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Zafar, Capital of Himyar, Ibb Province: First Preliminary Report: Summer 1998 and Autumn 2000

"In 1998, the Heidelberg University Expedition to Zafar, in the Yemenite Highlands, initiated a programme of excavation, mapping and training. Zafar was the capital of the tribal confederation known to the outside world as Himyar, which for some 250 years dominated the entire Arabian Peninsula politically and militarily. The mapping showed the ancient walled city to be worthy of its name with a core area comprising some 1000 x 1200 m. The 2000 season concentrated on the excavation of a late Himyarite cemetery on a mountain slope called al-Asima/Salm. During the 2002 season, a foundation at the southern foot of the famous Husn Raydan was excavated, the site museum was newly installed and all of the inscriptions were photographed. In 2003, we photographed the entire collection of sculptures and began excavation on the south-western flank of the Husn Raydan in what appears to be magazines. Finally, in 2004 excavation was taken up in an area 10 m to the south, where a corner of a large limestone building came to light. Parts of the site were investigated by means of magnetometer survey. Until this time, experts described Zafar as utterly ruined and decadent in terms of its material culture. The foregoing contains the first preliminary report of the fieldwork in Zafar, a project which attempts to illuminate the latter part of the late pre-Islamic period."

Author(s):  Yule, Paul; Franke, Kristina; Meyer, Cornelius; Nebe, G.Wilhelm; Robin, Christian; Witzel, Carsten
Format:  Book
Publisher:  Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität, Institut für Ägyptologie
Publication City:  München
Date:  2008