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Culture & Tradition

Frankincense

Folklore has it that camel caravans traveled 3400 kilometers over a 100 days period to reach Gaza ports in order to trade Frankincense. It was regarded as a miracle cure for the gods in the time of the Roman Empire and was transported by the ton. Starting in the 5th century BCE, the high demand for incense used in rituals led to a flowering of the incense trade route and the cities and kingdoms that connected them. The Frankincense Route created a huge economic boom for the neighboring regions. In the eighth century BCE, jewelry, gold, and other precious goods were also traded on this unique route. Today, most of the old caravan routes of the Frankincense Route have been blown away by the wind and their cities sunk in the sand. Only a few lonesome oases appear every now and then on the horizon and inspire the imagination of traveling adventurers. In 1984, a crossroads of three trade routes were located on satellite images. These were excavated and the ruins of a city that many researchers believe to be the legendary Wubar were found. In the tale of One Thousand and One Nights, Wubar was considered the Atlantis of the desert, destroyed by Allah because its inhabitants had become haughty and greedy.