Located south east of Muscat, the capital of the sultanate, between the mountains and the sea, the ancient city of Qalhat is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Sultanate of Oman. It was founded by the Persians in the second century A.D. The city reached its peak between the 13th and 15th centuries, when its port was particularly active, and was visited by great travellers such as Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta; the latter mentioned the splendour of its mosque in his writing. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in the late 15th century, then pillaged by the Portuguese in 1508.

The only monument that remains visible today is the mausoleum of Bibi Maryam. The site is very extensive, covering 35 hectares, and has been only partially studied. In 1988 it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List. 


Every year, Iconem documents the excavations carried out on the site of the ancient city of Qalhat in the Sultanate of Oman. This ongoing digitisation process has enabled us to produce an evolving map of the site. For each area, three models have been produced: the first before the excavations, the second while they are being carried out and the third after consolidation. By working in close collaboration with the archaeological team and taking into account scientific studies, we have suggested a hypothetical 3D reconstruction for each monument on the site.