This was, however, more probably due to the deterioration of the country through desiccation, which has forced the settled population farther westward, where Sana became the centre of the later Himyaritic kingdom.
Under Turkish protection, he visited the territory of the Hashid and Bakil tribes north-east of Sana, and though their hostile attitude compelled him to return after reaching their first important town, Khamr, he had time to reconnoitre the plateau lying between the two great wadis Kharid and Hirran, formerly covered with Himyaritic towns and villages; and to trace the course of these wadis to their junction at El Ish in the Dhu Husen country, and thence onward to the Jauf.
Other traditions trace their origin to the Himyaritic chiefs Sanhaj and Samamah, said to have been coeval with a King Afrikus, who is supposed to have conquered Africa about 400.
Arnaud (1845); Inscriptions in the Himyaritic Character in the British Museum (London, 1863); Praetorius, Beitr.
Punische Schrift (1835), a pioneering work which he followed up in 1837 by his collection of Phoenician monuments (Scripturae linguaeque Phoeniciae monumenta quotquot supersunt); an Aramaic lexicon (1834-1839); and a treatise on the Himyaritic language written in conjunction with E.
In 1889 he succeeded, again under Turkish escort, in reaching Marib, where he obtained, during a stay of thirty days, a large number of new Himyaritic inscriptions.
Both parties visited many sites where Himyaritic remains and inscriptions were found, but the hostile attitude of the natives, more particularly of the Seyyids, the religious hierarchy of Hadramut, prevented any adequate examination, and much of archaeological interest undoubtedly remains for future travellers to discover.
The Himyaritic Hadramut.
The world had never quite forgotten the history of the primitive Greeks as it had forgotten the Mesopotamians, the Himyaritic nations and the Hittites; but it remembered their deeds only in the form of poetical myths and traditions.
Along the road are still to be seen vestiges of cities and inscribed monuments, such as the Himyaritic inscriptions on the high plateau of Kohait, the six obelisks with a Saban inscription at Toconda, and an obelisk with an inscription at Amba Sait.