Sambuk (ultimately from Middle Persian samb?k), known in New Persian as Sunb?k () and in Arabic as Samb?k (), Samb?q () and ?umb?q (), is a type of dhow, a traditional wooden sailing vessel. It has a characteristic keel design, with a sharp curve right below the top of the prow. Formerly sambuks had ornate carvings.
The exact origins of the dhow are lost to history. Most scholars believe that it originated in India from 600 BC to 600 AD, although there are some who claim that the sambuk may be derived from the Portuguese caravel. However, Portuguese caravels only appeared in the area in the late 15th century.
Sambuks of different sizes were used along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the southern Arabian Peninsula. This type of boat was widespread in Southern Arabia, in places such as Saham and Sur in Oman --where it was formerly used in pearl diving and fishing, as well as in the Yemeni coast of the Red Sea. The sambuk is the largest type of dhow seen in the Persian Gulf today.
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