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KISH, or KAIS (the first form is Pers...

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 836 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KISH, or KAIS (the first form is Persian and the second Arabic), an island in the Persian Gulf. It is mentioned in the 12th century as being the residence of an Arab pirate from Oman, who exacted a tribute from the pearl fisheries of the gulf and had the title of " King of the Sea.," and it rose to importance in the 13th century with the fall of Siraf as a transit station of -the trade between India and the West. In the 14th century it was supplanted by Hormuz and lapsed into its former insignificance. The island is nearly ro m. long and 5 M. broad, and contains a number of small villages, the largest, Mashi, with about roo houses, being situated on its north-eastern corner in 26° 34' N. and 54° 2' E. The highest part of the island has an elevation of 120 ft. The inhabitants are Arabs, and nearly all pearl fishers, possessing many boats, which they take to the pearl banks on the Arabian coast. The water supply is scanty and there is little vegetation, but sufficient for sustaining some flocks of sheep and goats and some cattle. Near the centre of the north coast are the ruins of the old city, now known as Harira, with remains of a mosque, with octagonal columns, rnasonry, water-cisterns (two 150 ft. long, 40 ft. broad, 24 ft. deep) and a fine underground canal, or aqueduct, half a mile long and cut in the solid rock 20 ft. below the surface. Fragments of glazed tiles and brown and blue pottery, of thin white and blue Chinese porcelain, of green celadon (some with white scroll-work or figures in relief), glass beads, bangles, &c., are abundant. Kish is the Kataia of Arrian; Chisi and Quis of Marco Polo; Quixi, Queis, Caez, Cais, &c., of Portuguese writers; and Khenn, or Kenn, of English.
End of Article: KISH, or KAIS (the first form is Persian and the second Arabic)
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