Khor Rori lies along the coast
between Taqah and Mirbat, and is situated approximately 40 kilometres from the Wilayat of
Salalah in the east.
presence of several cultural levels in the site
reflects several successive settlements. The name of Khor
Rori was cited as (Mosha Laymen) in the
Greek records which goes back to a date between the first
and second century AD.
The excavated engravings refer to the settlement as
Smhrm or Sumhuram. The author of the Greek seafarer’s
manual the Periplus refers to Khor Rori as
Moscha. The letters Smhrm were also detected on coins
prevalent along the coasts of the Arabian sea and the
the last century, a great deal of research has been
conducted on the site of Khor Rori, beginning in 1952
with (the American Archaeological Mission).
Subsequently, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture
conducted several surveys, focusing on the geography,
archaeology and geology of the surrounding area. With
the formation of the National Committee for
Supervision of Archaeology Surveys in the Sultanate
and subsequently the Office of the Advisor to H.M. the
Sultan for Cultural Affairs,
additional surveys have been carried out since 1996 to
the present day, in collaboration with the Italian
Mission to Oman (IMTO) from the University of Pisa.
The structure of the city shows that it was an
important and wealthy settlement with
impressive strong fortifications, a huge city gate,
imposing buildings, a temple to the God of the Moon,
storehouses and multi-floored houses. The passage
through the city gate was marked by a series of
monumental inscriptions which referred to the
foundation of the city. A small temple outside
Sumhuram’s walls, probably linked to the necropolis,
was excavated in 2003. In the temple inside the city
numerous votive objects were found
across the floor of the sanctuary: the base of a
bronze candelabrum, bronze bells, coins, bronze
incense burners, a complete stone vessel, an offering
table, several dozen seashells which were used as oil
lamps and personal ornaments including a bronze
bracelet, a finger ring and a pendant in the form of a
camel. The most important object was a bronze bowl
with a votive inscription running along the rim. The
dedication was to the god Sin in “his temple in
Sumhuram in the land of Sakalan”.
objects, coins and pottery are evidence that Sumhuram
was the one of the first Arabian city, in ancient
times, to establish a relationship by sea with the
Mediterranean, India and the Gulf area.
Coal and wood specimens were taken from various parts
of the site and analysed by Carbon-14 dating. They
revealed a time span of construction between the 4th
century BC and 5th century AD.