The Southern Arabian language dates from Sabaean times (Queen of Sheba) and had 29 letters, all in upper case. Inscriptions were mostly carved into stone and used to describe administrative and commercial achievements, battle victories and building work. The oldest found so far is from the 9th century BC, the most recent from the 2nd century BC.At...more
Believed to have been built in 8000BC, this is supposed to be a more important temple than the Throne of Bilqis/Moon temple and was dedicated to the Sun god. It is desperately in need of excavation and restoration and it is surrounded by a wire fence which you cannot go through. At present it contains a high wall, a row of 12 metre high columns and...more
The Throne of Bilquis (Sheba) is also known as the temple of the Moon as it was dedicated to the Moon God Almaqah.Thought to have been built around 2000 BC, this temple has five and a half pillars set high up on steps. There is a sacred wall with a row of seats along the edge as well as a plinth where a holy oxen statue used to be. The sign outside...more
Marib Dam was built around the 8th century BC across Wadi Adhana to hold and divert the flood water which fell during the rainy season for use in agriculture. The old dam allowed the area to prosper from cultivation, as it was built at the bottom of the surrounding valleys to gain the most water collection. It was made from massive stone blocks...more
This temple, lying on a side road, was dedicated to the sun god (dating from 800 BC). Unfortunately the area is fenced, police escort is prerequisite, so you can only take some photos of the row of 8 high columns. There is an elderly guard (???) keeping the keys of the area and he can point you to see were some ruins with inscriptions on them (see...more
Marib is the starting point on the route across the desert to Seyyun and Hadramawt.It´s the last "civilized" area untill you reach Seyyun and Hadramawt´s vities. In your way, you may only find beduin camps sparsed in some dry "wadis".Before starting the route, you should hire a beduin guide, in order beduin people allow you to cross the desert.more
The old Marib city was builded over the ruins of a Sabean fortress. It had a wall around the city with only three gates. The city was nearly razed during Civil war in the sixties, as it was allied to the old king of Yemen and suffered bombing. Now, you can visit the ruins of Soleiman mosque and the old house of the Iman, near the entrance of the...more
As lots of mud were placed by the river in the reservoir, Marib people had to rebuild the dam in order to rise the walls of the dam. So, although firstly the walls were 7m high, in 250 B.C. they were over 14m high, and finally, in the last times of Saba kingdom in VI century A.D. they were 16m high. This impressive construction was known and...more
The old Marib dam is the biggest and most important construction that have survived from the ruin.It was builded in a gorge, between the mountains Jebel al Qibli and Jabel al Awsat, and was 680m. long. You can see the gorge in the next picture, at the end of the green valley.This hughe construction was builded over 750 B.C. , in order to stop...more
It is commonly believed that queen of Saba who appears in the Bible and the Coran, as Salomon lover, was the famous queen Bilqis of Marib, who ruled the kingdom in 950 B.C.This queen was a wise and fair woman, and under her government Marib grew got wealthier and more powerful. Salomon, the Jewish King, was so affected of the stories he listened...more
You can visit different archeological sites of the ancient Marib at this moment. One of them, is the Mahram Bilqis.First excavations were in 1952, stopped during years because of the beduin people, who bcame more dangerous.Years later, excavations went on, but at this moment, and important area of the site is still under the sand.The most important...more
As a Western tourist you are confined to your hotel after six pip emma. I was the only foreigner in town: my guide got us a takeaway then I retired early with a good book. What I saw of the towndid not suggest I was missing much.
You can take a day trip to Marib from Sana’a.
The drive is between 2.5 to 3 hours each way. Many tours then continue across the empty quarter to Hadramaut. I took the trip from Sana’a there and back in a day as Brits were advised not to go to Marib so I got a driver to take me.
The tourist vehicles travel in a convoy with a police escort, meeting at 9am at a police checkpoint just outside of Sana’a. There were only 2 vehicles in our convoy.
There are many check points along the way, where they always ask your nationality and check yours and the driver's papers, and the police swop over about 1 hour from Marib.
I had the sites to myself once I got there.
Since the shooting of the Spanish tourists in May 2007, Brits have been advised not to go to Marib. Other European tour groups do go though, and there is a police escort along the road (see getting to Marib tip)
I went anyway, without my group and with a driver, as I was desperate to see it and came back to tell the tale.
I had the sites to myself once I got there and I did have 2 policemen walking around with me all the time I was there. The policemen were in full uniform and armed and the car was obviously a police car - blue and white with a siren. They certainly made their presence obvious to onlookers. The Yemenis are taking the security situation very seriously.
The police were extremely friendly and had of photographs taken with me.
The guide at Bilqis temple also had a gun - 3 guns for one tourist!