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Magan (civlization)

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Magan (also Makkan[1]) was an ancient nation. It is mentioned in Sumerian cuneiform texts of around 2300 BC. It lasted to 550 BC as a source of copper and diorite for Mesopotamia.

Likely location of Magan

Magan's exact location is not known. Most of the archeological geological evidence suggests that Magan was part of what is now Oman.[2] However, some archaeologists place it in the region of Yemen known as Ma'in,[3] in the south of Upper Egypt, in Nubia or the Sudan, and others as part of today's Iran or Pakistan.[4]

Model of a Magan boat

With the disappearance of trade from the Indus region, the copper from Magan was later replaced by copper imports from ancient Cyprus.

Trade was common between Magan and Ur before the reigns of the Gutian kings over Ur. After they were deposed, Ur-Nammu of Ur restored the roads and trade began again between the two nations (c. 2100 BC).[5]


  1. Boats of the World
  2. M. Redha Bhacker and Bernadette Bhacker. "Digging in the Land of Magan". Archaeological Institute of America. 
  3. F. Hommel, Ethnologie und Geographie des alten Orients, (Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft von W. Otto, III. Abtl. I, Teil, Bd. I, Munich 1926), 550, 578 ff.
  4. John Lawton. "Oman - The Lost Land". Saudi Aramco World (May/June 1983): 18–19. 
  5. Hamblin, William J. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. New York: Routledge, 2006.