Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!
online news
Stone Anchor Hoard July 29, 1997
by Spencer P.M. Harrington

Seventeen stone anchors and anchor fragments found off the ruined Omani port of Qalhat, a flourishing trade center between the eighth and fourteenth centuries, may shed light on ancient seafaring in the region. The anchors may have belonged to Arab, Persian, or Indian vessels berthed at the port, or been used as moorings there. Western Australian Maritime Museum archaeologist Tom Vosmer, who surveyed the area, says that only two of some 50 such anchors previously recorded from Indian Ocean and Red Sea sites were found in secure, datable contexts. He hopes analysis of the stones by Omani geologists will provide clues as to where the stones were quarried, thus permitting more precise dating.

© 1997 by the Archaeological Institute of America