Skip to main content
Select Source:

Maʾrib

MAʾRIB

Ancient town of North Yemen, enjoying new life because of oil.

Maʾrib was, until the 1980s, the small government center and garrison of the large, sparsely populated Yemeni province of the same name. The town is located about a hundred miles east of Sanʿa, on the edge of the desert. For centuries before the Common Era, Maʾrib was the capital of the trading kingdom of Saba, once ruled by Bilqis, the Queen of Saba (or Sheba). The fabled Maʾrib dam is nearby, and its monumental remains and those of the vast associated irrigation system are still in evidence. The gradual collapse of these works early in the Common Era forced the depopulation of the region; in the 1960s, the sleepy town that remained was all but abandoned after bombardment during the Yemen Civil War. Since the mid-1980s, however, the town has undergone a major renewal as the center closest to the important oil operations in the Maʾrib/al-Jawf basin; major natural gas reserves also have been discovered. The construction of a new dam in the 1980s, financed by Abu Dhabi, made possible the revival of major irrigated agriculture. All this has also given the area new military significance, especially since much of the province is tribal and beyond the effective control of the state.

see also sanʿa; yemen civil war.


Bibliography


Dresch, Paul. A History of Modern Yemen. New York and Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Stookey, Robert W. Yemen: The Politics of the Yemen Arab Republic. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1978.

robert d. burrowes

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Maʾrib." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Maʾrib." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marib

"Maʾrib." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marib

Marib

Marib (mä´rĬb), ancient city, Yemen, SW Arabia, 140 mi (225 km) inland at an altitude of 3,900 ft (1,190 m). It was one of the chief cities, perhaps the capital, of Sheba. It was the site of a dam, built in the 6th cent. BC, that was one of the great engineering feats of antiquity. The dam collapsed in the 6th cent. AD, flooding the countryside.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Marib." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Marib." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marib

"Marib." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marib