Key Pages:

Full Course Description
Course Goals
Web Resources
Course Documents
Reading Responses

Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Posted at Feb 25/2007 09:40PM:
Harry: Zafar was the capital of the Himyarite kingdom that was centered in the modern Yemeni highlands. From this capital, the Himyarites launched a series of campaigns that allowed them to overrun other once-powerful and important kingdoms of Southern Arabia, namely Qataban, Ma'in, and Saba. For the first time, all of South Arabia was united by one king, whose seat of power was at Zafar. The Himyarities later turned toward monotheism, and Zafar was accordingly known to have supported both Jewish and Christian communities. This led to various battles for royal supremacy amongst groups who had adopted either Judaism and Christianity, and these conflicts often led the peoples of Ethiopia to intervene militarily and politically.

Posted at Mar 06/2007 02:02PM:
ian: It is a good example for thinking about how centers of power will shift over time, often because different peoples and places have access to resources that become more or less valuable under a constantly changing set of circumstances. Why was it the Sabeans, Qatabanians and other states in South Arabia declined? What did the region of Zafar offer as resources from which to build an empire? (Think about terraced agriculture.)