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23 March 2008
Archaeologists unearth ancient temple in Yemen

A team of German archaeologists has discovered an ancient temple dating back to 7th century BCE. The discovery was made during excavation works in the ancient Sabaean town of Sirwah, at the central province of Marib. Sirwah formed the most important centre of the Sabaean kingdom next to the ancient metropolis of Marib during the 1st millennium BCE.
     The large town was surrounded by a fortification wall, and included many monumental buildings, of which the most prominent is the al-Maqah Temple, a sanctuary that dates back to the 7th century BCE, and is currently undergoing restoration. During the restoration work at the al-Maqah Temple, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) team discovered "another unique and well preserved Sabaean temple as part of the ancient town".
     The sacred building has a monumental entrance decorated with pillars and different rooms inside. The ground plan and the construction features of the temple are singular in Yemen; tower-like projections divide the exterior facade of the sanctuary and the building material consists of a phenomenal wood/stone construction, the DAI said.

Source: SAPA, IOL.co.za (18 March 2008)

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