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PHILLIPS, Wendell.

Qataban and Sheba.

Exploring Ancient Kingdoms on the Biblical Spice Routes of Arabia.

Published: London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1955

Stock code: 106173

Price: £325

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First UK edition, the same year as the first US edition. “In the spring of 1950 Wendell Phillips, a young palaeontologist turned explorer and archaeologist, led the first American archaeological team to excavate the major ancient cities along the spice routes of South Arabia. The project was sponsored by the American Foundation for the Study of Man (AFSM), which was founded by Phillips in 1949” (Potts, ed. Araby the Blest: Studies in Arabian Archaeology, p. 91). The team managed to excavate Timna, the ancient capital of the Qataban kingdom, Hajar bin Humeid, and Marib, the Sabaean city believed by some to be the Sheba of the Old Testament, before tribal hostilities forced them to travel to Dhofar Province, Oman, where they surveyed the ancient spice port of Sumhuram. Phillips also had an audience with the ruler of Yemen and was granted the title of Mustashar by the Sultan of Oman. Scarce in this condition with the dust jacket.

Octavo. Original dark red cloth-textured boards, titles and vignette to spine gilt. 32 photographic plates, 5 diagrams to the text, double-page sketch map to centre of volume, map endpapers. An excellent copy in the bright dust jacket.

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