are always warmly welcome -

20 February 2008

The ancient city of Gerha = Qariyat Al-Fau
Weekly Arab Political Magazine
February 17, 1999
Al-Ansari, who is considered the founder of archaeology in Saudi Arabia, presented a paper on Qariyat Al-Fau (Fau Village) which in classical texts is referred to as 'Gerha', its Greek name.

Al-Ansari said that this ancient city, which is situated at the centre of the Arabian peninsula between Al-Salil and Najran and on the edge of the Empty Quarter on the old trade route, was the political, economic and cultural capital of the Mu'in state between the fourth century B.C. and up to the first century B. C. After that, it became the capital of the Kendah Kingdom, until the fourth century A.D.
He pointed out that although the city is described by the word 'qariyah', or village, the original meaning of the word in Arabic is not the same as it is today. The root of the word actually meant a large city, settled and open to the outside world and it was from that original sense of the word that Holy Mecca takes its other name, 'Umm Al-Qura', or Mother of Cities.

Qariyat Al-Fau was designated a city as the excavations that have taken place there have found that the city was not surrounded by walls, was open to the outside world and had established relations with the civilisation that existed between the Tigris and the Euphrates; it had reached a very advanced stage of human development and deserved to be named a city. Dr Al-Ansari showed slides of the excavations of the ruins of the city, which began in 1972, showing silver coins from that period as well as the city's temples, the cemeteries where royalty were buried, and also public cemeteries.
[...] Qaryat Al-Fau: Books: Rahman Al-Ansary by Rahman Al-Ansary. Qaryat-Al-Fau-Rahman-Al-Ansary/dp/0312657420

Qaryat (Al-Fau)
 The ancient town of Qaryat is situated at about 700 km southwest of Riyadh. Its archaeological ruins known today as al-Fau, a name derived from its geographical location at a passageway through Tuwaiq mountains range where it intersects with wadi al-Dawasir , overlooking the northwestern edge of the Empty Quarter desert.
  Confirmed from texts found at the site during excavations, Qaryat had been mentioned in ancient South Arabian documents as the capital of Kinda kingdom from the 1st century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. In antiquity the town flourished as a major trading post, located at the heart of ancient caravan roads, it had gained importance by its control over the only pass via Tuwaiq mountains range, from western and southwestern to eastern Arabia. Archaeological remains at the site, indicate that the town expanded to about 2 km north – south, and about 750 m. east – west.
   The archaeological excavations carried out by King Saud University team, from 1970 to 2003, uncovered two major sectors of the town. The first; is a residential, consisted of houses, squares, streets and a market place. The second; is a sacred, consisted of temples and tombs. The general architectural plan is very indicative of pre-Islamic town in Arabia.

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16 February 2008

Amber Routes

Amber trade routes
Amber trade routes: 1 - Border of Roman Empire; 2 - Route of the early bronze age; 3 - Route of the middle bronze age; 4 - Sea route; 5 - "Amber route"; 6 - Routes of the East.
(By: Michelbertas, 1963)

"Amber, obtained in major excavation centres in Jutland and on eastern Baltic Coast began to spread in central Europe reaching even Egypt. Baltic amber beads were found in 3400-2400 BC pharaoh tombs in Tethys pyramid. German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann who in 1871-1890 excavated Troy in addition to other artefacts found amber beads. Scientists established that they were made from amber that had been brought from the Baltic Coast in 3000 BC. This archaeologist has found Baltic amber also in cupola tombs of Mycenaean culture built on Crete Island in 1600-800 BC."

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15 February 2008

Jorvik's (York's) possible Trade Routes beyond the British Isles

Viking trade routes

See also

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10 February 2008

Miscellaneous articles on routes in Central Asia

Munphool Pundit. 1870.
Relations between Gilgit, Chitral, and Kashmir
The Journal of the Ethnological Society of London (1869-1870), Vol. 2, No. 1. (1870), pp. 35-39.
Stable URL:

C. E. Biddulph. 1891
Journey across the Western Portion of the Great Persian Desert, via the Siah Kuh Mountains and the Darya-i-Namak
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, New Monthly Series, Vol. 13, No. 11. (Nov., 1891), pp. 645-657.
Stable URL:

K. de B. Codrington. 1944
A Geographical Introduction to the History of Central Asia (Continuation)
The Geographical Journal, Vol. 104, No. 3/4. (Sep. - Oct., 1944), pp. 73-91.
Stable URL:

A. S. Morris. 1967.
The Journey beyond Three Seas
The Geographical Journal, Vol. 133, No. 4. (Dec., 1967), pp. 502-508.
Stable URL:

L. V. S. Blacker. 1917
From India to Russia in 1914
The Geographical Journal, Vol. 50, No. 6. (Dec., 1917), pp. 393-418.
Stable URL:

David Christian. 2000.
Silk Roads or Steppe Roads? The Silk Roads in World History
Journal of World History 11.1 (2000) 1-26

Aurel Stein. 1943.
On Alexander's Route into Gedrosia: An Archaeological Tour in Las Bela
The Geographical Journal, Vol. 102, No. 5/6. (Nov. - Dec., 1943), pp. 193-227.
Stable URL:
NOTE: This article contains high-quality images.


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