Research Centre Ancient South Arabia and Northeast Africa

The research centre, currently located at the Chair of Semitic Philology and Islamic Studies, serves as a platform for research projects in the field of ancient Yemen and ancient Northeast Africa. It also coordinates and implements cultural preservation measures in Yemen and Ethiopia in cooperation with the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI, Sanaa branch).

Currently there are two long-term research projects in progress at the research centre: the Sabaic Online Dictionary and - in collaboration with the Oriental Department of the German Archaeological Institute - Cultural Contacts between South Arabia and Ethiopia.

 

Recent Projects

The Sabaic Online Dictionary

The DFG-funded project aims to create a Sabaic Online Dictionary. With more than 6000 inscriptions and a duration of 16 hundred years from the 10th century BC to the 6th century AD, Sabaic, which is native to the territory of present-day Yemen, is the best-attested linguistic variety within the Ancient South Arabic language community. In addition to extensive corpora of building, dedication and memorial inscriptions, there are legal texts as well as several hundred letters and economic texts written on wooden sticks.

Website

Cultural Contacts between South Arabia and Ethiopia

This long-term research project is carried out by the Oriental Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and by the Research Centre Ancient South Arabia and Northeast Africa. It focuses on the cultural contacts between Sabaeans, who had arrived from South Arabia in the early first millennium BC, and the local population in the region of Tigray. Of particular interest are the processes of interaction between South Arabian and indigenous populations in the first millennium BC. The geographical centre of the research is constituted by the site of Yeha, which, due to its monumental architecture and written sources, is identified as the political and religious centre of this region.

Website