The Tihamah plain extends some 500km down the western coast of modern Yemen and about 100km along its southern coast. This publication presents the first long-term culture-history of the Tihamah, through the exploration of socio-economic, cultural and political developments and of the region's relation to the rest of South West Arabia to its east, and to the Horn of Africa lying to its west, across the Red Sea. This research assimilates and analyses all of the available data for an archaeological understanding of the pre-Islamic Tihamah. This comprehensive study, taken in a long-term perspective, enables the identification of patterns, discontinuities, changes and current interpretive problems related to the development of the Tihamah in its relation to neighbouring regions. The analysis is based on published and unpublished archaeological research - including field research undertaken by the author - and on a range of historical sources, which include South West Arabian pre-Islamic inscriptions and Graeco-Roman sources. It also draws on a disparate range of relevant data from the rest of South West Arabia and the Horn of Africa over an equivalent period. This publication demonstrates the importance of the Tihamah to wider cultural, economic and political developments within the rest of South West Arabia and the Horn of Africa. It adds to the emerging pre-Islamic history of other regions of South West Arabia that have been studied more fully elsewhere.