The Frankincense Tree

This tree has gained worldwide fame and frankincense is mentioned in ancient history books. Dhofar has known frankincense since time immemorial. In addition to its aromatic fragrance and use as incense to aromatise houses, frankincense is also used as a therapeutic ingredient.

Humanity has known the frankincense tree since ancient times, and a special relationship has grown between the two. Frankincense is a symbol of life, or rather it is life itself, for the Dhofari people. It is not a mere tree, but an embodiment of culture, history, sociology and geography.

Over the centuries, cities and civilisations have been based on frankincense trade, as the ruins of Samahran and Khawr Rawri cities, bustling with life one thousand years BC, tell us. In these ancient cities, writings in the southern Arabic alphabet, today called Al Jabaliya, relate the story of establishing these cities for the purpose of exporting Frankincense to different parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Omani researcher and historian, Abdul Qadir bin Salim Al Ghassani, mentions in his book ‘Dhofar, the Land of Frankincense’ that Alexander the Great had imported huge quantities of incense from Arab lands.

Other sources suggest that frankincense was used round the throne of King Solomon as incense. These sources also mention that when Emperor Nero’s wife died, the Emperor burned the equivalent of the whole southern Arabian Peninsula’s yield of frankincense. In the preset time, we know that this incense is used at the Vatican in Rome.

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