Archaeologists discover ancient works of art in Yemen

South Korean convoy in Yemen escapes suicide attack unharmed London, April 13 : An archaeology team in Yemen has discovered ancient works of art in Humat Thiab, 55 km to the east of Dhamar city.

A team of archaeologists from the General Organization for Antiquities and Museum (GOAM) in Sana’a and Dhamar, led by Ali Al-Sanabani, head of GOAM in Dhamar, conducted the excavation that led to the new findings.

“Humat Thiab is a Himyarite city on a hill surrounded with fertile agricultural fields,” said archeologist Ahmad Shamsan, who traveled from Sana’a to lend his expertise to the project.

“Much of the ancient city remains untouched. The ancient wall of the city, a group of building foundations, walls and remnants of reservoir are still visible,” he explained.

“Based on an ancient text and preliminary evidence, the site dates back from the first to the third century AD,” he added.

“The excavation works have uncovered the northern and eastern parts of the structure of a rectangular building built in black volcanic stones,” said Al-Sanabani.

The excavation led to findings including a slab of stone engraved with two oxen facing a tree known as “tree of life” and an incense burner made of volcanic stone.

Archeologists also found a small stone statue of a headless woman in sitting position with two lines of Musnad script -used to write the ancient Himyarite language- on her chest, and some pieces of pottery.

“The findings are still under study and we are yet not sure what the building was,” Shamsan added.

The site has been a priority for GOAM for the last few years to save the history it contains before inhabitants in the area destroyed it.

In the past, people destroyed the site’s walls to use its stones to build their own houses in neighboring villages such as Al-Aqmur, or built new structures on top of the ancient ruins in their original location, according to Shamsan.

“The (next) phase of the excavation will start within three months and we will continue working on this site,” said Al-Sanabani.

Dhamar is rich in antiquities and archeological sites due to the extensive human activity in the area due to its agriculturally fertile land and mild climate since the Neolithic period. (ANI)