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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2221] (738/1262)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (1165 pages). It was created in 1915. It was written in English and Arabic. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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The pearl banks.
The geological formation of the bottom of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. and the Extent and
temperature and shallowness of its waters appear to be favourable in a position,
high degree to the growth of the pearl oyster.
The pearl banks which are known and actually worked occupy a very
considerable proportion of the whole area of the Gulf, chiefly upon the
Arabian side *
The line between which and the Arabian coast lie the bulk of the
pearl banks—the line in fact which may be considered as marking their
seaward limit on that side—begins near the coast of Trucial ^Oman a
few miles to the west of Dibai Town, passes slightly to the north of the
island of Sir Bu Na'air^ and then curves, at a distance of 20 or 30 miles
from the nearest land, round the promontory of Qatar and the Bahrain
archipelago. Northwards of the Bahrain islands the belt formed by the
banks diminishes in width, and it may be considered to end at Aba
'Ali Island, though some banks of minor importance occur to the north
even of that place. In the great bay between Trucial ^Oman and Qatar
the depth of water averages from 10 to 15 fathoms^, but there are occa
sional deep places of 20 to 23 fathoms and many submarine knolls carry
ing only 3 to 9 fathoms; the last are the principal scene of pearling
operations in this part of the Gulf.
The pearl banks on the Persian side are found chiefly on the coast
between Lingeh and Tahiri, and again in the neighbourhood of Kharag
The largest and most productive of all the banks are situated on the
Arabian side of the Gulf and are fished annually, the richest being those
to the north and east of Bahrain : the banks off the Persian coast are
poor as well as small, and are fished, at the present time, once in three or
four years only. Pearl banks occur at all distances from land up to 70
miles, and at all depths from a little below high water mark down to 18
fathoms at least; it is possible that they exist also in deeper and more
central waters where the native divers are unable to reach them, and the
Arabs believe that there are beds in inlets of the Euus-al-J ibal coast
where the depths are 21 to 25 fathoms.
The term for an ordinary level pearl bank is Hair j±*> (plural, ^^ s ^ ca ^ 0Ii
Hairat ol^ ), while oyster beds formed on the top of submarine a11 13a ule,
mounds surrounded by deeper water are known as Najwat
(singular, Najwah ). It is noteworthy that nearly every Hair
appears to have been known from of old, whereas the Najwah is often of
recent discovery and still bears the name of the finder. The best banks
are considered to be those which are level, which are situated in clear
*A list of the principal peavl banks in the Gulf will be found in Annexure No. 4
to this Appendix, compiled by Lieutenant Hose, R. N., of H. M. S. " Redbreast."
Beaides those mentioned there are many others which, though they have diitinctive
^nies, are in reality only portions of the larger banks specified.

About this item


This volume is Volume I, Part II (Historical) of the Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , ’Omān and Central Arabia (Government of India: 1915), compiled by John Gordon Lorimer and completed for press by Captain L Birdwood.

Part II contains an 'Introduction' (pages i-iii) written by Birdwood in Simla, dated 10 October 1914, 'Table of Chapters, Annexures, Appendices and Genealogical Tables' (pags v-viii), and 'Detailed Table of Contents' (ix-cxxx). These are also found in Volume I, Part IA of the Gazetteer (IOR/L/PS/20/C91/1).

Part II consists of three chapters:

  • 'Chapter X. History of ’Arabistān' (pages 1625-1775);
  • 'Chapter XI. History of the Persian Coast and Islands' (pages 1776-2149);
  • 'Chapter XII. History of Persian Makrān' (pages 2150-2203).

The chapters are followed by nineteen appendices:

Extent and format
1 volume (1165 pages)

Volume I, Part II is arranged into chapters that are sub-divided into numbered periods covering, for example, the reign of a ruler or regime of a Viceroy, or are arbitrarily based on outstanding land-marks in the history of the region. Each period has been sub-divided into subject headings, each of which has been lettered. The appendices are sub-divided into lettered subject headings and also contain numbered annexures, as well as charts. Both the chapters and appendices have further subject headings that appear in the right and left margins of the page. Footnotes appear occasionally througout the volume at the bottom of the page which provide further details and references. A 'Detailed Table of Contents' for Part II and the Appendices is on pages cii-cxxx.

Physical characteristics

The foliation sequence 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. It begins on the first folio with text, on number 879, and ends on the last folio with text, on number 1503.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2221] (738/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 30 November 2023]

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