Ancient grave site on Masirah Island with mostly a Nne. Ssw. orientation – I have no idea of age, but it has not been enclosed with a wall by the government so almost certainly pre-Islamic, although there is a mixture of styles.
No indication of an adjoining settlement and so far nothing from my search on the internet.
Several have very old crumbly scallop shells placed on them & vary in size from child to adult.
4 thoughts on “Abandoned grave site – Masirah.”
Very true and see my answer below for Liz.
Buried sailors from centuries past? Scallop shells any christian significance there? Or more recent visitors paying some sort of homage?
Sorry, this is a bit long 😉
Some of the grave sizes would indicate otherwise & the shells have the same discolouration as the rocks, they are also very fragile.
I wondered about the Christian angle as well, most of the headstones are not orientated in the direction of Mecca as that is almost due west of the site.
Searching for information has the usual problems of name changes:
Maceira, Mazeira, Masira, Maṣīrah, Al-Maṣīrah, Masirah.
‘Sarapis’ in the ‘Periplus of the Erythrean Sea’, a Roman merchant guide of the coastal route from Egypt to India.
But one interesting reference was:
“At one point it was inhabited by Bahriya tribespeople, shipwrecked from Salalah. Wiped out by an epidemic 300 years ago”
The orientation may just be an error on their part.
Marco Polo seems to get a lookin as well, it is claimed he visited the island.
Alexander the Great’s naval admiral Nearchos termed Masirah as Serepsis in his log and travelled extensively throughout the Gulf to locate and nail down the most strategic trading ports, out of which Masirah was identified as one of the most important centres for trading in the Middle East.
I have heard folk tales of it being green and having two & three storey buildings as seen in Yemen.
Ibn Batuta was derogatory & described Masirah as ‘..a big island where the inhabitants live on fish’.