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  Book review

Al-Musnad: Journal of Antiquities: History & Cultural Heritage of Yemen

edited by Dr Yusuf Muhammad Abdullah and Dr Hussain Abdullah Al-Amri

Al Mustaqbal Press, Beirut (for the General Organisation for Antiquities, Museums and Manuscripts, P. O. Box 1136, Sana’a), 2001. Pp. 96. Illus. Pb. $20.

This glossy, A4 sized Arabic publication is the journal’s first annual issue. It is introduced by the former Minister of Culture, Abdul Malik Mansur, with an article entitled ‘Archaeology is the Heritage of all’. Dr Yusuf Abdullah contributes two articles: ‘Letter from a Woman’, discussing a letter in pre-Islamic cursive script incised on a palm-leaf stick found in Wadi Jawf; and a more philosophical piece entitled ‘The Unity of Archaeology and Civilisation’. Other contributors include Dr Abdo Othman Ghalib (‘The Culture of Bronze Age communities in Yemen’), Dr Zaidan Abd al-Kafi Kafafi (‘Sites and Implements from the Stone Age in Yemen’), Abdul Rahman Hassan al-Saqqaf (‘The Seiyun Museum’), and Professor Walter Muller (‘Religion in Ancient Yemen’).

There are also (unattributed) articles on the 1998—2003 development plan for the National Museum in Sana’a (copiously illustrated); on the activities of the General Organisation of Antiquities, Museums and Manuscripts (GOAMM) between 1998 and 1999, and its programme for 2000; and the full text of ‘The Statute of Archaeology’ issued in 1994. In addition, there are two articles in English: the first on excavations in the mediaeval Islamic city of Zabid and on the restoration of the Zabid Citadel Mosque, both sponsored by the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; and the second, a commentary by Dr Hussain Al-Amri on the more contemporary subject of Yemen’s National Charters of 1947—48 and 1982, originally printed in New Arabian Studies 5, University of Exeter.

There should be no shortage of material for the next issue of this journal which is in preparation.