Corpus of Sabaic Inscriptions (work in progress)

Editor: Jérémie Schiettecatte

Tomb 3.
AA. VV. 2000: 248


Ancient nameUnknown
Geographical areaWādī Ḍura
CoordinatesLatitude: 14° 25' 9.6"    Longitude: 46° 22' 47.4"    
Coordinates accuracycertain
Type of siteSettlement
TribeTribe: Ḍyftn
Tribe: Mhrt
Tribe: Rṯḥm
Tribe: S¹ybn
Lineage: Gdnm
Lineage: Ḥbm (?)
Lineage: Rṭbm (?)
Lineage: S²qrn
Lineage: Trfm (?)
Lineage: Trfm ʾbs²b (?)
Lineage: Ydʿ
Lineage: Ylġb
Lineage: Yṣbr
Lineage: Yzʾn
DeitiesRḥmnn mrʾ s¹myn
S¹yn ḏ-ʾlm (?)
Wd (?)
StructuresDwelling (indeterminate)
Dwelling (concentrated)
Light hydraulic structure (ex. canal, well)
Large hydraulic structure (ex. dam)
Small temple
Rock inscriptions
General descriptionThe site is located N from Hajar adh-Dhaybiyya. The rescue excavations of the site followed a fortuitous finding and they have been concentrated in an area of 5 x 3 m. The necropolis was spread on an area 100 m large.
ChronologyStratigraphy of the tombs suggests that the burials span over several centuries. Palaeographic analysis indicate for Grave 3 a date between 1st to 4th century AD. Artefacts show Roman artistic influences, especially for bronze vessels. Partho-Sassanid and Indian influences are also detectable, while some other object reveal an internal reprocessing of such influences, since the vast majority have been probably produced in the Hadramitic region, as it is confirmed by Hadramitic inscriptions incised in some of the objects. A reliable chronological placing is still under debate (A. Agostini).
Archaeological missions1984: French-Yemeni joint archaeological team


The burials that have been excavated are four, of these only Grave 3 was intact. The funerary structures are moreover different from each other since Grave 1 was only delimitated by small stone blocks, while Grave 2 and 3 were simply trenches with traces of a clay lining. Grave 4 was on the contrary a trench covered by a stone slab. Their layout has no comparison with the other tombs or necropolis known so far in South Arabia. Objects found in the Grave 3, together with the skeleton of a man, are impressive for their quality. It has been in fact hypothesized that the man was belonging to upper class, but in any case he was almost certainly a warrior as it is suggested by the presence of weapons. Doubts arise considering the richness of these grave goods, which could also come from a military booty. Other objects are however related to banqueting funerary rituals.

  • photoTomb 3.
  • photoObjects from Tomb 3.
  • photoImported Plate from Tomb 3.
  • photoTomb 2. Silver objects.


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