The Frankincense Trail

The ancient Frankincense trade route of Arabia

Mohit Sapru Posted On :
2 min 309 words

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The Frankincense Trail is a BBC documentary that traces one of the epic trade routes of ancient times. Presenter Kate Humble covers a treacherous 2000mile journey across modern day Middle East that begins in Southern Oman and travels through Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan finally ending in the sacred city of Jerusalem in Israel.

In the ancient world frankincense was rare and valued more than gold with its aromatic smoke being much sought after by Kings and wealthy citizens. Such was its demand that it created a trade route across Arabia from Oman to the Holy Land (area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River - biblical Land of Israel and region of Palestine) from where it was distributed all over the ancient world including Greece, Rome and beyond. In time this trade not only allowed entire cities and civilizations to prosper all along its path but also made it possible to connect the Arab world to the West. It is believed that frankincense was one of the three gifts given by the Three Wise Men(Biblical Magi) to Jesus Christ upon his birth.

Map of Frankincense Trade Routes from AD 100 - ©️National Geographic,1982

  1. The journey begins in Oman and passes through Yemen into Saudi Arabia

  2. Covers the journey through Saudi Arabia into Egypt

  3. Part of the journey through Egypt into Jordan

  4. The final stretch through Jordan finally ending in Israel