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

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

30
ESCAPE!

*

At dinner that evening it was a welcome relief to hear Eileen's story of her visit to the harem, for it took our minds away from our troubles for a while.

"A tiny slave girl ushered me into a dark hall," she told us, "where all I could hear were muffled sounds with an occasional phrase such as, 'Here is the girl,' and 'What does she look like?' Then someone raised a curtain and I was amazed to find myself in the center of at least twenty women, all elaborately dressed in different kinds of costumes. They stared at me as though I was some new and strange toy to play with.

"The governor's wife finally greeted me, and then the others followed. Everyone was more than surprised to hear me speak Arabic, and it seemed to encourage them to come closer. They were very friendly, but they had never seen a European woman before, and they seemed to think that I must be made of something different. For they touched me, felt my arms, and examined me with the greatest care from head to toe.

"One of the girls noticed my watch, apparently the first she had ever seen. She exclaimed about how beautiful it was, and how small the numbers were. One felt the material of my skirt, another touched my hair, and another put her fingers to my lips to see if they were naturally crimson or colored with some kind of dye. I explained that it was lipstick, and demonstrated with one I had in my handbag. They were delighted, grabbed it gleefully,

-301-

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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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