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A Landscape of Pilgrimage and Trade in Wadi Masila, Yemen

al-Qisha and Qabr Hud in the Islamic period

Lynne S. Newton
Publication Year:
193pp. Includes 8 tables, 52 figures, maps, plans, drawings and photographs
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


Archaeological excavations were carried out at al-Qisha, located on the Wadi Masila in the Mahra region of the Republic of Yemen. Situated along the Northern Indian Ocean coast, the Wadi Masila is an integral part of the Hadramaut drainage system locatedwithin the geological Hadramaut Arch. Regional surveys were carried out between 1997-2000, defining Bronze and Iron Age and Islamic period sites. Al-Qisha is an Islamic period settlement site that spans over 1 km and includes an extensive village (part of which is still inhabited), a cemetery, and a mosque. Al-Qisha as an archaeological site is enmeshed in an historical and ethnographic landscape of trade and mediation. This volume has three goals. The main objective is to present the data collected fromexcavations at al-Qisha, the first excavated Islamic period settlement site in the Mahra region of Yemen to date. The second goal is to examine this site in its greater cultural and physical landscape. And third, getting to the “route” of the matter, al-Qisha serves as a gateway community linked with the Ba'Abbad of Qabr Hud, the tomb of the pre-Islamic prophet Hud. This study is unique in that it presents a first attempt to integrate archaeology with the scant history and sparse ethnography of the Mahraand Hadramaut regions.