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

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

10
THE QUEEN OF SHEBA

*

One morning Dr. Bowen was investigating some interesting small mounds north of Hajar bin Humeid when a Beihani clothed in rags and a sharp curved jambiya approached him. Between uncertain Arabic and sign language, Dick gathered that the Arab wanted to show him something of great importance. Dick was far from excited, since he rightly doubted the Arab's judgment as to objects of archaeological significance, but he also knew better than to dismiss any clue without investigation.

He climbed in his Power Wagon, motioned the Arab up beside him, and set off, following the Arab's directions. Three miles north up the wadi they swung east into a rocky gorge, which narrowed until the truck had to be left behind. Going forward on foot, the Arab led Dick Bowen through a narrow canyon mouth bounded by hard metamorphic rocks. Here Dick was startled to find something far more rare than archaeological ruins in South Arabia--several deep pools of water. The hard rocks and the narrow gorge sheltered from much of the sun combined to make this little valley, known as Wadi al-Fara, the only place to hold surface water in the whole Beihan area and one of the few such spots in all southwest Arabia.

The Arab led Dick up a steep slope, where he proudly pointed out an ancient Qatabanian inscription cut in the face of a rock. Dick knew that the inscription might be interesting, but he was far more excited about other things he saw on the walls of the

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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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