large bay forming the foot of the Gulf ojf
Masirah ; it is open to the southward and divides Barr-al-Hikman from the continuation
of the coast to the south-westward. The bay is 8 miles wide at the entrace and 10 miles
deep, with soundings decreasing regularly from 6 fathoms in the middle of the entrance^
The shore is low, sandy, and desolate throughout. Near the centre of the bay is the small
rocky islet of Abb frequented by natives for fish-curing. From Abb a mud-bank
which dries at low-water, extends northwards for 3 miles dividing the ba y into two part,
and then spreads out eastward and westward across the foot of the bay. On this mud-
flat, 4 miles north of Abb, stands the island of Mahot with the village of the same name ;
2 miles west-north-west of Mahot is Raqq, a steep and rocky islet. Thick and sudden fogs
are prevalentin the neighbourhood of Ghubbat Hashish during the north-east monsoon.
Bahr-al-Hadri. —The section of the coast from Ghubbat Hashish to Ras Jadrakah,
called Bahr-al-Hadri, possesses few points of interest. It is distinguished chiefly by the
re appearance of hills upon the coast; indeed for more than ^ of its length, towards the
southern end, it presents to the sea a line of bold cliffs which are composed of light-
coloured limestone. At Ras Sarah, 24 miles south-west of the entrance of Ghubba-
Hashish, there is a small village of huts inhabited by the Al Wahibah. At Ras Sidarah
again, 20 miles south by west of Ras Sarab, the existence of a small village of Hikman and
Al WahTbah with a date-grove has been reported. Six miles south-south-west of Raa
Sidarah and 3 or 4 miles off-shore is Hamar-an Nafvir, a white limestone islet 400 yards
long, 300 yards broad, and 320 feet high. The summit is flat and split in all directions
myriads of wild-fowl frequent it and Arabs used formerly to remove the guano for agri
culture. From Hamar-an-Nafur to Ras Madrakah is about 53 miles in a due south
direction. When approached from seaward, Ras Madrakah, which is 450 feet high,
appears as an island and for this reason, or because of a small island which lies off the
point of it, has received the alternative name of Ras Jazirah or Isolette. An outcrop
of igneous rock here has greatly disturbed the strata of the prevailing limestone. The
coast about Ras Madrakah and for some miles to the northwards is frequented by Janna-
bah who have no boats, but put to sea on goat-skin floats and capture sharks, of which
they sell the fins and tails. There is good anchorage* in the south-west monsoon about
1 mile north-west of Ras Madrakah in 5| fathoms, and good but slightly brackish
water can be obtained from a well on the coast about 2^ miles to the north-eastwards.
Sauqirah Bay. —Sauqirah Bay extends from Ras Sauqirah and is about 102 miles
in length, but its maximum depth is only about 26 miles. The coast is barren and in
habited only by a few Jannabah and Mahras, who come here in the winter months to
fish and graze their cattle, and are too poor, apparently, even to construct huts, for they
camp under the sails of their boats. They attack helpless strangers and avoid armed
ones, are under no human control, and seem to pass their lives in a chronic state of semi-
starvation. The best known locality in Sauqirah bay is Jazir near its south-west end,
which is a favourite winter camping ground and the only point where the land-route
from Dhufar to 'Oman Proper strikes the coast; water can be obtained by digging in the
low ground near the sea. Ras Sauqirah is a prominent bluff cape rising 600 feet above the
f A plan ol this anchorage will be found in Chart No. 2369-40-0.

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Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1398] (459/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 31 March 2020]

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