Great Dam of Marib

Ancient history is tricky – a mine field of contradiction, biblical references, conspiracy and myth. History, easily misinterpreted or recorded with bias of the author, can’t always be trusted. Interpretation, often subjective, must be approached cautiously. Archeology, at least in terms of physical evidence is irrefutable. Over the years I’ve come to accept archeological evidence as the place to embrace wonders of our past.

The Sabaeans inhabited present day Yemen from roughly 1200 BC to 275 AD. For the sake of argument lets accept that approximation and move on. Biblical references to “Saba” or the Queen of Sheba – Old Testament ruler of the Sabaean people, hold little interest in this ponder. Mind bending feats of engineering magnificence obliterate dusty religious debate. Ponder the Great Dam of Marib.

Try to imagine a parched and dusty empire 750 BC. So many mouths to feed – so little water. Hey, lets build a dam. We’ll need to make it 2000 feet across, control the flow of water with canals, spillways and sluices, make certain it’s watertight, and proceed without concrete. No problem – we’ll just pack all this earth where we want it, and channel water as needed. The dam stood for 1000 years before a breach estimated at 600 AD returned Yemen to the desert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marib_Dam

Remnants of the Marib Dam
We see ourselves as superior, sophisticated, technologically advanced specimens of a highly evolved civilization. Imagine the sophistication required to build the Dam at Marib.
Archeological evidence eclipses written history, forcing us to think in practical terms. We rub our eyes in disbelief, blink a few times, look again, it’s still there – stoically daring us to grasp the enormity of ancient tenacity, ingenuity and above all – the will to move the earth, if it meant a better world.
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