Temple of Awwam

The Temple of Awwam or "Mahram Bilqis" is a Sabaean temple dedicated to the principal deity of Saba, Almaqah, near Ma'rib in what is now Yemen. It was made about the time of the emergence of Sabaean culture, around the beginning of the fi rst millennium BCE. The temple continued to operate up to the end of the 4th century CE.

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circa 380 CE

Looking towards the eight pillars propylaeum marking the main entrance from within the complex. Pillars are the most widespread architectural feature used in ancient South Arabian religious structures.

circa 380 CE

An aerial view of the complex with the large oval enclosure wall by Mukarrib Yada`'il Dharih I in the middle of the 7th century BCE. Indicating much earlier period of the temple's construction.

circa 380 CE

circa 380 CE

Awām Complex: Area A, Building I – Gate, staircase passage, this gate along with Building I gate had locking devices, so apparently these could be closed if necessary.

circa 380 CE

The double inscription by the ʿAmdān Bayin Yuhaqbiḍ, decorated the interior of the main staircase (pictured above: Area A, Building I – Gate, staircase passage). The inscription mentions the dedication of a horse statue to Almaqah (MB 2001 I-102). The Alhān Nahfān Gate is visible in the lower background with two podia.

circa 380 CE

The Awām temple was the centre of communication between the divinity Almaqah, and his worshippers, the Sabaean people and many inscriptions document these encounters.

circa 380 CE

One of the several bronze statues that were part of numerous discoveries by the American Foundation for the Study of Man that was led by Wendell Philips in 1951-52 excavation of Awwam peristyle.

circa 380 CE

The 7th century BC cemetery is attached to the Oval Sanctuary, and apparently accessed only through a gate in the western wall of the protective enclosure, and restricted to funerary rites usage. The cemetery tombs were multi-storey structures (up to four) and external walls were sometimes decorated with friezes and low relief of the dead's face.

circa 380 CE

Sabaean inscription addressed to the god Almaqah, mentioning five ancient Yemeni gods, two reigning sovereigns and two governors, 7th century, BCE.

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