|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
Bibi Maryam mausoleum
|Location||Sur Province, Ash Sharqiyah South Governorate, Oman|
|Criteria||Cultural: (ii), (iii)|
|Inscription||2018 (42nd session)|
|Buffer zone||170.09 ha|
Location of Qalhat in Oman
Marco Polo visited Qalhat in the 13th century, referring to it as Calatu. Ibn Battuta visited the city in the 14th century, noting that it had "fine bazaars and one of the most beautiful mosques." He further noted the mosque was built by Bibi Maryam and included walls of qashani. Bibi Maryam continued to rule Qalhat and Hurmuz after the death of her husband Ayaz in 1311 or 1312. Zheng He visited the city in the 15th century, referring to it as 加剌哈 (Mandarin: jia-la-ha; Cantonese: gaa-laat-haa).
Qalhat served as an important stop in the wider Indian Ocean trade network, and was also the second city of the Kingdom of Ormus. By 1507 when it was captured by Afonso de Albuquerque on behalf of the Portuguese Empire, the city was already in decline as trade shifted to Muscat. Covering more than 60 acres (240,000 m2), Qalhat was surrounded by fortified walls that contained houses and shops. Very little remains of the ancient city, save for the now dome-less mausoleum of Bibi Maryam. Artifacts from as far away as Persia and China were found on-site.
Recently, a research conducted by geoarchaeologists of the University of Bonn conclude that earthquake activity along the most prominent structural element, the Qalhat Fault, is a plausible reason for the decline of the medieval city.