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27 January 2006
Largest ever ancient temple discovered in Yemen

Archeologists in Shabwa governorate have discovered what is said to be the biggest temple ever discovered in the Arabian Peninsula, dating back to the 5th Century BCE.
     The Italian archeological expedition say it is one of the oldest and most extensive temples ever discovered in the region. They found the temple on their recent dig, which lasted for 25 days. Khyran Mohsen Al-Zubairi, the Director of Archeology in Shabwa said it was believed to be the largest temple ever found in the Arabian Peninsula. The temple is 42 meters in length and 35 meters wide. He added that the work was continuing to clear all the sand that still covered the site. However he said that the Italian archeologist had reached an initial conclusion that a temple of such size could have been a Royal Palace for on Qatban state king.
     The temple contains nine foundations at the entrance to its yard, with 16 platforms made of granite. Archeological experts said that several religious rituals were practiced in the temple. Experts estimate that there could be as many as 60 temples in Tamna’a alone.
     Al-Zubairi added that digging will continue in the eastern section of the temple complex to find more information out about the site. He said the archeologists also hoped to see if further secrets could be revealed in the surrounding buildings.

Source: Yemen Observer (21 January 2006)

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