Thursday, May 16, 2013

Marib Dam

Building a dam on a river, to store extra water for irrigation is an old skill learned by humans.

Oldest example is Maarib dam in Yemen, that is mentioned in Quran.

This dam lasted for thousands of years before finally collapsing in a catastrophe.

Maarab/Arim was the town of Queen Bilqis on eastern slopes of Yemen's San'a highlands.

Ma'rib dam was constructed about four thousand years ago.

It had right and left bank canals to sustain a lush green oasis in the desert.
Collapse happend before the dawn of Islam, which forced the Yemenite Arab tribes to spread north into Hejaz, Iraq and Syria.

Surah Saba 34/14,15
لَقَدۡ كَانَ لِسَبَإٍ۬ فِى مَسۡكَنِهِمۡ ءَايَةٌ۬ ۖ جَنَّتَانِ عَن يَمِينٍ۬ وَشِمَالٍ۬ۖ كُلُواْ مِن رِّزۡقِ رَبِّكُمۡ وَٱشۡكُرُواْ لَهُۚ ۥ بَلۡدَةٌ۬ طَيِّبَةٌ۬ وَرَبٌّ غَفُورٌ۬
فَأَعۡرَضُواْ فَأَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ سَيۡلَ ٱلۡعَرِمِ وَبَدَّلۡنَـٰهُم بِجَنَّتَيۡہِمۡ جَنَّتَيۡنِ ذَوَاتَىۡ أُڪُلٍ خَمۡطٍ۬ وَأَثۡلٍ۬ وَشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّن سِدۡرٍ۬ قَلِيلٍ۬
There was indeed a sign for Sheba in their dwelling-place: Two gardens on the right hand and the left (as who should say): Eat of the provision of your Lord and render thanks to Him. A fair land and an indulgent Lord! (15) But they were froward, so We sent on them the flood of 'Iram, and in exchange for their two gardens gave them two gardens bearing bitter fruit, the tamarisk and here and there a lote-tree.

During 1990s, another dam has been built, two miles upstream from the old site. New Marib dam has restored the agriculture of this lost civilization.

its picture can bee seen on local currency as a sign of construction and prosperity.


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