"The Home of Sheba and the history of Yemen"
As it was named at 1000 B.C, Mareb the capital of the kingdom of Sheba, stands today to remind of the Yemeni civilization that once was, giving lessons in history of how great Yemeni ancestors were.
Located 127km east of Sana'a, Mareb is one of Yemen richest archeological sites, its many historical sites have become a Mekka for tourist to visit Yemen.
The first capital of kingdom of Maeen and one of its most sacred religious sites. Maeen is located in Wadi Al Majzar in Mareb governorate.
The city of Barakish is surrounded by an 8 meter wall which survives to present days. The city has 57 observation towers and two gates; one in the east and the other is in the west side.
The wall protected the city against all sorts of attacks, and defeated great armies such as the Persian army of Aloys Galyos in 24 B.C
Landmarks of the city include the prime temple located in the southern part of the city. The temple exemplifies the Maeenian architecture, having 16 vertical and horizontal columns, formulating a grid shape. Researchers believe that this temple was built for the worship of Athtar, the sun of god.
Heading to the north gate of the great Dam, one can glimpse two natural water routes and several other man-made streams for water.
Old legend narrates that those two water routes supplied the valley of the Twin Paradise, also known as " The Gardens of Sheba".
The Old city of Mareb has three gates: to the North, west and eastern south.
The old city was administrative capital of the kingdom of Sheba and includes the site which was mentioned in the Holy Quran where, Belquis, the Queen of Sheba was called to visit prophet Suliman in Jerusalem around 950 B.C.
It is believed that abandoned mud village, which is situated on a mound that rises 25 meters above the surroundings land surface of the site, is located on a part of the historical Salhein Palace, which led to the Royal Temple.
Three temples were found in the city of Mareb: 2 in the Northern part of the city and one in the southern part.
The Great Dam of Mareb:
One of the striking marks of Sheba civilization is the construction of Great Dam of Mareb .
According to the ancient inscriptions the construction of the dam goes back to the 8th Century B.C.
The construction passed through numerous stages over extended periods of time.
The Great Mareb Dam is considered a fixed historic structure that transverses Yemen's cultural evolution from the ouster through the peak of prosperity until the moments of collapse. The dam is considered to be the most sophisticated technology for irrigation systems of the ancient world.
The Dam was built between mountain called Balaq Al Shimaly (the northern) and mountain called Balaq Al January (the southern).
AL- JUFEINAH DAM:
Is an ancient dam situated 8 km southwest of Mareb city and is linked with the Great Mareb Dam Network. Its history goes back to the first Sheba era (around 1000B.C) and is considered as a subsidiary diversion dam for flooding waters of the great dam.
To the east of the Great Dam exists a unique waterway diversion structure called the Diversion Dike (name given by a German archeological expedition 1988/1989).
The Diversion Dike is situated about 200 meters East of the Great Dam, in the middle of Wadi Dhannah.
THE SHRINE OF BELQUIS:
To the south east of the mud village of Mareb, stands one of the striking sites of Sheba civilization: the Shrine of Belquis (or The Temple of the Sun)
The Shrine is situated 4km to the Southeast of the Throne of Belquis and is considered the largest and most important of the Sheba Temples.
It was used for worshipping the Moon God. The ancient Yemen also worshipped the Sun, Moon and Venus.
THE THRONE OF BELQUIS:
It is the Temple of Bran, which is presently known as the Throne of Bilquis. The mane of the temple bran was in the Sabaian inscription as the Temple of the Moon God (IImuqah). It is located 1400 meters to the northwest of shrine of Belquis and it is less important than Owam temple and is widely known as "Al –amaeed"
The excavation work at the temple site, with the result indicating that the temple passed through two historical phases as the walls obviously revealed. The first phase extends from the second Millennium BC to the start of the first Millennium BC, while the second phase starts at 850BC until the end of the Sabaian Kingdom.
One of the most important historical cities following Mareb city is called Serwah. It is situated 37 km to the west of the Mareb Governorate Center, and 120 km to the East of the Capital City of Sana'a.
The sites of the ruins of Surwah is the second ranking archeological site after Mareb and held an important position in the Sabaian Kingdom.
It is located atop natural hill that rises about 10m meters from the foot of the wadi (valley) the eastern part of the temple is still standing in a semi circle, which rises to a height of 7 meters and built of brushed stone. In the eastern side, there are the temples four columns, linking the western wall.