Cultural Landscape

While a number of interesting and important individual cultural heritage sites are located on Soqotra, one of the most remarkable features is what we have called the “cultural landscape”, about which relatively little is known.

Soqotra has featured prominently in historical texts, such as the Periplus Maris Erythraei, as an important source of incense, dragon’s blood, and aloes. The intensive cultivation of these products, particularly during the first centuries BC/AD, has resulted in the extensive modification of the island’s interior landscape, which is replete with wall systems, settlements and rainwater catchments (“leems”) that appear to be related to past agricultural production and water management practices.