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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
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Posted at Mar 17/2007 05:16PM:
Elly: Gerrah is a East Arabian trading town in the kingdom of Dilmun that is known only from textual sources and has not been definitively associated with any archaeological sites. It is thought to have been founded around 690 BCE, and was an important trading emporium. It is not clear if it was a coastal city or further inland, and it may have been that there as a main city and a port associated with it. It has been associated with the archaeological site of Thaj, and it has also been posited that it could be under the Islamic remains of a fort at Uqair. Gerrha was involved in international trade, connected first with Mesopotamia (through maritime trade) and later with the eastern Mediterranean (through the overland caravan routes). It traded in goods coming in from India and elsewhere, and was also involved in the incense trade. In the textual sources it is described as a very rich town, much coveted by the empires it traded with. It is an important example of the role of Arabian cities in international trade, serving as entrepĂ´ts for lucrative foreign goods in addition to the regionally produced incense. Furthermore, that we know of this site from Mesopotamian, Selucid, Greek, and Roman sources shows its influence on the surrounding world.