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Candidate for Nephi's Arabian Bountiful: Khor Kharfot, Oman, via Oculus Quest 2 VR using Wander


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Jeff Lindsay mentioned that the site had Google Earth images, and since Wander on Oculus Quest 2 uses Google Earth, I decided to take a look.  There are two or three VR locations on the beach, and one overlooking the beach, and another at the archeological site... very cool.  Several more at various location up the wadi.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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“Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve famed for grazing trees, water resources,” Oman Daily Observer, Aug 23, 2021, online at https://www.omanobserver.om/article/1105834/oman/khor-kharfout-archaeological-reserve-famed-for-grazing-trees-water-resources ,

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Situated within the mountainous geographical range of the governorate makes it among the areas affected by the annual monsoon rains (Khareef).
The site is characterised for its mild summer with a maximum temperature ranging between 34- to 14°C and a relatively short winter.
It receives irregular cyclonic rain that may increase due to climate change and weather conditions.
The dissimilarity seen in the reserve’s topography has created diversity in the sanctuary’s environments from its mountains, woods, valleys, coastal areas to its semi-desert environment.
With its pristine beach, the reserve is counted as an exceptional habitat for migratory birds, and best-sought destination for hiking, fishing and watching turtles and dolphins.
The Khor Kharfout Archaeological Reserve is famous for being home to the finest grazing trees and the availability of water sources. It was believed that the Khor was used as an ancient port for exporting frankincense. The towering mountains and deep wadis are areas of inspiration for many enthusiasts and adventurers. The unique biodiversity of the reserve is one of the cultural and aesthetic features of the place.

Khor Kharfot “Kharfot Inlet” (at the mouth of Wadi Sayq in Oman), Kherfut being a Mahri term meaning something like "abundance has come after the monsoon" (Warren Aston)[1]; Noel B. Reynolds supports this suggested site as most likely,[2] and Nigel Groom thought it possibly the site of ancient Moscha.[3]

This often lush coastal area currently features large permanent fresh-water ponds, springs, wild honey, jumaise-sycamore fig trees, date palms, tamarind trees, acacia, frankincense and myrrh trees, iron ore at Jabal Al Akhdar, hyrax, fox, porcupine, snake, wild tahr-goat, and leopard, along with fish and lobster in the bay.  One can still find oryx in the Asir Mountains of nearby Saudi Arabia.[4]  Archeological excavation in South Arabia shows that the early period also featured teff, barley, broomcorn millet, oats, grapes, cumin, flax, garden sorrel, and corn cockle.[5]


[1] Warren P. Aston, “Across Arabia with Lehi and Sariah: ‘Truth Shall Spring out of the Earth’,” JBMS 15/2 (2006):8–25, 110, online at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/ ; Warren P. Aston  and Michaela Aston, In the Footsteps of Lehi: New Evidence for Lehi's Journey across Arabia to Bountiful (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1994); Warren P. Aston, “Arabia’s Hidden Valley: A Unique Habitat in Dhofar Captures Arabia’s Past,” Wildlife Middle East News (WME), 6/4 (March 2013):2-4, online at http://www.wmenews.com/newsletters/1366812925wmenews _V6_I4_eng.pdf .

[2] Reynolds, "Lehi's Arabian Journey Updated," in N. Reynolds, ed., Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited (Provo: FARMS, 1997), 379-389.

[3] Groom, “The Periplus, Pliny, and Arabia,” Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 6 (1995):184-185.

[4] See the entire issue of Wildlife Middle East News (WME), 6/4 (March 2013), online at http://www.wmenews.com/newsletters/1366812925wmenews _V6_I4_eng.pdf .

[5] Gus W. Van Beek, Hajar Bin Humeid: Investigations at a PreIslamic Site in South Arabia.  Publications of the American Foundation for the Study of Man, 5 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1969), reviewed by Gary Wright in American Anthropologist, 72 (1970):702-703.

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Incidentally, one of the Virtural Reality Views at Korh Khafot in Oman viewable through Wander (which uses Google Earth) on the Oculus Quest 2, happens to be of an archeological site, for which there  interesting information from the Proctor's here:

https://ldsmag.com/day-2-was-there-a-holy-place-of-worship-at-nephis-bountiful/

Worth considering.

Best,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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