3) Ruins of Cities: Baraqish, Qarnaw, Ma'rib

39 images Created 10 Jan 2014

Qarnow and Baraqish were cities of the kingdom of Ma'in; and Ma'rib the capital of Saba, renowned for the huge dam which irrigated the surrounding land in an era of greater fertility. Their peoples - Minaeans and Sabaeans - inhabited South Arabia during the first millenium BCE, and the territory was crossed by caravan routes linking the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean. Frankincense and myrrh were the most famous exports of these lands.
Excavation of the sites has only been gradual owing to the inaccessibility of the region, and frequent restrictions on the movement of foreign visitors. More recently, extreme Islamist activity has made this north-eastern corner of Yemen a hazardous proposition for any traveller.
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