German archeologists unearth ancient temple in Yemen
(dpa) - A team of German archaeologists has discovered an ancient temple dating back to 7th century BC, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) said on Tuesday.
The discovery was made during excavation works in the ancient Sabaean town of Sirwah, at the central province of Marib, the DAI said in a statement.
Sirwah formed the most important centre of the Sabaean kingdom next to the ancient metropolis of Marib during the 1st millennium BC.
The large town was surrounded by a fortification wall, and included many monumental buildings, of which the most prominent is the al-Maqah Temple, a sanctuary that dates back to the 7th century BC, and is currently undergoing restoration.
During the restoration work at the al-Maqah Temple, the DAI team discovered "another unique and well preserved Sabaean temple as part of the ancient town," said the statement.
The sacred building has a monumental entrance decorated with pillars and different rooms inside.
The ground plan and the construction features of the temple are singular in Yemen; tower-like projections divide the exterior facade of the sanctuary and the building material consists of a phenomenal wood/stone construction, the DAI said.
German archaeologists have been conducting excavation and restoration works in Yemen for 30 years now and have helped to preserve some of Yemen's most valuable ancient sites.