Yemen civil war put the ancient biblical ruins in danger
An up-close look at the ancient ruins in Yemen are in danger of being destroyed in the midst of the deadly civil war.
MARIB, Yemen-After years of internal conflicts and the ISIS uprising in Iraq and Syria destroyed a large part of what was left of the Middle-East of the pre-Islamic history, experts fear that the prolonged civil war in neighboring Yemen will quietly erase his own rich biblical roots.
“The historic sites are of great importance for Yemen, and are a part of Yemeni history and identity, the” Iris Gerlach, Head of the Sana’a Branch of the German Archaeological Institute, Orient Department, told Fox News. “Ultimately, this would be comparable to the destruction of the White House or the statue of liberty for the Americans. The deliberate destruction as well as war-related collateral damage is a crime in the world cultural heritage. As long as the war is going on, more monuments will be destroyed.”
The old temple believed to have once housed the Queen of Sheba
(FOX News/Hollie McKay )
If a crib to a number of the world’s oldest civilizations, Yemen has played a compelling role in the accession of the rich and the economy, beginning around 1000 volts. CHR. But the attack on the ancient times in the past time is fierce.
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And the threat of even more damage to the country is depending on the estimate looms large – perhaps most poignantly in the site will be considered to have once housed the mysterious and powerful Queen of Sheba (Bilquis in Arabic), located just 30 miles east of the small Yemen city of Marib.
Remnants of the Sheba dynasty in Yemen
(Fox News/Hollie McKay)
There is a feeling that violence could ignite at any moment.
“The Queen of Sheba is known from the Old Testament – I Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9. According to these accounts, she decided to visit King Solomon after hearing of his wisdom. She tested him with difficult questions and brought him gifts of spices, gold and precious stones loaded on camels,” said John Vines, professor of history and archaeology at the Southeastern University. “These gifts give the most important source of wealth for Sheba, also known as Saba, which was an overland caravan trade connecting India, Arabia and East Africa.”
(Fox News/Hollie McKay)
Later, the tales of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon were further developed in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts – including the Koran – and their legacy cemented in all Abrahamic religions, and sculptures of Sheba adorn the great Gothic cathedrals in the world.
Although there is some discrepancy exists about the exact origin of the enigmatic royal, with some experts suggesting that they can have is the Egyptian or Ethiopian, the vast majority of the researchers conclude, they stem from what is now modern day Yemen. Her dynasty’s control over the export of the ever-valuable and beloved incense, which grew only along the nation’s southern coast, and reigned in the region from around 1000 BC to ad 290.
Crucial for Sheba’s reign, it was said that the Kingdom of the Temple, documented to have, ever her throne, internationally acclaimed for his majestic entrance, beautiful columns and large attachments.
Today, children play in this esteemed yet the fate ruins. But a day before a Fox News visit to the area, a tribal land dispute left, reportedly, a local death on the road that leads to the site. That night, Houthi rockets launched in the near rattled the fragile structures. The overwhelming sense of war-torn uncertainty remains palpable.
Location of the Great Marib Dam is regarded as one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels
(Fox News/Hollie McKay)
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In a desperate attempt to save what remains, last year UNESCO published coordinates of at least 50 prominent historical and holy places in Yemen to the different armies involved in the battle. However, the file of decimated or marred artifacts and sites remains thick.
Soldiers around Marib Great Dam
(2018 The Washington Post)
The regional museum of Dhamar, Yemen southwest, which was filled with thousands of irreplaceable treasures of the Himyarite Kingdom – the powerful tribe from the south conquered Saba/Saba after 290 AD, and went with the development of the trade relations with the Roman Empire is rubbled. More than 60 other vital ancient locations are also completely destroyed or heavily damaged, including medieval castles, such as the Sira Fortress in Aden, and the venerable Qassimi neighborhood in the capital Sana’a.
Then there is one of the main attractions of Queen Sheba’s city – the Great Marib Dam – which is also partially paralyzed in 2015 an airstrike.
Some Yemenis suspect that the almost 3000-year-old dam, which by many experts as the oldest in the world and one of the most acclaimed attractions, a conscious target of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The unpopulated area was hit multiple times in 2015, lacerating the northern lock.
The UN has deplored the recent destruction of the old, pre-Islamic walled town of Baraqish in Yemen
“The Great Dam of Marib is probably the most important ancient water management building in the world. The outlet structure is part of an irrigation system that allowed Sabians to the practice of sustainable agriculture in the dry zone for more than 2,000 years,” Gerlach observed.
Marib Dam, built in the 8th century BC in a quest to strengthen agriculture in the otherwise desert terrain, is still regarded as an engineering feat. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the millennium of the preservation of life in the region, with an inscription that indicates that a rehabilitation effort requires approximately 20,000 men and 14,000 camels.
A big bang in the 6th century after christ, is believed to be the cause of the city of Saba to drown than the recovery, the population to migrate to Syria and Iraq, then known as Mesopotamia.
“There are more archaeological sites in Yemen than anywhere else on the Arabian Peninsula,” emphasizes Daniel Varisco, Senior Postdoctoral Scientist at the Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. “Especially important are the thousands of inscriptions in old South Arabic languages and dialects. These give details on the rulers, battles, religious rituals, economy, and personal letters.”
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The 12th-century to arrange permission to citadel in Taiz, Yemen has been maimed in the war
While both sides are to blame for the ignition and the continuation of the devastating civil war, experts have largely pointed to the Saudi-coalition as the responsibility for the majority of the archaeological destruction, whether accidental or intentional, as a means to the strike of the Houthi enemies or dispirit local supporters of the rebels.
“If the directionality of the inheritance is of archaeological significance remains wrongfully denied with no good research or results or when are they to be considered as additional damage, and impunity prevail,” charged Mohammad Alwazir, director of the legal affairs for the Arab Rights Watch Association. “And there will be nothing left effectively standing in the way of such actions that are in conflict with the people of the cultural rights.”
The fighting in the monument full of Sirwah area has left many Yemeni’s on the edge
But the coalition has consistently denied targeting historical sites, while the representatives for the opposing Houthi group have dismissed coalition says that they make use of such important locations for the storage of weapons or bases. They insist on their presence in or around such sites is merely to protect them.
But in addition to the physical damage to Yemen is vital but sophisticated classical structures, which was also caused by waves of even distant explosions, foreign excavators and historians to have been forced to flee the country in the middle of combat, thus stopping important work in easing Yemen’s long and winding past.
“The conflict in Yemen not only prevents scientists from exploring and capturing the important history of the region, it caused the destruction of sites and artifacts. These are not only damaged by direct shelling, but also the vibrations of the nearby conflict,” Vineyards and wept. “And the neglect of the sites also leads to the destruction and plundering.”
The Yemen war, which led in March, 2015 after a Saudi-led coalition began an intense aerial campaign to loosen the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels from large parts of the country, has yet to produce a victory for both sides. More than 10,000 are estimated to have been killed in the fighting, who sank to what the UN has called the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.
“First and foremost, it is the humanitarian crisis in Yemen that must be resolved by an immediate end to the war,” added Varisco. “But it is also important that the rich and unique cultural heritage of Yemen will not be destroyed.”
Hollie McKay, is a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has expanded from the Middle East about the rise and demise of terrorist groups, such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter via @holliesmckay