digital archive for the study of pre-islamic arabian inscriptions

Editor: Jérémie Schiettecatte


Ancient nameUnknown
Geographical areaDhamār
CoordinatesLatitude: 14° 26' 23.6"    Longitude: 44° 35' 49.52"    
Coordinates accuracycertain
Type of siteHydraulic structure
StructuresLarge hydraulic structure (ex. dam)
Rock inscriptions
Location and toponomyThe site of al-Kawla is located halfway between Dhamâr and Radâʿ, on the southern border of the asphalted road, close to Ihla, 5 km north of Hakir.
Coordinates of the ancient dam: N14,43971° E44,59714°
Coordinates of the village: N 14,4466° E44,5955°
The site is alternatively called al-Kawla, Sadd al-Kawla, maʾjil Kubâs al-Kawla, Ḥayd Maḥaqir.
History of researchLate 1990s: the site was recorded within the Dhamar Survey Project (dir. T. Wilkinson) under n° DSF 28.
2004: visit and localisation of the site by the French Archaeological Mission Qatabân (dir. Ch. Robin)
Late 2000s: the site was visited by Kh. Numan who found several South Arabian inscriptions (Numan 2012).
General descriptionThe site includes a dam located at an altitude of 2269 m. It is formed by a wall 5 m thick that crosses the course of the wâdî for 142 m.
Some rock inscriptions have been found by Kh. Numan (2012) close to the village of al-Kawla, in the north piedmont plain of Ḥayd Maḥaqir. Numan mentions 17 rock inscriptions consecrated to the deity ʾs¹ʾy and Hyfʿm incised by some members of the Yhbs²r tribe.
ChronologyAccording to the palaeography, the inscriptions are dated from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD.


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south of Hakir (Hkrm)


Breton, Robin and Audouin 1981: 39-40Breton, Jean-François, Robin, Christian J. and Audouin, Rémy 1981. Nord-Yémen: un patrimoine menacé. Archéologia, 160/Novembre: 36-43.
Lewis, Krista 2005 a: 197Lewis, Krista 2005. Space and the spice of life: food, politics, and landscape in Ancient Yemen. (PhD, University of Chicago). [Unpublished]
Noman 2012: 15, 100-102, 149-150Noman, Khaldon 2012. A Study of south Arabian Inscriptions from the region of Dhamār (Yemen). (PhD, Università di Pisa). 2016/05/10; https://etd.adm.unipi.it/theses/available/etd-08112012-151251/.