The ‘Ataq Museum was built in 1981 according to plans drawn by the French Archaeological Mission at Shabwa. Most of the pieces were transferred to ‘Ataq from the Museum of Shabwa in 1981-1982 and displayed by Rémy Audouin, as well as Alexander Sedov exhibited material from the Yemeni-Soviet mission at Qana’ (Bir Alî).
The museum consisted in three parts: Antiquity, Traditions and handicrafts, History of the Revolution.
In 1984 and 1985, the precious objects from Wâdî Dura’ and Hajar am-Dhaibyyah excavations were brought to ‘Ataq. But some pieces were taken to Aden Museum for exhibitions in Yemen and abroad. In 1989-1990, all the pottery collected during Eastern Shabwa Governorate surveys (including the important collection of Wâdî Surbân) was brought to Bayhân Museum.
From 1990 onwards, material, mainly pottery, from the wâdîs Markha, ‘Abadân, Dura’ etc. was moved to ‘Ataq museum and remains still unpublished. Jean-François Breton started a complete catalogue in 1999, and some 910 files were then recorded. Except material published in Fouilles de Shabwa II-IV (2003-2009), Trésors du wâdî Dura’ (République du Yémen) (1993), Qanî, Le port antique du Hadramaout entre la Méditerranée, l’Afrique et l’Inde (2010), and Raydân vol. 8, most of the collection remains unpublished.
Jean-François Breton (CNRS - Paris) is also responsible for the Collection of the ‘Ataq Museum in DASI.
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