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Activities in 2013

Cataloguing at the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale in Rome

In September 2013 an epigraphical campaign was organized to the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale in Rome, which hosts the most consistent Italian collection of South Arabian inscriptions and artifacts, originated in the 1930s and grown in the following decades.
It is composed by nearly 40 epigraphic and 60 anepigraphic objects, including a variety of inscriptions and artefacts in stone, but also more precious materials like bronze and alabaster.
The objects and the inscriptions have been digitized in DASI archive and are available for consultation in the dedicated Collection page.
A consistent amount of funerary objects is represented in the collection: mainly statuettes representing the deceased, but also sculptures of human heads in the round, or in bas relief or incised on plaques, varying from naturalistic to stylized representations.
Plaques and architectural elements testify for the taste of decoration of the South Arabians, and offering tables and incense burners attest cultic activities.
The MNAO collection of epigraphs is composed by some inscriptions incised on artefacts and others on simple stone blocs.
The inscriptions are mostly Sabaic in language and date back to the first centuries AD, attesting the construction works and the cultic activities of the tribes living in the northern highlands of Yemen.
From the al-Jawf area come some Minaic texts. Although mainly fragmentary, the texts are beautifully carved and sometimes finely decorated.