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Ancient city ruins, north-central Yemen. The ancient fortified city of Ma'rib was the centre of the pre-Islamic state of Saba' (950–115 BC). It was located on one of the caravan routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, and it prospered through its trading monopoly on frankincense and myrrh. The ancient Ma'rib Dam was built c. 7th century BC to regulate the waters of the Wadi Sadd; some 1,800 ft (550 m) long, it irrigated more than 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) and supported a densely settled agricultural region. The dam was destroyed by the 7th century AD and possibly earlier.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Ma'rib, visit Britannica.com.
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