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

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

11
MIRIAM AND THE GOLD NECKLACE

*

The graveyard of Timna, at Haid bin Aqil, has been a good source of income to some Arabs for a long time. Even though no serious excavations in South Arabia had been undertaken before Gertrude Caton Thompson's work at Hureidha and our own at Timna, antiquities had been reaching a ready market for many years--the finds of Bedouin treasure hunters who poked around in the sand at likely spots and came up with some remarkably fine pieces.

In Aden there is an excellent collection owned by the wealthy Indian merchant, Mr. Kaiky Muncherjee, who once offered it to an American museum for $100,000. Our suspicion that a majority of the antiquities in collectors' hands had come from Timna was partially confirmed by my recognizing two fragments belonging to the monumental inscription at the right side of the South Gate. Even more pieces have come from the graveyard at Haid bin Aqil.

I was once the house guest of one of Timna's most successful grave robbers, who presented me with a few of his best pieces as we parted. Their scientific value was greatly increased when he pointed out to me the exact spots at which they had been found-- the graveyard of Timna.

Most of the Arabs of Beihan have little conception of the age of the antiquities around them. One primary reason for this is that these things belong to the Days of Ignorance, before Moham-

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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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