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

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

21
INTO FORBIDDEN YEMEN

*

Leaving Aden on April 10th, we passed through the barrier gate at Sheikh Othman, and drove across the flat, dusty Sultanate of Lahej. Although the so-called road was washed out in several places, our trucks had little difficulty in getting through and fortunately we had a Yemeni guide who knew the route well.

We welcomed a hilly country covered with green foliage and blessed with many streams. Along the way we passed several large wells, at one of which there was a big crowd of women and girls, gathering water in large earthen jars. They all wore long blue pants fastened around the ankles, and were quite pretty. Dr. de Mignard kept pointing to their cute little yellow-painted faces and exclaiming, "Beihan was never like this!"

At the customs post of Raidha, about sixty miles from Aden, we were delayed for an ostensible ten minutes, which in Yemen means "Prepare to spend the night." After two hours our host, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Ruhbaiti, informed us that he had just telegraphed the Imam and that permission had been granted for our entrance into Yemen. This was the first occasion on which we learned that in Yemen all officials seem to double- and triple- check. In Yemen, visas mean nothing; official documents mean nothing. Even with all the necessary papers, no one crosses the border into that country without specific on-the-spot telegraphic instructions from the King. By the time we were okayed at Raidha, it was almost dark, so we decided to remain where we were for the night.

-194-

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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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