The Awām Temple cemetery in Marib (Maʾrib) revisited


  • Clara Mancarella


funerary archaeology, Awām temple, Marib, ancestors’ veneration, Sabaeans


The aim of this paper is to present some thoughts about Sabaean funerary customs and their conception of death and of the afterlife, focusing on their approach to the cult of the ancestors. In order to do so, the archaeological, osteological, and textual evidence originating from the excavations by the American Foundation for the Study of Man (AFSM) and by the German Institute of Archaeology (DAI) in the cemetery of the Awām Temple in Marib is presented. This serves as a basis for discussion on the possible functional interpretation of the cemetery and on the determination of the social position of the deceased buried in the tombs. Finally, traces of South Arabian funerary practices and beliefs are evidenced and discussed, with particular attention given to a possible veneration of the ancestors within the context of this cemetery.





How to Cite

Mancarella, C. (2016). The Awām Temple cemetery in Marib (Maʾrib) revisited. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 46, 179–195. Retrieved from

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