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The Past

20,000 - 2,000 years ago

Magan is the name given in Sumerian texts from Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia) to the entirety of southeastern Arabia. Thus it applies to the territory of both the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman. Magan was known in Mesopotamia as a source of copper and hard, black stone, probably diorite or olivine-gabbro. The Akkadian king Sargon of Agade said in a royal inscription that ships from Dilmun, Magan and Meluhha docked at the quay of his capital city. Magan was later attacked by two of Sargon's successors, the kings Manishtusu and Naram-Sin. The 'copper mountain of Magan' mentioned in Mesopotamian sources undoubtedly refers to the copper-rich Hajar mountains, as numerous sites littered with slag from the refining of copper in both Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah attest.

Magan was also in contact with the Harappan civilisation of the Indus Valley, a fact more than amply supported by the increasing number of finds of Harappan pottery, weights and seals made at sites such as Ras al-Jins in Oman and Asimah, Tell Abraq and Shimal in the Emirates.

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