Model of a Magan boat

Salalah, The Museum of the Frankincense Land

This model represents the hypothetical reconstruction of a trading vessel of the 3rd Millennium, according to the iconography on the cylinder seals and the archaeological evidence discovered at the Omani site of Ras al-Hadd. The hull was made of tightly bound bundles of marsh cane and reed mats were affixed to it. Only a few parts, such as the mast and sections of the rudder, were made of wood. The hull was waterproofed inside and out with bitumen; hence these crafts were known as “the black ships of Magan”. (AP)