National Museum of                       Yemen History

Founder: Audrey          CEO: Belle

The history of the Yemen stretches back over 3,000 years, and its unique culture is still in evidence today in the architecture of its towns and villages.
From about 1000 BC this region of the Southern Arabian Peninsula was ruled by three successive civilizations -- Minean, Sabaean and Himyarite. These three kingdoms all depended for their wealth on the spice trade. Aromatics such as myrrh and frankincense were greatly prized in the ancient civilized world and were used as part of various rituals in many cultures, including Egyptian, Greek and Roman.
In the 11th century BC, land routes through Arabia were greatly improved by using the camel as a beast of burden, and frankincense was carried from its production centre at Qana (now known as Bir 'Ali) to Gaza in Egypt. The camel caravans also carried gold and other precious goods which arrived in Qana by sea from India.
The chief incense traders were the Minaeans, who established their capital at Karna (now known as Sadah), before they were superseded by the Sabaeans in 950 BC. The Sabaean capital was Ma'rib, where a large temple was built.
The mighty Sabaean civilisation endured for about 14 centuries and was based not only on the spice trade, but also on agriculture. The impressive dam, built at Ma'rib in the 8th century, provided irrigation for farmland and stood for over a millennium. Some Sabaean carved inscriptions from this period are still extant.
The Islamic era, which began in the 7th century, contains many events critical to the formation of Yemen and the Yemeni people. The force with which Islam spread from its origins inMecca and Medina in the nearby region of Al Hijaz (the Hejaz) led to Yemen's rapid and thorough conversion to Islam. Yemenis were well-represented among the first soldiers of Islam who marched north, west, and east of Arabia to expand Muslim territory.
Because of Yemen's series of caliph rulers, the people were able to develop its own variant of Arab-Islamic culture and society in relative isolation.
More than nine-tenths of Yemenis speak some dialect of Arabic as their first language, and Modern Standard Arabic—the literary and cultural language of the broader Arab world—is taught in schools. There are several main dialects, but minor differences often occur within smaller geographic areas. The Arabic of the rural areas of the south is still heavily influenced by the ancient South Arabian language.
Yemen’s difficult terrain, limited soil, inconsistent water supply, and large number of microclimates have fostered some of the most highly sophisticated methods of water conservation and seed adaptation found anywhere in the world, making possible the cultivation of surprisingly diverse crops.
The most common crops are cereals such as millet, corn (maize),wheat, barley, and sorghum; myriad vegetables from a burgeoning truck farm industry have appeared on the market in recent years. There has also been extensive cultivation of fruits—both tropical (mangoes, plantains, bananas, melons, papayas, and citrus) and temperate (pears, peaches, apples, and grapes). People in Yemen have grown such foods for thousands of years.
The craft of copper production is one of the oldest industries in Yemen. It can be dated back to ancient times. Craftsmen showcase their talent in making copper antiques and products such as jugs, pots, plates/cups, and old jewelry, grafted with precious stones and pure silver. The copper is also engraved with Arabic poetry, Quranic verses and proverbs.
Yemen is one of the poorest and least developed in the Arab world, with a 35% rate of employment, declining natural resources, and a relatively young and rapidly growing population. For the first few years after the unification of Yemen, both the (northern) Yemen Arab Republic Rial and the (southern) Democratic Republic of Yemen Dinar remained legal tender. A Dinar was worth 26 Rials.
In 1993, the first coins were issued by the Republic of Yemen, replacing the 1 and 5 rial notes. 10 rial and 20 rial coins were issued in 1995 and 2004.
In 1931 Muhammad bin Laden, a baggage carrier, left Yemen for Jidda. He and his brothers later founded a prosperous construction company. He later fathered 51 children that included Osama bin Laden, the 17th in 1957.
On Nov 28, 1967, Yemen gained independence from Britain. British troops withdrew and the People's Republic of Yemen was declared with Qahtan ash-Sha'abi as the country's first President.
In 2008 scientists said footprints showed sauropods traveling at the same speed along a river in Yemen, the first discovery of dinosaur footprints on the Arabian Peninsula. They dated back to 150 million BC.
Yemen has a unique architectural heritage, one from which we can learn and draw inspiration. The practitioners, the master builders and craftsmen have learnt how to build to suit geography, location, the climate and available materials. They have by necessity had to “work with” the local conditions and in so doing have developed over generations knowledge and craft specific to the locality and people.Their buildings and homes cover the cities and are made out of dried mud brick.
This officially ends our tour! Come back again soon!
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