O'Neill, D'Arne

The Stone and Metal Miniature Repertoire of the Awam Cemetery Marib (Yemen)

22.5 x 31.0 cm, 488 p., illustrations b/w, hardback
98,00 €

ISBN: 9783954904709
Table of Contents

Short Description

From furniture to food, animals to architecture, manuscripts to musical instruments, most objects have been miniaturised at one time or another. This study outlines a first millennium BC stone and metal miniature repertoire excavated by the German Archaeological Institute from the ’Awām cemetery in Mārib Yemen. It explores the repertoire’s forms, comparanda, chronology, origins and functions and completes and corrects the previously fragmentary knowledge of miniatures in South Arabia.


The study documents the first millennium BC miniature repertoire of 1006 stone and 126 metal miniatures excavated from the ’Awām cemetery in the Mārib oasis Yemen by the German Archaeological Institute in 1997-2001. Prior to the excavation of the ’Awām cemetery, and in common with many sites in the Near East, miniature finds in South Arabian archaeological contexts were typically fragmentary. Miniatures as a class have generally been under studied in the archaeological literature with definitions often arbitrary and cultural meanings by default. The Stone and Metal Miniature Repertoire of the ’Awām Cemetery, Mārib (Yemen) critically examines in depth the forms, comparanda, chronology, origins and functions of the stone and metal miniature repertoire and places it in its wider South Arabian cultural setting. The first appearance of miniatures in the South Arabian archaeological record is discussed and is connected to the appearance of other major elements of first millennium BC South Arabian culture such as script, monumental architecture and iconography. The various stone and metal miniatures forms that were deposited in the ’Awām cemetery for burial are revealed, parallel forms where they exist are documented and chronology of the repertoire discussed. Questions relating to specific functions of the miniatures in South Arabia, whether they were a pragmatic response to cemetery overcrowding, an attempt to limit looting, or a symbolic statement are explored. Researchers interested in miniatures as a particular class of objects historically ignored and largely understudied in Near Eastern archaeology, will find a wealth of detailed information in the study. Those interested in South Arabia will find a compelling account of a miniature repertoire from the largest cemetery to be excavated to date of the powerful first millennium BC Sabaean polity.


Arabian peninsula (61) || Arabische Länder (5) || Arabische Welt (11) || Archaeology (527) || Archaeology by period / region (444) || International relations (8) || Politics & government (68) || Yemen (36) || arabisch-islamischer Kulturraum (5)