Saturday, 3 October 2015

Trowelblazers - Merilyn Phillips Hodgson

Dr Wendell Phillips was an archaeologist who worked in Arabia, particularly the Yemen, and by his premature death in 1976, at the age of only 54, he had become probably the richest archaeologist ever. He owned hundreds of oil leases at his death, thanks to his Arabian contacts, giving him the right to extract and sell the oil.
His archaeological work was important in casting light on the ancient incense routes, bringing frankincense and myrrh across the Arab world for use in Greek and Roman temples - though his main interest was in finding out more about the Biblical Queen of Sheba. He founded the American Foundation for the Study of Man, the AFSM, in 1949, a non-profit organisation to fund his expeditions.

And he had a sister. Merilyn Phillips Hodgson revived the AFSM in 1980, after being asked by the Government of Yemen to continue her brother's work. She is still the president of the organisation, which is investigating the Awam Temple, also known as the Mahram Bilqis, in Yemen. It dates back to the 7thC BC, and was dedicated to the Moon God Almaqah.

Before the work on the Mahram Bilqis began, Merilyn organized, planned and sponsored a series of archaeological expeditions to the Wadi al Jubah in Yemen. Five volumes were published as a result of this work.

Sadly, I can't seem to find any information about the dig at Mahram Bilqis or Merilyn Phillips Hodgson after 2006, when the AFSM appointed Dr Juris Zarins as director of the dig.

No comments:

Post a Comment