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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]

Akram: Mahram Bilquis, is an ancient temple complex located outside the ancient city of Marib, in present-day Yemen. It is thought to be a site which many pilgrims journeyed to, as well as being the main religious site for the citizens of Marib. The long walk to the entrance of the temple served to allow the pilgrims to clear their minds and formulate thoughts in relation to the deity being worshipped. The temple was the main site we witnessed being excavated in “Queen of Sheba: Behind the Myth” (2002). It is important to some archeologists because it serves to substantiate the myth of The Queen of Sheba, the mythical ruler of Sheba who was the first to bring monotheism to the Southern Arabian world.

Posted at Feb 23/2007 03:26PM:
ian: Thanks for reposting. I didn't mean to slight you on this - really and honest mistake!

Posted at Mar 06/2007 01:53PM:
ian: The archaeology done here is a good example of a tradition in near eastern archaeology to focus on major munuments as the material representations of the institutions of state.

Posted at Mar 06/2007 04:58PM:
Akram: Is it safe to assume so much about the old ways of a people, and their establishments, from just a few monuments? Could the monuments that archaeologists sometimes uncover and "analyze" be monuments which do not actually represent the people?

Posted at Mar 12/2007 11:09AM:
ian: I think you are right on! this is in fact a problem in archaeology in which we take such monuments to be such important markers of ancient identity. But consider the way in which Americans differentially treat monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, the White House, or their local church/mosque/temple.