Many of the results presented here are from the Oriental Institute Project for the History of Yemeni Terraced Agriculture. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and private donors for financial contributions. We particularly thank Dr. Yusuf Abdullah, Ahmed Shemsan and Ali Sanabani of the General Organization of Antiquities and Museums, at Sana, as well as Christopher Edens, David Warburton, Marta Colburn, Nohar Sadek and the American Institute of Yemeni Studies for help and advice during fieldwork.



See James A. Sauer and Jeffrey Blakely, “Archaeology along the spice route of Yemen,” in D.T. Potts (ed.), Araby the Blest: Studies in Arabian Archaeology (Copenhagen: Carston Niebur Institute, volume 7, 1988), pp. 91–115.


For the development of the incense trade in the context of the south Arabian civilization, see Nigel Groom, Frankincense and Myrrh: A Study of Arabian Incense Trade (London: Longman, 1981); and J.F. Breton, Arabia Felix From the Time of the Queen of Sheba (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Univ. Press, 1999).


Alessandro de Maigret, “The Arab nomadic people and the cultural interface between the ‘Fertile Crescent’ and ‘Arabia Felix’,” Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 10 (1999), pp. 220–224.


For a recent review of the derivation of the Old South Arabian script and its origins in the eastern Mediterranean or Levant, see Kenneth Kitchen, Documentation for Ancient Arabia, Part 1 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1994), pp. 132–36.


Sauer and Blakely, “Archaeology along the spice route of Yemen,” p. 100.


Alessandro de Maigret, The Bronze Age Culture of Hawlan al Tiyal and al-Hada (Rome: IsMEO, 1990). A. O. Ghaleb, Agricultural Practices in Ancient Radman and Wadi al-Jubah (Yemen), unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1990); T.J. Wilkinson, Christopher Edens and McGuire Gibson, “The Archaeology of the Yemen High Plains: A Preliminary Chronology,” Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 8 (1997), pp. 99–142; Christopher Edens and T.J. Wilkinson “Southwest Arabia during the Holocene: Recent Archaeological Developments,” Journal of World Prehistory 12 (1998), pp. 55–119; Christopher Edens, “The Bronze Age of Highland Yemen: Chronological and Spatial Variability of Pottery and Settlement,” Paleorient 25/2 (1999), pp. 105–28.


Christopher Edens, T.J. Wilkinson, and Glynn Barratt, “Hammat al-Qa and the Roots of Urbanism in Southwest Arabia,” Antiquity 74 (December 2000).


Ueli Brunner, “Geography and Human Settlements in Ancient Southern Arabia,” Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 8 (1997), pp. 190–202; Burkhard Vogt, and Alexander Sedov, “The Sabir Culture and Coastal Yemen During the Second Millennium B.C.: The Present State of Discussion,” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 28 (1998), pp. 261–270; Vincenzo Francaviglia “Dating the Ancient Dam of Ma’rib (Yemen),” Journal of Archaeological Science 27 (2000), pp. 643–53.


This summary glosses over the complex rise and fall of the kingdoms of Qataban, Ma’in, Hadramawt, Awsan, Saba and Himyar, further details of which are supplied in Breton, Arabia Felix, pp. 29–51.


For example, Early Bronze Age and Middle Bronze Age building complexes from the Negev and Sinai discussed by Israel Finkelstein, Living on the Fringe (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), chapters 7 and 8.


Gus W. van Beek, Hajar Bin Humeid: Investigations at a Pre-Islamic Site in South Arabia (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969).