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-   -   Forts and Cannon of Oman. (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18477)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 4th May 2014 08:43 AM

Forts and Cannon of Oman.
 
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Salaams All, I have decided to create a new thread entitled Forts and Cannon of Oman...The one can hardly exist without the other, thus, the combined thread. In fact when studying Omani cannon one rarely sees any other than European examples(British or Portuguese)...and there is always the funny story of one cannon ball between two warring Forts ! The wooden trolley or limbres which the cannon were originally mounted on are long gone, thus, they invariably have remade items in the likeness of ...There are a thousand Forts in Oman however I shall deal with the main instalations first.

I will deal with the Muscat forts of Mirani and Jelali separately later and as it happens these were the only two that were constructed by the Portuguese.

Currently I am on a project adjacent the great fort in Barka on the Baatinah Coast near Muscat though, in fact, my office in Buraimi is in the shadow of the huge fort al Khandak in the town centre. In fact in Oman you could say Forts are us !

First a map and then on with the show...

~The Barka main fort next to the sea and shot from the air below.. is famous since Ahmad Said bin Mohammed bin Khalaff bin Saaid al Busaidi the first of the current dynasty in 1743 invited the entire Persian invader contingent (who were demanding payment ) to the fort for a Haffla (banquet) and subsequently murdered the lot of them ...

In fact, he is buried in another great fort at Rostaq in the mountains not far from Barka.~ What is really interesting about Barka is...that the old town is split into factions made up of different peoples involved down the ages ladder in this town on the Baatinah... There are Balooshi, Persian Faraasi and Zadjali contingents..all now integrated as Omani tribes but retaining their own special characteristics and parts of town. We have a field trip organised tomorrow into the Fort, thus, I expect a few pictures !! Stay tuned !!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi. :shrug:

Notes;I have recieved special permission from David A. Lockwood (d.a.lockwood.659@gmail.com) to display his great pictures of Omani Cannon throughout this thread.The Barka Fort aeriel picture is courtesy of Ali Said al Namaani; one of my students. Other pictures from http://www.y-oman.com/2013/11/desti...-samail-castle/ Maps from http://www.swaen.com/antique-map-of.php?id=3628

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 4th May 2014 10:58 AM

Bahla Fort.
 
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As a background margin note I have to say that the efforts to revive Omans Forts has been considerable as many were in total despair having been washed out by the heavy rains and generally left to fall apart down the ages. The question of how to handle this situation is not easy to answer since ...do you restore or leave alone the original and build a faximile next to it... Do you flatten it and start again... or is... was there ...a way of retaining the main fort structure and restoring where possible?

Here is a before and after shot of one of Omans most famous fortresses at Bahla originally errected by the Persians in pre Islamic times...It has a perimeter wall surrounding gardens and farms in the shadow of the Fort 12 kilometres long ! In the old picture you can just make out the outline of what is the right side of the Castle..One sneeze would have brought the lot down !

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 4th May 2014 11:34 AM

Omani Cannon.
 
For a brief but interesting view of what appears to be an Omani Cannon made in Nizwa in the 17th C please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN8TCs_u05c :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Jim McDougall 4th May 2014 07:33 PM

What an outstanding topic Ibrahiim!!! and though it is noted that with the cannon used by Omani's they are nearly exclusively European, British or Portuguese, I believe that discussion can be carried out effectively here without a parallel European forum thread .
What is interesting is that here on the ethnographic forum, cannon are almost never covered (aside from lantaka), while of course on the European forum all manner of ordnance is represented, mostly medieval and renaissance.

It does seem that many of these forts were originally Portuguese, and the same is often the case in many colonial regions in other spheres.

It will be interesting to look into these forts and associated ordnance, and some of the history seen with them. Thank you for citing the sources and links credited with material...nicely done!!!

Norman McCormick 4th May 2014 11:17 PM

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Mine's bigger than yours !!! :D :D :D


Cannon at Fort Deeg, Rajasthan. Photo 1900, British Library.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 5th May 2014 04:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
What an outstanding topic Ibrahiim!!! and though it is noted that with the cannon used by Omani's they are nearly exclusively European, British or Portuguese, I believe that discussion can be carried out effectively here without a parallel European forum thread .
What is interesting is that here on the ethnographic forum, cannon are almost never covered (aside from lantaka), while of course on the European forum all manner of ordnance is represented, mostly medieval and renaissance.

It does seem that many of these forts were originally Portuguese, and the same is often the case in many colonial regions in other spheres.

It will be interesting to look into these forts and associated ordnance, and some of the history seen with them. Thank you for citing the sources and links credited with material...nicely done!!!



Salaams Jim, You are right as Michael and many other excellent people have most of the options covered over on the European whilst few cannon have been examined here... despite magnificent pieces of Indian, Persian and Omani work...home grown, perloined, gifted or borrowed.. I hope the blend of Cannon and Forts works well. Regarding Portuguese input it is true that they were superb masters in Fort construction and they did build Mirani and Jelali in Muscat and others like Bahrain however they don't seem to have constructed any others in Oman as the remainder appear to be locally made. I hope members can stay the course with me as with 1,000 Forts and countless cannon it will be a long thread. A bit like making a decent curry !
I was viewing the Met museums Indian cannon exhibits and noted some woppers in that... and as posted by Norman. :)

In about half an hour I have a full team (10 students) going in to report on The Barka Fort!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 5th May 2014 08:44 AM

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Barka Fort proved to be more incredible as access was granted for a special visit today. You dont at first realise that the fort originally stood inside a giant triangular wall making defence doubly strong. Each point of the triangle had a further tower and heavy armament. The main doors had slots above so that should the enemy be fortunate in getting that close hot molten dates could be poured on top of them. The doors in addition were iron spiked against elephant attack.

Cannon varied at the Barka Fort from English 6 pounder through Armstrong 9 pounder to Monks and Dundas 32 pounder balls fired from two and a half ton barrels!!...Cannon were first used by Oman in 1616 at Sohar fort.

What is clear is that gunpowder was a game changer… Forts had to be re constructed to take the heavy recoil and for protection against incoming rounds. Barka has one peculiar cannon designed to fire small shot like a claymore charge.

My favourite Cannon are a pair of weapons gifted by the English and stamped and decorated with the rose configuration and ER and dated 1587. A makers mark IP? appears over the breach end with their regimental numbers. There were a few shot out barrels discovered excavated from the sand in front of the Fort near the sea, badly corroded but probably English 6 pounders and one barrel blown apart.
The Fort cannon are complete with all their oak water barrels and ash ramrods etc.

As noted the first thing to note about the Fort is that the huge triangular external defensive wall is absent! see pictures below. Apparently local people helped themselves to that wall to build their houses about 250 years ago. It therefor stood inside a massive external triangular 20 foot high perimeter wall with a tower in each corner and must have protected a small population of traders, probably slavers soldiers and local people. The extra layer of defence would have been formidable and with the addition of the fort proper… almost invincible. The fort is built around two massive towers one of 8 sides and the other round. There are hundreds of rifle ports in addition.

Cannon and inhabitants use a lot of water so Barka was built with 4 water wells built into it. The Fort has dungeons simply very deep holes down which prisoners were lowered and a grate dropped over the hole. Food was simply dropped down the hole.

Shown below are a variety of cannon some from different forts as "examples" of weaponry in general circulation including at Rostaq, Jabreen and in the South at Mirbat (with the peculiar spoked wheels).

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 6th May 2014 04:55 AM

Note as to originality of what is on view~ both in the Fort structures and Cannons and Equipment. As has been said the first Omani cannon shots were fired at Sohar in 1616. Forts at that time and between then and now have fallen apart and been rebuilt for different reasons not least because heavy rain often washed out the walls causing partial collapse and because some of the forts were ancient they simply fell to bits. Rebuilding to take the extra weight of cannon and recoil as well as a program to refurbish Forts has meant a clouding of the original form and in some cases; drastic rebuilding. If you ask me to what extent Barka fort has been rebuilt I would have to say plus of 80%...including innerds that were not in the original and of course minus the great outer triangular wall...now incorporated into local houses. I am uncertain as to why Omani Forts have crenelated tops like Beau Geste Morocan fortifications since that was not the Omani style...however Morocan builders were employed in the 80s to renovate many Forts...

In terms of Cannon it appears that weapons have been centralised in the modern era after 1970...and redistributed to Forts as they have been renovated. This means two things viz;

1. Cannon have moved about and are not in their original locations....
2. Replicas are present in several locations including replica auxiliary equipments...ramrods water buckets cannon balls etc.

For that reason I show for example above at Barka fort in addition to the cannon on display there...other cannon from other Forts. No one is able to say what exact cannon there were in each location...such was the decay and condition of Omans Forts and Cannon stock.

Where possible if evidence exists such as in the case of the rusted barrels above ...being found at Barka just in front of the Fort in beach sand I shall give that information. Generally it appears that a mix of cannon were used in Omani Forts though precise details are not extant. :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 11th May 2014 10:00 AM

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This print shows Forts Mirani and Jellali ..The two major Forts constructed by the Portuguese ..There also built a few towers around Muttrah.

Kubur 11th May 2014 06:49 PM

Salaam,

A good reference for Omani forts in East Africa
https://www.academia.edu/4719393/Om...in_East_Africa_

best

fernando 12th May 2014 05:52 PM

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Very often fortifications were built over the foundations or remnants of earlier castles, although with designs more compatible with contemporaneous defence needs.
Fortifications Jalali (ex-São João) & Mirani do not escape the rule; they were built upon earlier Islamic forifications by Portuguese Rui Freire.
Mucat presents an extremely nice and curious defence net. Formed by three defence sysems, each with a different purpose.
The first one composed by a wall of envolving the city, as a primary line of defence. In the surrounding mountain heights towers of survey and atck form a circle around the harbour and the city.
These third complex, Jalali and Mirani together with Matrah, were the more sophisticated expression of what may be called the art of defence based in a Luso-Arab cultural whole and not Luso-European.
This might have been the greatest Lusitanian creation on what concerns their way of projecting and living architeture. Seeking to mix with the gigantic landscape that involves it and to which forms an integring part, all geographic irregularities are profited, with the capacity and shrewdness well typical of their know how to live with geographic discontinuity.
Although this formidable defence complex was considered unassailable, it was subdued by the Omanits in 1653.


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fernando 12th May 2014 06:04 PM

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Being nowadays a Sultanate Government-institute, also apparently the fort of Soar was rebuilt by Portuguese, in the case by Rui Freire de Andrade, having had at the time for Captain Gonçalo da Silveira,
It is also beleived that Soar was fortified with trace of Architet Inofre de Carvalho.


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fernando 12th May 2014 06:17 PM

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I wonder where the more comprehensive displays of artillery in Oman are already open to public. In fact a rather complex and expensive work took place quite a few years ago for the purpose; an episode that i happened to follow at the time.
Those are the Castles of Al Hazm, turned into an artillery museum and Bayt Ar Rudaydah, this one converted into a heritage small arms museum which displays the historical progression traditional weapons in Oman.

Attached a picture of a Portuguese crest in a cannon at the entrance of one of Muscat forts

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi 13th May 2014 11:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I wonder where the more comprehensive displays of artillery in Oman are already open to public. In fact a rather complex and expensive work took place quite a few years ago for the purpose; an episode that i happened to follow at the time.
Those are the Castles of Al Hazm, turned into an artillery museum and Bayt Ar Rudaydah, this one converted into a heritage small arms museum which displays the historical progression traditional weapons in Oman.

Attached a picture of a Portuguese crest in a cannon at the entrance of one of Muscat forts

.


Salaams fernando...True indeed ...I haven't got to those exhibitions yet but am working round to them...There are a number of Portuguese cannon and certainly one at the gates of Nizwa with a Swiss Cannon also. They often have the crest of the particular General etc over the barrel..I will pick up on those and the exhibition which I believe were the result of comprehensive work by Dr Roads. See Martini Henry...http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...23&page=2&pp=30 at #34

Your comments about Sohar...called Soar in the old maps (and correctly mentioned as such in your post)... is interesting and I think you are correct...although details I have read indicate the first Omani firing of cannon was in 1616 from that fort...but it is vague and unclear. Certainly I have Mirani and Jelali plus the towers at Muttrah as Portuguese, though, there must be at least influence if not involvement in other fortified projects. It is also true that they retreated inland when the Piri Reius Turkish expedition attacked Muscat pre the building of Mirani and Jelali... Did not the Portuguese pass on their techniques in areas like Nizwa and Mannah...the latter being a fortified town reminiscent of Portuguese work? The question as to when these cannon arrived at the forts they are now in...is as yet, not answered but I hope to do that as the thread develops.

Thank you for the excellent details...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 13th May 2014 11:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Salaam,

A good reference for Omani forts in East Africa
https://www.academia.edu/4719393/Om...in_East_Africa_

best



Salaams Kubur... That is a superb resource ... I wonder if there is a majic button to get it translated into English for Forum Library that I haven't seen on the site... non the less it is in easy to follow French and the diagrams are great... Thanks for adding that fine reference :shrug:

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

fernando 13th May 2014 07:58 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
...the exhibition which I believe were the result of comprehensive work by Dr Roads..

Correct; he was the mentor ... and his nephew was on the ground.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Certainly I have Mirani and Jelali plus the towers at Muttrah as Portuguese, though, there must be at least influence if not involvement in other fortified projects..

Countless; either built, rebuilt or modified.
Built from the ground were, for example,
Kalba (Quelba) under Portuguese rule in the XVI century.
Khor Fakkan (Curfacão) in the Sharjah side, with its triangular fort already in ruins by 1666.
The you have Diba Hisn (Doba) (the smallest of three Dibas) which, as you know, was once Omani Capital. Under Portuguese rule from 1624 to 1648, it is beleived they built a fort there.
You also have Qurayyat (Curiate), conquered in 1507. Its rectangular fort built by the Arabs was rebuilt by the Portuguese in the last quarter XVI century.

One must refrain from quoting other examples, as the doubt remains in whether a fortification was Portuguese because the place was under their rule, or indeed was built or rebuilt by them ... something often unclear in citations.
Also to be taken into account that present decharacterization occurs when archelogic autorities, carrying restorations interventions, promote the islamization of certain aspects ... battlements and other.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The question as to when these cannon arrived at the forts they are now in....

One thing inevitable to mind when you take over a medieval castle is to modify it for artillery purposes.
Cannons are heavy, but are portable ... and a vital asset in the period. They moved them a lot ... everywhere ... for the most varied reasons. You take them from you adversary when you win the battle and start using them yourself, you take them as a war trophy and you certainly take them from remote distances to exhibit them in a museum or at the door of somebody important.
One of the most formidable Muslim cannons that ever existed in India resides nowadays in Lisbon Military Museum

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Kubur 13th May 2014 10:05 PM

The best Muslim canon is in Leeds

http://www.royalarmouries.org/galle...ngle-object/196

It's my own taste, it's up to you to follow...

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th May 2014 06:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
The best Muslim canon is in Leeds

http://www.royalarmouries.org/galle...ngle-object/196

It's my own taste, it's up to you to follow...


Thats another excellent reference Kubur... Thanks
Ibrahiim al Balooshi

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th May 2014 06:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Correct; he was the mentor ... and his nephew was on the ground.



Countless; either built, rebuilt or modified.
Built from the ground were, for example,
Kalba (Quelba) under Portuguese rule in the XVI century.
Khor Fakkan (Curfacão) in the Sharjah side, with its triangular fort already in ruins by 1666.
The you have Diba Hisn (Doba) (the smallest of three Dibas) which, as you know, was once Omani Capital. Under Portuguese rule from 1624 to 1648, it is beleived they built a fort there.
You also have Qurayyat (Curiate), conquered in 1507. Its rectangular fort built by the Arabs was rebuilt by the Portuguese in the last quarter XVI century.

One must refrain from quoting other examples, as the doubt remains in whether a fortification was Portuguese because the place was under their rule, or indeed was built or rebuilt by them ... something often unclear in citations.
Also to be taken into account that present decharacterization occurs when archelogic autorities, carrying restorations interventions, promote the islamization of certain aspects ... battlements and other.



One thing inevitable to mind when you take over a medieval castle is to modify it for artillery purposes.
Cannons are heavy, but are portable ... and a vital asset in the period. They moved them a lot ... everywhere ... for the most varied reasons. You take them from you adversary when you win the battle and start using them yourself, you take them as a war trophy and you certainly take them from remote distances to exhibit them in a museum or at the door of somebody important.
One of the most formidable Muslim cannons that ever existed in India resides nowadays in Lisbon Military Museum

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Salaams Fernando ~ The politics on Forts is thicker than the walls!! Interesting that Corfecan fort is pictured as for the Fort at Barka.. unless they were identical. Possibly a mistake? Once I have a few more details I think it will become clearer as to the cloudy issue on Forts here...and bearing in mind the various attempts to rebuild...sometimes with more artistic licence than it perhaps required...and with additions and adaptions that were never there originally..I agree entirely with your descriptions and it is clear to me that a lot more Portuguese influence is apparent than openly claimed. I am certain that this can be corrected.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th May 2014 09:32 AM

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Bahla Fort Gate Cannon.

So what is this weapon?? The P and Crown appear to be proof marks ...The numbers not pictured over the thick end of the barrel would give the weight in hundredweight quarters and pounds...see site below for details and mathematics.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi. :shrug:

Note;Pictures Courtesy of David Lockwood.

I viewed http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/s...n-markings.html for cannon marks and discovered some how to spot the cannon weight and other details...worth logging .

fernando 14th May 2014 01:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... Interesting that Corfecan fort is pictured as for the Fort at Barka.. unless they were identical. Possibly a mistake?...

No, not a mistake. Corfecão, Borca (Barkah) and Sibo (As Sib) are equally triangular.
The one in Sibo aleady existed when the Potuguese arrived, quoted by them as having been built by the 'Arabios'.
Corfecão had 26 mts. in its longer side an pentagonal bastions in the vertexes. In the center, a circular tower, which protected a water well. The garrizon was formed by a Lascarin capitain and 23 soldiers.

fernando 14th May 2014 02:30 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... non the less it is in easy to follow French and the diagrams are great...

There you may discern a good example of the said difference between property and origin, when you read the title 'Omani Forts in East Africa'.
As may be read in the text, the Fort Jesus de Mombaça (as the name Jesus denotes), was built by Portuguese in 1593-1596 and only taken by the Omani in 1698.
Built upon a coral formation, is considered one the more significant examples of Portuguese military architeture of the XVI century in the oriental African coast; nowadays classified as world patrimony by UNESCO.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th May 2014 03:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
No, not a mistake. Corfecão, Borca (Barkah) and Sibo (As Sib) are equally triangular.
The one in Sibo aleady existed when the Potuguese arrived, quoted by them as having been built by the 'Arabios'.
Corfecão had 26 mts. in its longer side an pentagonal bastions in the vertexes. In the center, a circular tower, which protected a water well. The garrizon was formed by a Lascarin capitain and 23 soldiers.


Salaams fernando...Glad to hear that... I am on a project next to Barka Fort for a month and Seeb is near my appartment. Corfecan may be a bit more difficult but I shall endeavor to raise pictures of the current instalations. You refer to the Fort Jesus which is entirely described here as Portuguese though changed hands later...The Fort at Bahrain is also Portuguese. Forts were not reclassified Omani Forts because of some religious decision but perhaps since some were either largely or totally rebuilt... I mean for example the fort at Bahla is an Omani Fort but was built by the Persians ...originally.

What I want to know is who was involved in either the design or rebuilding in each case and when was each one modified so that a precise picture can be presented. Such was the deterioration that in some cases the entire surrounding triangular wall ...e.g. at Barka has vanished; incorporated into the surrounding old houses construction which can be seen ...and I shall photograph those exposed walls next week..I am fascinated that 3 forts were essentially identical; Seeb, Corfecan and Barka.

It can be said that Bahla is totally reconstructed and was in such bad condition that no cannon of any size would have been used from inside it...as it would have brought the fort crashing down with the vibrations...

There are differing types of reconstruction down the ages;
1. Preparing the forts for cannon.
2. Running repairs say after heavy rains or part collapse...
3. The third type of renovation is because of tourism requirements.

My view is that the outer surrounding walls need to be repaired...reclaimed..and that a complete and true picture be assembled as to what cannons were at which Forts ...moreover who built the installations and when...The record book can then be retuned..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th May 2014 04:24 PM

For a comprehensive background to Forts and Cannon of Oman etc see http://www.klm-mra.be/icomam/downloads/issue07.pdf :shrug:

fernando 14th May 2014 04:53 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
The best Muslim canon is in Leeds

http://www.royalarmouries.org/galle...ngle-object/196

It's my own taste, it's up to you to follow...

Well, when i said " One of the most formidable Muslim cannons that ever existed in India resides nowadays in Lisbon Military Museum" i was far from ensuring it is the best. Despite my personal appreciation for such specimen, i am far from being able to classify cannons but, the quotation on it stated by scholars is that it is one of admirable greatness since the XVI century and one of the largest basilisks in the world, with its 6,11 mts length, 19.499 Kilos weight and a caliber of 23,5 cms, throwing 43 kilos iron projectiles.
But what is important is its symbolic value, rather than its sophistication or dimension.

(I have already posted this cannon in a different approach. It is somwehere in the archives; can't spot it)

The iscription it contains saved it from being molten for the casting of a statue of King Dom José I around 1770 when, at the last moment, intelectual Friar José de S. Antonio Moura translated the said inscription which reads (Arabic writers may correct ):

From our Lord the Sultan of Sultans of time; verifier of the tradition of the Prophet of (God) Merciful; who combats for the exaltation of the precepts of the Koran; the demolisher of the arguments of the supporters of impiety; the one that removes the houses of worshipers of idols; the Victor in the day when the two armies encounter; heir to the kingdom of Solomon; trusted in the God the Benefactor; the possessor of the virtues – Bahadur-Shah Sultan; this piece was made in day 5 of the month Dhul Ka'da, year 939.

This cannon, built in 1533, was captured and brought to Portugal in 1538 and had practical use in Lisbon defences, before its ending in exhibition.
It is known as O Tiro de Diu (The shot of Diu), name given after its use in the siege of Diu in 1538.


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fernando 14th May 2014 05:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
For a comprehensive background to Forts and Cannon of Oman etc see http://www.klm-mra.be/icomam/downloads/issue07.pdf :shrug:

Excelent. The Portuguese part, for one, looks rather comprehensive and competent.
I've saved it.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th May 2014 05:45 PM

1.For a very excellent technical approach to Nizwa Fort , its floor plan and shooting positions etc please see http://www.behance.net/gallery/1594...t-Fort-of-Nizwa

2. See the books on Portuguese Forts in Oman...http://www.colonialvoyage.com/category/asia/oman/#

3. For a sympathetic outline of Omans Forts please read http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/iss...tified.oman.htm note it is slightly out of date in that Bahla has by now been more or less restored.

4. A small pocket book style guide and a short video on Omani Forts exists at http://omanpocketguide.com/index.ph...d=97&Itemid=132

5. Take a look at these old pictures of Oman...Note the destruction caused by neglect in the pictured forts...In some cases the later reconstruction had to be virtually from scratch. http://qal3ataltareekh.blogspot.co....g-post.html?m=1

fernando 14th May 2014 06:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
...e.g. at Barka has vanished; incorporated into the surrounding old houses construction which can be seen .

Typical ... also over here. The local fort in my home town was once almost swallowed by houses, till some good soul from the authorities demolished a few of them... to recuperate historic dignity and aesthetics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
...There are differing types of reconstruction down the ages;
1. Preparing the forts for cannon. .

Yes, in the most varied ways, according to period specialists and their origin. For example, sometimes you open embrasures in the walls for the cannons, other you build access ramps in which cannons shoot over the walls, an easier process. I can see both systems in mine and next town fortresses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... 2. Running repairs say after heavy rains or part collapse....

A critical and chronic situation. Cements were not so good those days; walls used to fall apart in no time. Also artillery degradated a lot. I can read reports from local fort Captains claiming for repairs and gun replacements every now and then. One of the reasons is also because, depending on timely strategies forts were abandoned for long periods, nobody caring to maintain them in the meantime and, when you decide is vital to use them again, the whole thing is in bad shape and requiring lots of work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... 3. The third type of renovation is because of tourism requirements.....

The more risky part. That's when they decide to transform a genuine monument into showbusiness ... either to please the sponsor or enjoy the indifferent visitor.

But you miss a fourth part, which is 'deconstruction'; something ocurred in not so old days, at least over here. Palaces and castles were partly dismantled to use the stones in other constructions; either donated by the State to those interested in building their own facilities or even the castle owner himself to make another palace or a chapel around the corner. I know about both specific cases.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th May 2014 03:22 PM

A great report on Bayt Rudayday is at http://www.muscatdaily.com/Archive/...ed-viewing-1znc

Quote''According to Dr Roads, a leading world expert said that one of the rarest cannons of British origin is present in Oman.

“The cannon belongs to the English Commonwealth era, which was from 1649 to 1660. After Charles II came back to power in 1660, he ordered defacing of all arms and cannons which had the conjoined shields of England and Scotland from the Commonwealth era. The cannon in Oman could be one of the only two known to exist from the period.

Dr Roads believes that Oman has an amazing collection of muzzle-loading cannons and carriages from more than ten countries. “There are 27 different carriages at Barka Castle and Al Hazm Fort and there are plans to add another six. With Iberian cannon and carriages, the variety in Al Hazm far exceeds those existing in Spain and Portugal combined together.” "Unquote.

In another article he states that Quote “With more than 1,000 forts that dot the country, each has one or more cannon, not forgetting many that adorn government buildings and walis' offices.(A Wali is a county governor) There are also many distinguished cannons, like the one which is believed to be the oldest, dating back to 1575 of Portuguese-Indian origin, and found in the vicinity of Nizwa castle, entirely overlooked and unrecognised.”Unquote.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th May 2014 03:29 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Salaams....One of the most peculiar Ethnographic arms I have seen in Oman is...The Palm Tree. Defenders of Forts used the boiling oil from date palms to pour down specially built-in slots above main doorways on top of raiders. :shrug:

Shown below is Nakhl Fort surrounded by Date Palms.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi. :shrug:


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