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

By Wendell Phillips | Go to book overview

32
UNKNOWN OMAN

*

"The heat was so intense that it burned the marrow in the bones, the sword in its scabbard melted like wax, and the gems that adorned the handle of the dagger were reduced to coal. In the plains the chase became a matter of perfect ease, for the desert was filled with roasted gazelles!"

So wrote Abd-er-Razak, a Persian, describing Muscat in the year 1442. In August of 1949, during my first visit, this old weather report was credible, but when Commander Gilliland and I went to Muscat in February, 1952, the evenings, at least, were cool and comfortable.

In answer to my cable, I had received word from the Sultan of Muscat and Oman that permission had been granted for an audience. Unable to find faster transportation, Commander Gilliland and I took passage on a Dutch-owned Liberty ship, the SS Enganno, and arrived in Muscat five days later. The rest of our party remained in Aden, anxiously awaiting the results of my negotiations and hoping they were still an archaeological expedition. I was worried about Bob Carmean, who had succumbed to malaria and was in the R.A.F. hospital, along with Chester Stevens, who had come down with a liver ailment. One small patch of silver lining in these clouds made us all thankful--if they had to be sick, how fortunate it was that they were not stricken in Yemen.

In Muscat, we were welcomed to the delightful home of Dr.

-329-

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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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