The latest issue of al-‘Usur al-Wusta is now available for free until the end of December. This includes an article by Varisco on dialectical diversity in Yemeni dialects. You can download a pdf of the issue at the new Middle East Medievalists (MEM) website.
By Tish Wells, McClatchy Washington Bureau, October 10, 2014
WASHINGTON,— Wendell Phillips was a real-life Indiana Jones crossed with Lawrence of Arabia digging in the desert sands of history just after World War II.
The discoveries of some of those post-war adventures are now on display at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington.
“Unearthing Arabia: The Archaeological Adventures of Wendell Phillips,” running Oct. 11 through June 7, 2015, examines the excavations that Wendell Phillips carried out in 1950 and 1951 in Saudi Arabia, which is today Yemen, said Massumeh Farhad, the gallery’s Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art.
During Phillips’ expeditions, he and his archeologists discovered two cities lost under the rock and sands of time — Timna, the capital of Qataban kingdom, and Marib, the reputed home of the Queen of Sheba. They unearthed a pair of bronze statues of snarling lions ridden by smiling cherubs, alabaster funeral stele, layers of pottery that proved centuries of occupation, and more.
“Unearthing Arabia” tells a tale of commerce, riches and influence that stretched up and down the coast of the Red Sea between Yemen and the Mediterranean powerhouse empires of Egypt and Rome.
AIYS member and long-time supporter Marjorie Ransom has just published her beautifully illustrated and diligently researched book on Yemeni silverwork. This is a must for anyone interested in Yemeni culture. It can be purchased from AUC Press or Amazon. Get your copy today…
The photographs are exquisite as the sample here shows.
Here is the description of the book by the publisher:
This continues a thread on Wilfred Thesiger, who crossed the Empty Quarter in 1947-48. These are images from the museum in al-‘Ayn.
Mahra boy (1948)
Sa’ar tent (1947-48)
Anyone who knows anything about Arabia has no doubt heard of Lawrence of Arabia, even if only via Peter O’toole’s dazzling Hollywood version. But there is also Thesiger of Arabia, especially his extraordinary trips across the Empty Quarter in the 1940s. While in al-‘Ayn two weeks ago I was able to visit the old fort, now a museum displaying a number of photographs that Wilfred Thesiger took on his trip from Yemen to the Emirates and his visit with Shaykh Zayed. The albums of Thesiger are preserved online at the Pitt Rivers Museum website. It is well worth looking at these.
I photographed several of the images in the al-‘Ayn exhibit dealing with Yemen, and these are reproduced below:
Yemen is justifiably famous for its poets. Two of the most important Yemeni poets in the latter part of the last century were Abdullah al-Baradduni and ‘Abd al-Aziz al-Maqalih. Here is an old picture of al-Baradduni (left) and al-Maqalih (center). The third person is not identified. I thank Dr. Muhammad Gerhoum for posting this photograph on Facebook.