[13/October/2004] Marib Great Dam is the most outstanding historical landmark in Arabia Flex. It was erected in- between the northern and central Balak mountains, 8 km south-west of Marib city- some 167 km away from the capital Sana’a.
The construction of the dam, according to inscriptions, dates back to the 8th century BC. However, the results of a study made by a German archaeological expedition on a diversion dam in the Dhanan valley (Construction A), indicate that plans for building the dam underwent many stages and long periods between the start of the 2nd and 1st Millennium BC.
Whatever the date of the start of construction, it is an indisputable fact that the Great Marib Dam continued as a working monument through all ages of Yemen civilization from the beginnings of civilization until its collapse.
Inscriptions indicate that the Dam did collapse and was renovated several times .The last time major work were carried out on the dam was during the Abyssinian occupation of Yemen in the 6th century AD.
The Dam was a huge man-made lake of 35m high, 720m long and 60m wide at the foundations .
The foundations were built of bulky pieces of rocks covered with rough volcanic stones.
At the tip of the dam two gaps were left open through which water flowed into the irrigation system and canals and gravel on the sides
The surface of the exterior wall was covered with rough volcanic stones. At the tip of the dam two gaps were left open through which water flowed into the irrigation system and canals.
The wall of the two openings (Al-Sadafain), still exist, as described by Al-Hamadani more than 1000 years ago.
The ingenuity of the irrigation system centered on the collection of water flowing from a number of valleys. When the water level had risen the irrigation of the largest area of the "land of the tow heavens was possible .