Sumhuram, also known as Khor Rori, contains the remains of an ancient port city and military stronghold which is located near Salalah in Oman, close to the Yemeni border.
A center of the ancient frankincense trade route, Sumhuram was founded towards the end of the first century BC by LL'ad Yalut, king of the Hadramant, and became an important trading post for merchants across the Arabian Sea as well as India. Frankincense was highly in demand across the ancient world, especially in Rome where it was used as incense for temples etc. Indeed, Sumhuram was widely known in ancient times, with references to the port being found in Greek and Arabic historical records.
However, over the centuries the changing shape of the coastline saw Sumhuram’s port slowly silt-up and trade moved to other areas. It’s likely the site was abandoned by the third century AD.
Today, visitors to the site can find Bronze Age fortifications from the small fortified town as well as a local palace ascribed to the Queen of Sheba. Inscriptions at an entrance gate confirm the name of the town as Sumhuram, though today it is known by many different names, including Samharam, Mosha, Moga and Khawr Ruri.
Sumhuram is one of four sites listed on UNECSO’s Land of the Frankincense World Heritage site.