Notes on the Geography of Oman: Hamra
Hamra is 20 miles northwest of Nizwa. There are actually two Hamras, one new and the other a museum.
A view over the town's irrigated land; in the distance, new Hamra.
Entrance of the old town.
The old town is on a slope overlooking the palms.
Much of it is decaying.
Still, you can get a good look at the traditional way to support walls over windows here.
Typical shelving built into the wall.
Above, narrow, traditional windows and a palm-log ceiling.
Stairs to the roof.
Newer buildings do have framed doors and windows.
A building of many windows, some old-style and others new.
Doorway into the Hamra suq or market.
Four dozen stalls.
There's a scattering of people still in the old town; here, a creative use for palm leaves.
Down in the groves, walls separate properties.
Protecting a young palm.
A mechanical intruder. Note the irrigation ditch. It was common for large aflaj to bifurcate, with one channel serving the needs of the palms and another those of people. Water rights for agriculture were carefully guarded, but domestic water was delivered without charge and was neatly arranged so water was taken first for drinking, then for bathing and washing, and finally for ritually bathing the dead.
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