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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1311] (360/688)

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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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One of the principal places in the district of Dhufar, on the south coast of Arabia, and
a complementary port to Rlsut from which it lies 48 miles almost due east, the plain of
Dhufar Proper occupying the interval between. It is over COO nautical miles by sea
from Masqat. At Ras Murbat the coast changes its direction from east and west to
south-south-east and north-north-west; and off the village, which stands on the shore
about a mile within the cape, there is consequently a perfectly sheltered anchorage in
the north-east monsoon ; the depth of water is 6 to 7 fathoms at less than half a mile
off shore. Near the sea, less than a mile north of the village , is a red granite hill called
Jabal-al-Ali, and a plain of dark granitic rocks extends eastward from Murbat to Ras
Niis and inland for about 10 miles to the foot of the huge sc ap here formed by the Samhan
hills : one of the highest points in the Samhan range is situated about six miles north of
Murbat. The village of Murbat consists of about 150 huts and houses ; of the houses,
38 in number, some are of stDne. The only buildings in good repair are the house of the
Shaikh and the residence of the ' Aq"d commanding the garrison; the latter is on the beach
about J of a mile north-west of the village. The population of the place is mixed and
includes 40 houses of Sadat, 20 of Ja'afar, 10 of Qaras of the Ahl 'Umr section (Bat
Makhaiyir sub -section), and a few of Mahras, Hikman and Mashiakh. The poorest
classes live by fishing and none are well-to-do. Malarial fever is said to prevail through
out the year and the people are rather thin and anaemic. Little is to be had in the way
of supplies except cattle and goats ; the water-supply is from wells in the bed of Wadi
Murbat, which comes down to the sea about one mile north-west of the village, and is
of fair quali^. Livestock are a few camels, donkeys and cattle and about 400 sheep
and goats ; in winter the cattle present a thin and miserable appearance, due to the
scarcity of pasture at the season. Millet and sugarcane are grown ; also cocoanut.
Frankincense from the Samhan hills is exported to Bombay, whence rice and cloth are
obtained in return. With the exception of 10 to 30 boat crews of Jannabah, who come
every year to fish, few Arabs from abroad visit Murbat. Murbat is subject to the Wali
of Dhufar and is held by a garrison of some 20 'Askaris in the name of the Sultan of
'Oman ; but few of these levies are men from 'Oman. The virtual ruler of Murbat is tho
Shaikh of the place whose authority is supposed to extend from Ras Nus to Taqa ; but
he has little real power beyond the limits of his village. The plain of Dhufar Proper can
be reached from Murbat by a track which runs along the coast westwards for about 20
miles Murbat was once occupied by Muhammad-bin-'Aq 1, a pirate who made himself
master of Dhufar at the beginning of the 19th century : the traces of his fort built in
1806 still remain, and his tomb also is here.
MURBAT (W adi)—
A valley in the Jabal Samhan {q. v.), district of the southern coast of Arabia.
One of the R5qah sections of the 'Ataibah tribe {q. v.) of Najd, Central Arabia.
A hamlet in Widyan Dawasir {q. v.) in South-Western Najd.
One of thefarlqs or quarters of the town of D5hah {q. v.) in Qatar, Eastern Arabia.
One of thefarlqs or quarters of the town of Dohah {q. v.) in Qatar, Eastern Arabia.
A tiny hamlet in Wadi Mansah {q. v.) in the 'Oman Sultanate.
murra— . _ „ .
A tribe, mentioned by Doughty, as belonging to Wadi Dawasir, south of ISajd.

About this item


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' [‎1311] (360/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 27 February 2020]

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