Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

2
SEARCH FOR A SITE

*

The R.A.F. plane from Aden made a bumpy landing on the little landing strip in the Wadi Beihan, and I tried to make my stomach settle down comfortably in its accustomed place. In a flight around the world I had not yet felt uneasy until this brief jaunt to inspect the sand-covered ruins of the ancient South Arabian capital of Timna. Now I pulled myself together for the warm greeting of Sherif Saleh bin Naser, as picturesque and dignified an Arab as I could have wished to see.

The Sherif had two beasts of burden to offer for the seven-mile ride to our destination--a camel and a small horse. The camel was a vicious-looking beast, and as I approached him I heard Gargantuan subterranean noises rumbling from his mid-section. I turned to Charles Inge, Director of Antiquities for Britain's Crown Colony of Aden, who had accompanied me, and asked if he would like to ride the camel. He obligingly agreed, and enjoyed a pleasant ride. I chose the horse, which was equipped with a saddle that seemed upholstered with rocks and stirrups so short that my knees almost banged my chin as we bounced along over the broad, dry watercourse between barren cliffs.

Under the circumstances, I could not arouse much interest as we approached the huge mound of earth and sand known as Hajar Kohlan. This ruin of a once-great city was about half a mile long and a thousand feet wide, covering close to sixty acres. This was what I had come to see, but I centered my attention on the nearby

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Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Author's Preface vii
  • Field Staff - American Foundation Arabian Expeditions xi
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Turn Backward, Turn Backward 3
  • 2 - Search for a Site 8
  • 3 - The Essence of Mukalla 16
  • 4 - Through the Hadhramaut 23
  • 5 - The Dig 40
  • 6 - Mountains and Clouds Of Sand 53
  • 7 - "Weakness of the Bones" 65
  • 8 - Bal Harith Tribesmen 76
  • 9 - The Lions of Timna 89
  • 10 - The Queen of Sheba 103
  • 11 - Miriam and the Gold Necklace 109
  • 12 - Professor Albright 120
  • 13 - Salaams to the President 125
  • 14 - Mount Sinai 133
  • 15 - Eileen 146
  • 16 - The Scaifes 154
  • 17 - Cities of the Dead 163
  • 18- Lady Bar'At 171
  • 19- Back to 1000 B.C. 180
  • 20 - Temple of Venus 186
  • 21 - Into Forbidden Yemen 194
  • 22 - Audience with the Imam 203
  • 23 - Across Unexplored Land 210
  • 24 - The Queen's City 218
  • 25 - Farewell to Beihan 231
  • 26 - Qataban Revealed 243
  • 27 - Troubles in Marib 248
  • 28 - Confusion Compounded 262
  • 29- Danger at Sheba 273
  • 30 - Escape! 301
  • 31 - Charges And Countercharges 321
  • 32 - Unknown Oman 329
  • Afterword Birth Pains of An Expedition 341
  • Substantial Contributors - American Foundation for the Study of Man 351
  • Index 355
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