Sabina Antonini. The South Arabian Works in The al-Sabah Collection

Sabina Antonini since 1984 has taken part, in Yemen, in archaeological surveys and excavations of prehistoric sites in Khawlān al-Ṭiyāl and Ramlat al-Sabʿatayn, and of South Arabian sites, including Yalā, Tamnaʿ, Ḥayd ibn ʿAqīl, and Barāqish. She has contributed to archaeological campaigns in Saudi Arabia (Najran) and Ethiopia (Tigray) in collaboration with a French Archaeological Mission. She is the author of numerous monographs and articles on South Arabian Archaeology and Art History. She obtained a BA in Greek and Roman Antiquities at the University of Perugia (Italy), and a PhD in Archaeology and Art History of the Near East at the University of Naples L’Orientale (Italy).

The South Arabian works in The al-Sabah Collection are made of stone (limestone, alabaster) and metal (bronze, silver and gold), and cover a period ranging from the Bronze Age (3rd millennium BCE) to the 3rd century CE. The Collection, in its heterogeneity, includes all the categories of materials concerning the spiritual and religious life and the secular life. From an art historical point of view, there are several objects whose typology was unknown to us until now. The major contribution that these objects have made is not only to enrich our understanding of South Arabian figurative production and the craftsmen responsible for it, as well as the practices and customs of South Arabians in their private and public lives, together with their social and economic circumstances, but also to broaden our knowledge of the contacts that existed with the countries of the Near East and the Mediterranean, and the artistic influences that derived from them.

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