Geography and Environment


Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities

32. Bedouin coffee pot, Professor Bob Allison (Vice-Chancellor)

The Wahiba Sands, a sand sea in the Sultanate of Oman, is a complex system of linear, transverse and barchan dunes. The dune sediments are partly derived from the Oman Mountains to the north and partly from the Arabian Sea to the south. The region is named after the Bani Wahiba tribe, indigenous nomadic Bedouin.

I spent three months in the desert early in my research career, as part of the Royal Geographical Society Oman Wahiba Sands Project. The Bedouin were some of the kindest people I have met, fun to be with and I made good friends. At the end of my time in the Wahiba, I was presented with this coffee pot as a memento of my time in the Sands. My newfound friends and I drank coffee from the pot on many evenings, prepared on an open wood fire, under the stars and with the waves breaking on the shore behind us.