History of Yemen

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{land, century, early}
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{island, water, area}
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Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East.[1] Its relatively fertile land and adequate rainfall in a moister climate helped sustain a stable population, a feature recognized by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, who described Yemen as Eudaimon Arabia (better known in its Latin translation, Arabia Felix) meaning "fortunate Arabia" or Happy Arabia. Between the 12th century BCE and the 6th century CE, it was dominated by six successive civilizations which rivaled each other, or were allied with each other and controlled the lucrative spice trade: M'ain, Qataban, Hadhramaut, Awsan, Saba and Himyarite.[2] Islam arrived in 630 CE, and Yemen became part of the Muslim realm.

The Yemeni desert regions (Rub' al Khali and Sayhad) were the core settlements of the Nomadic Semites that would migrate to the North, settling Akkad, later penetrating Mesopotamia,[3] eventually conquering Sumer by 2300 BCE, and assimilating the Amorites of Syria.

Some scholars[who?] believe that Yemen remains the only region in the world that is exclusively Semitic, meaning that Yemen historically did not have any non-Semitic speaking people. Yemeni Semites derived their Musnad script by the 12th - 8th centuries BCE, which explains why most historians will date all the ancient Yemeni kingdoms to the 12th - 8th centuries BCE.

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