Archaeological Work at the Mahram Bilqis, Ma'rib

Merilyn Phillips Hodgson and William Glanzman
American Foundation for the Study of Man

In 1998 the American Foundation for the Study of Man, an AIYS institutional member, undertook the first of what is hoped to be many field season of excavation at the Mahram Bilqis in Marib, as part of a joint project with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). This project builds on earlier work undertaken by AFSM in the early 1950's. In the current phase of the project AFSM and the DAI, while working in close proximity, are pursuing different objectives. Using a computerized laser-driven theodolite surveying "total station," AFSM seeks to establish an accurate plan of the exposed masonry structure of the sanctuary and a detailed topographic plan of the area surrounding the sanctuary. In addition a geomorphological survey of the area is being carried out, and previously-excavated and new parts of the Precinct Wall are being investigated archaeologically. Previously-excavated inscriptions are being documented anew.

AFSM also plans to conduct a geologically-orientated surface survey reconnaissance of the Jabal al-Badiyah along the Wadi al-Jubah, in order to resolve several research questions relating to the geological history of the region that were raised as a result of the Wadi al-Jubah Archaeological Project that AFSM conducted between 1982 and 1987. The survey will document more fully the sedimentary environment of the Wadi al-Jubah region and will record and collect archaeological samples encountered as part of the surface survey.

Project funding: AFSM

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