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Title: Marib  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of Yemen, Sheba, List of archaeological sites by country, Yemen, Marib Dam, Nahom, GDRT, Greater Yemen, North Yemen Civil War, List of airports by ICAO code: O
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


"Mareb" redirects here. For the river in Ethiopia, see Mareb River.
"Mariba" redirects here. For the small town in the United States, see Mariba, Kentucky.

The ruins of Old Ma'rib, which lies to the south of the modern city
Location in Yemen

Coordinates: 15°25′N 45°21′E / 15.417°N 45.350°E / 15.417; 45.350Coordinates: 15°25′N 45°21′E / 15.417°N 45.350°E / 15.417; 45.350

Country  Yemen
Governorate Ma'rib Governorate
Population (2005)
 • Ethnicities Arab
Time zone Yemen Standard Time (UTC+3)

Ma'rib (Arabic: مأرب‎) or Marib is the capital city of the Ma'rib Governorate, Yemen and was the capital of the Sabaean kingdom, which some scholars believe to be the ancient Sheba of biblical fame.[1] It is located at 15°25′0″N 45°21′0″E / 15.41667°N 45.35000°E / 15.41667; 45.35000, approximately 120 kilometers east of Yemen's modern capital, Sana'a. It has a current population of 16,794.


Main article: Sabaeans

The Sabaean kingdom was located in what is now Marib in northern Yemen. The Sabaean kings made their capital at Ma'rib, and built great irrigation works such as the Ma'rib dams, whose ruins are still visible. The Marib Dam supported a flourishing culture for more than a thousand years; its collapse in 575 CE, a few years after the birth of Muhammad, may be one of the main reasons that Arabia did not become Christian.[2] They also built castles and temples in the area, and were known for trading the valuable frankincense[1] and myrrh.[3] They were a seafaring people and were known to have influence and a population in the Northeast African kingdom of Dʿmt, across the Red Sea in Somalia, Eritrea and perhaps Ethiopia, the only other source of both frankincense and myrrh.

In 25 B.C., Aelius Gallus led "an expedition to Ma'rib (Yemen)."[4]

The site of ancient Ma'rib was largely abandoned during the 20th century. Although a small village remains, the multi-story mud-brick buildings of the historic city are largely in ruins. The modern city of Ma'rib is located about 3.5 kilometers north of the center of the ancient city.

Oil Refinery

The Yemen Oil Refining Company opened an oil refinery in Ma'rib in 1986, which produces 10,000 barrels (1,600 m3) of oil per day (2009). In November 2009, the company announced an agreement with Korea's Shinhan to expand and upgrade the refinery to produce 25,000 barrels (4,000 m3)/day.[5]

Ma'rib is the start of the 438 km (272 mi) Marib-Ra's Isa oil pipeline, with a capacity of 200,000 barrels (32,000 m3) per day.[6]


See also


  • Durant, Will (1950). The Age of Faith: A History of Medieval Civilization -- Christian, Islamic, and Judaic -- from Constantine to Dante: A.D. 325-1300, The Story of Civilization, volume IV. Simon and Schuster.
  • Apologia for "The Sabaean Cultural-Political Area" // Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 57: 469-474.
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid (2009). Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years, Viking Penguin.

External links

  • German Archaeological Institute (in German)
  • World66
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