YeSaRay

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Kingdom of Saba and Dhu Raydan ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ ♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ ♥


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 110 BCE-149 CE ♥

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ ♥

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ ♥

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ YeQatab ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ ♥
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ EtAksm1 ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Sabaean Culture ♥ "Two rulers, Yathaʿʾamar and Karibʾīl, known in Assyrian sources under the names ‘Itaʾamra the Sabaean’ (c.716 BC) and ‘Karibilu king of Saba’ (between 689 and 681) extended their hegemony over a large section of South Arabia (2.5, 2.31). Subsequently, the Sabaean ‘cultural model’ spread over a wide area including the entirety of Yemen, Ethiopia, the areas neighbouring Yemen, such as Najrān, western Arabia between Najrān and the Levant, and as far as the shores of the Arab-Persian Gulf, as indicated by evidence for the use of the Sabaean alphabet. Sabaean culture was expressed in the lexicon and phraseology of inscriptions and in the use of writing for decorative purposes. It is also reflected in an iconographic repertoire which applies a range of geometric figures, such as denticles, striations, and hollowed-out rectangles; emblematic animals, such as ibexes, oryxes, bulls, bucrania, ostriches; symbols, such as the hand, the crescent, the circle; and stylized representations, such as ‘eye stelae’."[1]
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ ♥ km squared.

♠ Capital ♣ none ♥ "Until the end of the third century AD, when the kingdom of Ḥimyar, which had just expelled an Ethiopian invasion, annexed the kingdom of Sabaʾ and conquered Ḥaḍramawt (Ch. 3), South Arabia was divided between numerous kingdoms".[2]


Language

♠ Language ♣ Sabaic; Mainic; Qatabanic; Hadramawtic; Old Arabic ♥ "five major languages attested—Sabaʾic, Maʿīnic, Qatabānic, Ḥaḍramawtic, and Old Arabic"[3]

General Description

The Yemeni Coastal Plain or Plateau is the northwestern region of modern Yemen that lies between the Red Sea and the Yemeni Mountains. Beginning in the ninth and eighth centuries BCE, this region became part of a wider "Sabaean" culture region (from the name of the dominant kingdom, Saba), in which many relatively small kingdoms across south and western Arabia, as well as Ethiopia, shared the same alphabet, the same iconographic repertoire (e.g. widespread depiction of animals such as ibexes and oryxes, and use of symbols such as hands, crescents, and circles), and the same vocabulary and turns of phrases in inscriptions. [4] By this time, the influence of Saba over the region had diminished.[5]

At this time, the largest town in the Yemeni Coastal Plain was Marib, which covered an area of 100 hectares, for a population of about 30,000-40,000.[6] It is unclear, however, what the average population of a single kingdom.

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ ♥ in squared kilometers

♠ Polity Population ♣ ♥ People.

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ ♥ Inhabitants.

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ [2-4] ♥ levels. A very rough estimate based on interpolation between preceding and succeeding polities

♠ Administrative levels ♣ ♥ levels.

♠ Religious levels ♣ ♥ levels.

♠ Military levels ♣ ♥ levels.

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ ♥

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ ♥

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ ♥

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ ♥

♠ Examination system ♣ ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ ♥

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ ♥

♠ Judges ♣ ♥

♠ Courts ♣ ♥

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ ♥

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ "In the irrigated regions of the piedmont and in the cultivated lands of mountainous and highland areas, the numerous hydraulic and agricultural installations—dams, canals, sluice gates, wells, or terraced fields—testify to a high degree of technical skill associated with these settlements (2.19 and 2.27)."[7]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ ♥
♠ markets ♣ ♥
♠ food storage sites ♣ ♥

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ "A rock inscription in the Qatabānic language from the third or second century BC, commemorating the construction of a pathway between the Upper Lands of the region of al-Bayḍāʾ (at an elevation of about 2000 m above sea level) and the plain of Lawdar (1000 m below)."[8]
♠ Bridges ♣ ♥
♠ Canals ♣ ♥
♠ Ports ♣ ♥

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ ♥

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ ♥
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ "One of the salient features of Yemen (and, to a lesser extent, Arabia) is the substantial quantity of epigraphic documents—texts written on non-perishable materials, such as stone and metal, or on durable media, such as wood—yielded by these regions. [...] The oldest local inscriptions, which originate from Yemen, were carefully carved texts and the work of professionals, and would date from the mid-eighth century BC."[9]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ "widespread use of a single script, Sabaean"[10]
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ absent ♥ "South Arabian writing uses an alphabet of 29 consonants."[11]
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ present ♥ "South Arabian writing uses an alphabet of 29 consonants."[12]

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ ♥
♠ Calendar ♣ inferred present ♥ "Sabaʾ’s culture was represented through a language, Sabaʾic, a pantheon, a calendar, and a dating system, all specific to this kingdom."[13]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[14]
♠ Religious literature ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[15]
♠ Practical literature ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[16]
♠ History ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[17]
♠ Philosophy ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[18]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[19]
♠ Fiction ♣ absent ♥ "Notably, none of these documents is a poem, a hymn, a collection of sayings, a mythological narration, a chronicle, a manual, or indeed any other sort of literary or technical composition."[20]


Money

♠ Articles ♣ ♥
♠ Tokens ♣ ♥
♠ Precious metals ♣ ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ ♥
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ ♥
♠ Paper currency ♣ ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ ♥
♠ Postal stations ♣ ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ ♥
♠ Iron ♣ inferred present ♥ Likely iron/steel was imported from Sri Lanka and/or India. There is no evidence for an iron-smelting site in Yemen [21] The area, like East Africa, could have received iron imports from Sri Lanka toward the end of the first century BCE and was, in any case, conquered by iron-using Axum [22] by 200 CE. Historical records show "good quality Indian steel" was reaching Ethiopia in 200 BCE. [23]
♠ Steel ♣ inferred present ♥ Likely iron/steel was imported from Sri Lanka and/or India. There is no evidence for an iron-smelting site in Yemen [24] The area, like East Africa, could have received iron imports from Sri Lanka toward the end of the first century BCE and was, in any case, conquered by iron-using Axum [25] by 200 CE. Historical records show "good quality Indian steel" was reaching Ethiopia in 200 BCE. [26]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ ♥
♠ Atlatl ♣ ♥
♠ Slings ♣ ♥
♠ Self bow ♣ ♥
♠ Composite bow ♣ ♥
♠ Crossbow ♣ ♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ ♥
♠ Battle axes ♣ ♥
♠ Daggers ♣ ♥
♠ Swords ♣ ♥
♠ Spears ♣ ♥
♠ Polearms ♣ ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ ♥
♠ Horses ♣ ♥
♠ Camels ♣ ♥
♠ Elephants ♣ ♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ ♥
♠ Shields ♣ ♥
♠ Helmets ♣ ♥
♠ Breastplates ♣ ♥
♠ Limb protection ♣ ♥
♠ Chainmail ♣ ♥
♠ Scaled armor ♣ ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ ♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ ♥

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ inferred present ♥ Fortifications were in use in the region at this time: First mention of the Himyarites occurs about 15 CE "when a Hadhramite inscription detailed the need of building a new fortified wall at a settlement north of modern-day Bir 'Ali to fend of the attacks of the Himyarites."[27] For YeHmyr1 we have a reference for ramparts.
♠ Ditch ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Moat ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Long walls ♣ ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥


Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ ♥

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥ The name of the research assistant or associate who coded the data. If more than one RA made a substantial contribution, list all.

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ inferred absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [28] [29] [30]

References

  1. (Robin 2015: 94-96) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  2. (Robin 2015: 94) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  3. (Robin 2015: 94) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  4. (Robin 2015: 94-96) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/ZMFH42PE.
  5. (Korotayev 1994) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/EXB5JVFN.
  6. (Edens and Wilkinson 1998: 96) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/HGK23ABQ.
  7. (Robin 2015: 93) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  8. (Robin 2015: 101) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  9. (Robin 2015: 90-91) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  10. (Robin 2015: 94) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  11. (Robin 2015: 99) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  12. (Robin 2015: 99) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  13. (Robin 2015: 94) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  14. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  15. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  16. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  17. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  18. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  19. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  20. (Robin 2015: 92) Robin, Christian Julien. 2015. “Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia.” In Arabs and Empires before Islam, edited by Greg Fisher, 91-126. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www-oxfordscholarship-com.ezp.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654529.001.0001/acprof-9780199654529-chapter-3.
  21. (Killick 2015) Killick, David. Cairo to Cape: The Spread of Metallurgy through Eastern and Southern Africa. Roberts, Benjamin W. Thornton, Christopher P. 2015. eds. Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective: Methods and Syntheses. Springer. New York.
  22. (Carlson 2012, 119) Jon D Carlson. 2012. Myths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. Basingstoke.
  23. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123) Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-Malay Peninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.
  24. (Killick 2015) Killick, David. Cairo to Cape: The Spread of Metallurgy through Eastern and Southern Africa. Roberts, Benjamin W. Thornton, Christopher P. 2015. eds. Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective: Methods and Syntheses. Springer. New York.
  25. (Carlson 2012, 119) Jon D Carlson. 2012. Myths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. Basingstoke.
  26. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123) Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-Malay Peninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.
  27. (McLaughlin 2008, 7) Daniel McLaughlin. 2008. Yemen. Bradt Travel Guides.
  28. http://seshatdatabank.info/databrowser/moralizing-supernatural-punishment-acknowledgements.html
  29. http://seshatdatabank.info/databrowser/moralizing-supernatural-punishment-narratives.html
  30. http://seshatdatabank.info/databrowser/moralizing-supernatural-punishment-nga_tables.html