Timna (Arabic: تمنع) is an ancient city in Yemen, the capital of the Qataban kingdom; it is distinct from a valley in southern Israel that shares the same name.[1]

Arabic: تمنع
Timna is located in Yemen
Shown within Yemen
RegionShabwah Governorate
Coordinates15°00′06″N 45°48′57″E / 15.00167°N 45.81583°E / 15.00167; 45.81583Coordinates: 15°00′06″N 45°48′57″E / 15.00167°N 45.81583°E / 15.00167; 45.81583

During ancient times, Timna was an important hub in the famous Incense Route, which supplied Arabian and Indian incense via camel caravan to ports on the Mediterranean Sea, most notably Gaza, and Petra.

An American excavation of Timna took place in the 1950s chronicled in the book "Qataban and Sheba" by the American archaeologist Wendell Phillips.[1]

In 1962, an alabaster head and a block with writing was found by a British squadron on patrol. The head was discovered about 500 yards from the main wall and gate, the only structures left standing. The block was sent to the Manchester Museum and in a letter by the curator it was described as being a link between Egyptian and Arabic.[2]

For a modern treatment of the city, see: Beihan


  1. ^ a b Phillips, Wendell (1955). Qataban and Sheba : exploring the ancient kingdoms on the Biblical spice routes of Arabia. New York: Harcourt Brace. OCLC 408743.
  2. ^ Mallowan, M. E. L. (1966). "An Alabaster Head from Timna', South Arabia". Iraq. 28 (2): 96–104. doi:10.2307/4199803. ISSN 0021-0889. Retrieved 6 July 2022.