The historical importance of the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia can never be denied; Al-Hasa may have the fame asan oasis, but Katif as part of it is of no less importance. The territory of Katif is divided from Al-Hasa province by an intervening range of hills, the most famous of which is know as.Jabal Mushahhar. This hill, seven hundred feet high, falls about ten miles to the south of Katif.
I'he oasis of Katif which once had at least ten thousand trees was and still is suitable for growing many types of fruits and vegetables such as apricots, figs, melons, lemons, oranges, cucumbers, obergeans and beans . So the oasis was suitable for a settled population as well as a refuge for tribes.
Katif was also famous for pearifishery which was, until recently considered as the most important source of income after agriculture. The pearls were carried by the tradesmen to India in return for other goods particularly spices and scents. Katif also had a reputation for its woodwork and minerals such as copper and bronze. It is believed that the area was covered with forests and was inhabited from very early times.
Katif of today has regained its fame through the discovery of oil. The Turks had prepared a report on an oil seepage behind Katif, some six miles north-east of the town. It was tliis report, which opened the way to digging for oil and gradually led to the discovery of the great oil dome on thejabal Zahran by Aramco (Standard Oil-previously known Casoc) and many other wells followed .
Katif, the word given to the town, appears to liave been driven from Al- Katf (الغطف)  that is “gathering of fruit or grapes'' which may indicate the abundance of vineyards and gardens in the region [*]. The region itself which according to the Iristorians extened from Basra to 'Umman was at times popular by different names: Al-Hatt is a name originally given to Al-Katif, Hecer to Al-Ahsa, and Al-Bahreyn to the Island of Eval (اوال). Some historians even claim that the Arabian Gulf was originally called Al Katif Gulf.
We do not have details on the city of Katif itself. However, according to Abu'1-Fida's Takvim al-Buldan, the city had a fortress and a ditch. The fortress was situated near the village of Al Avamiyye at a site called Ciparro ( جبد). It is also believed tliat Al-Zara, and Al-Hatt were founded at the same site . Since we know that Al-Zara, presently known as Al-Ramade ( ،؛٤ ( الرعاد ) is very near to present day Katif and not very far from AlAvamiyyie village , then we may assume that the site in question served as a building ground for the fortress. The walls of this fortress were seven feet high. It had four gates opening to four different directions: Dervaz al-Bekr to the east, Dervaz-¡ Bab a Şimal to the west, Dervazet al-Suk to the soutli, and finally the Inner Fortress gate to the north .
The city of Katif was strategically situated at a very important place and therefore had been subject, to many invasions throughout its history. It also served as a base to various rulers in the region, '!'he region came under the rule of Carmations, Portuguese and Ottomans. The Portuguese occupied the region sometime during 927 H./1520 A.D. and held it under their rule until 958 H./1551 A.D., the year the Ottomans drove them out and built a new citadel in AKatif . Altliough the emir of Al-Katif and Al- Ahsa and some other emirs in the Arabian Gulf had already paid homage to the Ottomans when Sultan Suleyman, the Legislator, conquered Baghdad in 941 H./1534 A.D. , the region actually didn't come under the direct Ottoman rule until the Ottoman.؟ defeated the Portuguese in the Arabian Gulf during the second half of the |6‘٠’ century؛ This was at a time when the people of Al-Katif, who were already tired of Portuguese rule, seized the opportunity and recovered tire fortresses, handing them over to tire Ottomans in 957/1550. Murad Beg, tire former beg of Kobarr, was appointed as beg over the liva of AKatif . ','Iris was the first Ottoman rule over Al-Katifand it came to an end in 1081 H./1670 A.D., when the tribe of Beni Halid ’ drove th em out under the leadership of Bcrrak b. Ghadir, their chieftain .
It is understood from the kanunname at the beginning of the register that the region had suffered at the hands of local emirs and subafis during the Portuguese rule, and the atrocities did not cease even after tire Ottoman conquest.
Mandaville’s findings on the region of Al-Ahsa confirm this fact as well. He argues thant as a result of such atrocities a preliminary cadastral survey was carried out in Lahsa (Al Hasa) towards the end of the year 1553.However, according (O Prof'. Salih Ozbaran the province of I hsa established in 1555 and included the district of l^atif, .Jesho, Hafa, Tahamiya, Ayun, Mubarrez and also .Jabreyn in the middle of peninsulaA few years before the establishment of Ihsa Province the sancakof Al-Ş.atif was included within the cadastral suvvey carried out on the province of Basra most probably due to tlie fact that the province of Lahsa, as it is clear from a statement in the register, was not conquered yet .
The survey on the liva of Al-K.at؛f covers pages 340-0(؛دof the register numbered 282 at Istanbul Başbakanlık Archive. The kanunnâmeof'the liva of Al katig دalong with other kanunnames in the register had already been translated into French by Mantran. The kanunnameclearly indicates that the local rulers (emirs) took advantage of the Ottomans being Muslims and confiscated the properties of re’âyâapart from imposing heavy taxes. It is mentioned in the kanunnamethat the emirs and other affiliated officials were acting contrary to the shari’a .It is also clear from the kanunnamethat no kanunnameexisted for the liva of ^atif prior to the coming of Ottomans, '!'his most probably was due to the fact that the shari'a laws were in force in the region . It is also obvious that the Ottomans when preparing a kanunname and carrying out a register paid a great deal ofattention to the previous laws that existed in an area. They have mostly used local vocabulary words in order to avoid confusion amongst the re’dya, !)11, never ignored the pure Turkish words .
Whatever the secondary purpose of' the kdnunnamea may he, their primary purpose is to serve as a legal reference for the registers carried out. rhe cadastral survey of Al-K؛،(if and its kdnunname clearly reflect this idea.
According to R. Mantran and Prof. Salih Ozbaran the cadastral survey of Basra, which irrcludes K؛،tif, was carried out sometime in 958/1551  This means that the survey was carried out immediately af’ter the conquest of'the re.giou. Therefore, a close study of the survey will give us information on the social arid economic conditions prevailing itr th(' area during both the Ottoman and the pre-Ottoman periods, '!'he register, no doubt, furnishes information on population, taxation, production, location of settlements, etlrnic groups, and tribes. The register covers tire lira of Katif, two nahiyes- apart 1’rorn Katif-, some islarrds, and tribes .
Thcre is rro other source as valuable as tire cadastral registers for working out the population census of an area for the sixteenth cetury. The purpose behind carrying out tlrese cadastral surveys was no doubt taxation, but they are accurate enought to give us a very clear picture on the population of any area. However, a very careful compulation of the figures is a must.
The Katif register when compared to some other registers has its short comings. One example is that the (jachelors were not recorded for the city of Al-Katif where as in the registers sucli as that of Amid, Kerkuk and Dakok , Trablusam, and Ruha  tlte bachelors have been recorded fbr the cities. It is notewothy that tlte bachelors were even recorded for the city of Basra within the same register, which Al-Katif is a part of as mentioned above. Under these circumstances it becomes extremely difficult to explain why the bachelors were not recorded for the city of Al- Katif. The only suggestion may be that the Ottomans did not want to put too much pressure on the inhabitants who had already been oppressed by the Portoguese and the local rulers.
Taking into consideration the fact that the bachelors were not recorded for Al-Katif city as well as for some villages, I have taken a more or less arbitrary multiplier of 6 for the households and added the bachelors, wherever they were recorded, in working out the population figures given below. Another arbitrary element enters into consideration and that is the number of soldiers garrisoned in the city and liva, and other non-registered members of the ‘askeri class. By analogy with Barkan’s conculusion on the same problem, I arrived at a figure of 10 % of the total population, and added this to the population figures. I also worked out seperately the population of three villages which had over a hundred households. I did not add to % to the estimated figure for the tribes since it is obvious that they could not have had any ‘askeri class accompanying them in the desert.
There are 57 villages recorded in the register. Of these 50 were inhabited and the remaning seven are pointed out as being cultivated by non-residents such as the inhabitants of a nearby village. However, it is also unfortunate that no household entry is recorded for the villages of Rahime, Omm al-Kura and Cenubiyye. It is clearly pointed out that their inhabitants were fishermen who most probably were out in the sea fishing at the time when the survey took place or the surveyors simply did not bother to sail to the islands where the villages were situated. It is also no surprise that the surveyors did not fail to record the pearl-hunters of Tarut island. However, the surveyors have recorded one group of these pearl-hunters without indicating whether they were the inhabitants of Tarut village or another village on the Tarut Island. It is also worth noticing that the bachelor-entries for these pearl-hunters and the villages of Tarut, Lacam, and Seyhat when compared to the bachelor-entries for other villages stand out as very high. This most probably was due to the fact that the bachelors of these villages were pearl-hunters and the amount of tax due from them was comparatively high or simply they had a well-paid occupation. Pearl-‘ hunting could also be the reason for why these villages had high population densities. Another village with a high population density is Kudih and it also appears to be a seaside village.
It is clear from table 1 that the population of Al٠Katif city was higher than all other small villages put together. T he smallest village was Zara with only seven households but a comparatively high income. This sea-side village, which was conquered during the caliphate of Ebu-Bekr, most probably was an important village with a population perhaps as high as the village of ‘Avamiyye to the north of Katif. However, it must have stopped flourishing when it was burned and laid waist by Ebu Sa’id al-Cenabi al- Karmati in 287 H./937 A.D. 
The city of Katif, according to the register, had seven quarters. One of the quarters, however, is not given a name and it becomes pretty difficult to decide whether the scribe recorded the inhabitants of one or more than one quarters under this quarter since it has the heading “.Mahalle nezd-i bab-i kal'a ve daire-i kl'a-i muteferrik ve Bahrani ve gayrihi”. However, the statement indicates that the quarter was close to the Citadel Gate.
'!'here is no ethnic or religious division in the Kati٢ register, neither for the town of Ka(i٢ nor the villages. Although this may indicate til ؛It the entire population of both die town and the villages were Muslims and the personal names throughout the register verify tliis fact, it is pretty difficult to arrive at a conclusion that they were ethnically hundred percetit Arabs since non- Arab Muslims also use Arabic names. Few household entries such as “Seyyid 'Ali veled-i 'Abdi al-Mehdi” (p. 296), “Malta 'Abd al-Imam”, “Seyyid 'Alevi” and “'Abd al-Nebi” (p. 300) epithets such as “Bah ni”, “Hindi” (p. 295) and “Taruti” (p. 297)  are certainly not enough to arrive at any conclusions altlrought tlrey may indicate that there were people who came from otlier places and settled here. It is also worth noticing that one of the quarters of Katif is called “Mahalle-¡ Sdt” , and with the exception of the last live entries all the households registered under this quarter have the title “seyyid”. I also would like to point out that there is no indication in the register that these seyyids were tax-exempted.
The K٥،i ٢region apart from Katif town had two nahiyes (subdistricts) namely ?ahran and Safia. Since there are no household entries in the register for either o،' the two nahiyes, wa may assume that they were only regional names and not towns. The number of villages that fell under the ndhiye of ?ahran were seven and that of Safia were only four . I assume that tlte villages cited from p. 335—'Anek village included-onwards fell under the ndhiyeof Katif since they are recorded as such.
According to the register there were two tribes (ta'ife) with eight clans (cema’al) leading a nomadic life in tire area. T’ife-i ‘Amayir with its eight clans appears to have been the chief tribe since 'I'a’ife-i Ehl-¡ Nikyan, which Iras two clans, is specifically pointed out as subject to her. Furthermore in the explanatory note about the tribes the reference is only to one tribe. The note reads as follows:
''The above mentioned tribe has over two thousand households. Their vineyards, orchards and other properties are on the Katif land; they themselves, most of the time, wander in the desert. Being a Bedouin Arab tribe, it was not possible to register their men. Said tribe comes and trades at a place called Kayzara 'Azar for about two months and then returns to the desert” .
It is also stated in the register that there is a dye-house with an income of about 20,000 akfes belonging to this tribe but with no timaroit .
The taxation system of Şatîf region showed a uniformity with only very minor discrepencies. The kanunnâmeat the beginning of the register covers most of the taxes. The register itself clarifies the agricultural taxes, mostly those levied in the villages. It is also no surprise that the register and kanunnâmethrow light on the amount and portion of the dues as well as the currency they are paid in. The register, furthermore, indicates that the dues from Katif town were mostly commercial where as tlrose from the villages were almost entirely agricccultural.
The proceeds from the taxes recorded under Katif town, which amounted to 202,900 akfes, went to the Imperial '!'reasure. The remaining 53>5٥٥ akfes went to the Mîr-i Livâ . The proceeds for the Imperial 'rreasure were mainly from K.atifs slaughter-house, cottonmill, seaport and ihlisâb dues as well as from the gate-tax on goods entering or leaving through its gates. An income of 52,000 akfes from the island of Tarut also went to the Imperial Treasury. The proceeds of Mîr-i Livâ,apart from the tax levied on pearlfishery of'Anek village, were mainly from the taxes levied on Katif s dyeltouse, pearlhunter's ships, and pearlmerchants. The so called penal dues (bâd-i hava)  also constituted a part of Mîr-i Livâ'sproceeds.I he taxes levied in the villages rellect almost the same pattern and gives us an idea about the agricultural background of the region as a whole.
It is no surprise that the highest income in every village was from the tax levied on dates. Although the income that proceeded from the tax levied on wheat was generally higher than the taxes levied on otlier agricultural produces, it was far below that of dates.
According to the kanunnâmeas well as the figures entered in the register the tax on dates was t /5th of the yield at 25 akfesper haşşafwhile the taxes on cereal crops were I/8th of the yield at 16 akfesper veznfor wheat, beans, barley and Indian peas  IO akfes per veznfor rice, millet and Indian corn, and finally 53 akfes per vezn for sesame . Although it is neiher clear from the kanunnâmenor the register, it is my guess that the taxes on cotton and fruits were most probably either 1/5“ or I/8؛^ of the yield at 25 akfes per vezn .
Other types of taxes levied in the villages were wharf-tax such as that of 'larut village, date-store tax in 'Anek village and penal taxes called bâd-i havâ.There was also a dye-house belonging to 'Amayir tribe with an estimated tax of 20,000 akfes.
The standart currency appears to have been the small silver coin called akfe.In the kdnunndme it is written that a mankir is a sixth of an akfe, and a muhammedi is equal to sixteen akfes.
The dates were measured in hisfe (pl. hisaj) which most probably meant a standart size basket made of palm-trees. The crops, however, were measured both in vezn and tigar. According to the entries in the register twenty veznwere equal to one ligar.
Apart from the group of revenues in Katif town, 'larut island, and 'Anek village due to either Imperial Treasure or Mîr-ı Livdas pointed above, there is neither mention of fief-holders nor any indication to where the revenues from villages went to. This is no doubt due to the fact that tire Arab provinces were farmed out on salyane status, that is the revenues were collected for the treasury and the salaries of soldiers and other officials were paid from the annual taxes collected.
The economy of the livd of Katif was overwhelmingly agricultural and pastoral. The area was mostly covered with palm-trees as it is today and the land was suitable for rich agricultural products ranging from wheat to cotton. Pearl-hunting and fishery provided the main income for the villages on the seaside and islands as well as for Katif town. Katif town served as a trading centre not only for the region but also for most parts of the Gulf area, !’here were merchant ships coming from Hormuz, Basra, Ebuşehir, Bahreyn and even from India into Katif harbour.
Katif town was also a centre for industrial undertakings and crafts. There was a dye-house in the town and according to the kanunname various types of textiles such as kiryds ( ), aided (striped stuff), destar (towel) and bez (linen cloth) were woven in the town itself.
The epithets added to personal names are very few and are limited to the entries for Katif town. However, these epithets which describe an individual’s trade and craft indicate the existence of various types of local trades and crafts as such. Although very few, the epithets in the register are as follows: carpenter, tailor, butcher, architect, broker, perfumerand maker of leather-shields .
The data that we can drive from this or any other register is abundant. However, an accurate interpretation of this data no doubt depends on other affiliated documents preserved in the Başbakanlik Archives in Istanbul. However, there are more than one hundred million documents in the Başbakanlik Archives and about 15 % of them are catalogued and available to scholars. An initial study like this on any province or district will no doubt arouse the interest of scholars for further research and will serve as proof that no research on any province that fell under Ottoman rule will ever be complete without the study of relevant documents in the Ottoman Archives. The study of the register of Katif, as 1 have pointed out above, brings to light at least some aspects of the history of the Katif district during the Ottoman as well as pre-Ottoman rule.
NAHIYES AND VILLAGES; POPULATION' AND TAX-YIELDS
(See the village of Târut and Cemâ’at-i Şeyyâdân-
Tennure ve Re’s ve
(The villages of Rahime, Ummu’l-Kra and Cenu- biyye cited under these islands have already been listed under the “Nahiyes and Villages...”)
TRIBES (See p. 34„)
Abu al-Dulf, Cm.
'Ali Şeyh Musa b. Muhammed, Cm. Al-i ‘Amayir, Tf.
Macid Şeyh Şebeb ve 'Asaf, Cm. Al-İ Mani' Şeyh ؟asim b. Seyl, Cm. Al-İ Mübârck Şeyh ‘Ali b. Ğânim ve Merfut, Cm. Â1-İ Mufarra', Cm. Al-İ
NKyan tab؛'-i ‘Amayir, Tf. Ehl-İ Tube Şeyh Salim b. Râşid, Cm. Â1-İ Yezid, Cm. Beni
(CUSTOMS) REGULATION FOR THE POR'r OF ؟ATIF
'The merchandise coming from Hürmüz, Basra, Ebuşehir, Bahreyn and other ports (into ؟atif) are taxed at six percent. Turbans, kiindeki, cloth (حوقه), garments ( قات), wheat, rice and other cereals are also taxed at six percent. 16 akçesis taken from each kilo of indigo. The dates loaded on boats and destined for trade from ؟atif or the environs of Katif are taxed at 16 akçes per 8 baskets. Traditionally oil has never been taxed. Therefore, this old tradition must be preserved and no tax be imposed on oil in keeping with this custom. Linen cloth, striped stuff, muslin and flaxen fabric or any other material passing through or (lit. and) woven and sold in ؟atif is taxed at 2 akçesper IOO.
Merchant ships coming from Hürmüz, India or any other distant or neighbouring ports and anchoring in ؟atif had an anchorage tax imposed of 3 muhammedis per ship: of this I muhammedi— which is (equal to) 16 akçes— and which was levied by the agents of Şah-bender (a provast of seaport) is to be maintained, but nothing more to be taken from the labourers. In accordance with that very ancient regulation 2 mahummedis are to be taken for the treasury (Miri) and I muhammedi to be taken by the agents.
REGULATIONS OF RATIF'S GATES AND TAYYARAT[*]
6 mankur is I akçe.If a resident of Ratif buys a camel load of rice, wheat and barley to trade it abroad, he is taxed and 2 mankur¡ for each load. The small dealer's shops in Ratif (are taxed) 8 cosmanis and 2 mankurs per month, the bakeries akçes,the harise ( حريثة?) shops existing in Rati،'4 akçesper month, the cucumber shops 5 akçesper month during the cucumber season, The tax on melon shops is 21 cosmanis and 2 mankurs during the melon season and on the onion (shops) I osmani and 2 mankurs per month during the onion season. The ships of RatiFs port indulging in commerce (buying and selling) are taxed akçesper too each ship. The fresh fish caught (lit. coming from) in the sea for sale is taxed r mankur per Ratifmenn. The cellah (?...حلاج جلاح) shops in Katif (town), Tarut island, 'Anek ports, and (any other) cellah shops in the Ratif (region) are all taxed 4 akçesper month. The tax on oxen slaughtered in Ratif is te head, one menn meat and the skin; (if) a camel slaughtered, 24 akçesaccording to the Ratif reckoning; (if) a sheep slaughtered in Ratif 4 akçesand its head. The (shops of) rice- dealers in the market are taxed akçes per month; the cloth merchants 4 akçes-,(and) butter none.
REGULATION OF COTTON MILLS
The carding cotton arriving at the mill is taxed 51osmanis and 2 mankurs; the Divan takes half and mill masters take the other half.
REGULATIONS OF KATIF'S DYE-HOUSE
The blue cloth measuring 24 cubits is taxed 9 ^osmanis and 2 mankurs. The gold embroidered cloth, measuring 24 cubits, is taxed 32 akçes.The gold coloured embroidery thread is taxed 64 akçesper Ratif menn; (and) blue colured osmanis The gold ebroidered 4 arjun long gauze veil that women use to cover their heads is taxed akçes the amount for the blue (veil) is the same.
The tax collected for (he Miri (Treasury) from the hoats pearlfishing (in the sea-area that falls) between Miislimiye port and Zahran district is 5 muhammedis ؟rom ٩ ,؛؟خلاع١٦اmuhammedis ؟rom امmeà؟om ٦ة١٦ةmrt^iammedis from the small boats, '!'he tax collected as divanlik from the merchants who buy and sell pearls in their shops is 4 muhammedis from a big, 2 muhammedis from a medium, and 1 muhammedt from a small merchant.
Tlie tax on dates is I/5th and no more than 5/؛th, and on barley, wheat, rice and tnillet and other cereals no more than 1 /8th.
After the conquest an illegel tax called mi’mariye and vukajiye had been itinovated and farmed out as mukala’a; because of the re’âyàs’increasing complaints and bec.ause ofits wide-range harm in the province it is abolished in the present registration. And the magistrates have, contrary to the shari'a, been seizing for the treasury the property of deceased shi'itesthe re'aya on a doctrine in contradiction to the four mc^Ae؛r-despite them having heirs. Hereafter, nothing, contrary to tlie shari'a, ٦٩'i 11 be seized for llie treasury (be claimed as Beytu'1-mâl) from the deceased who have lieirs.
And at times when there is bad weather the ships of many Muslims are wrecked, '!'he magistrate takes half of the load of these silips when rescued. This also, being in contradiction to the shari’a, is abolished.
Katif is a commercial town (with a port) for trade where there have been at times scarcity of grains; those who are the masters of sea-borne trade do not allow the sale of grain coming from sea to Muslims (even) at ;1 daily market price. (Instead) they impose their own rotten and stinking grain on the people of the market to be sold at a high price. This situation has prevented the coming of grain from Lahsa and (over) seas. This beign in contradiction to (Imperial) order (decree) and law (shar؛), is abolished. Hereafter, they must not do this, so that the grain may come from the vicinity and thus no grain scarcity would fall upon Muslims.
In the province of l^atifi since former times, there has been no fixed kdnunname regarding re’àyâ’sgrain; and therefore, an excessive quantity has been levied from the re’âyâ.Everyday 40 or 50 donkeys have inordinately been exacted from the people of every village and town. The re’âyâhave, by way of forced labour, been demanded by the magistrates to give their own akqes (?), to carry water and do some other services (for them). Presently the province is registered and the law is fixed. (Therelbre), from now on the re’âyâhaving paid the divanlik of their grains in accordance with the defier (register) will not, to the countrary of the mages tic law, serve the magistrates by way of forced labour.The re’aya have, by way of forced labour, been carrying forage for the magistrates everyday. This, beign considered as an utter injustice to the re’aya, is also abolished. And the subafis of nahiyes and that of town have been leeching the fodder and food of the re’aya everyday without any payment. This, being in contradiction to the magestic law, is also abolished. It should not happen from now on. If this leeching continues then the magistrate of law must obtain them their akyes in return.