South Arabia (modern-day Yemen) was once known by the Romans as “Arabia Felix,” meaning roughly “lucky Arabia.” The origin of this nickname is no mystery: The ancient kingdom of Qataban, with its capital Timna serving as a wildly prosperous center of trade. Timna grew further as a center for metalwork, with alabaster and bronze carvings. Funerary statues and busts, often chiseled from fine alabaster, were embellished with thick plaster hair and inlaid deep-set eyes with blue glass. At the Sackler Gallery, the exhibition A Glimpse of Ancient Yemen showcases this ancient work. One statue on display depicts a small Erote triumphantly riding on a bronze lion. Treasures like these were hidden underground for nearly two millennia until the early 1950s when they were unearthed by Wendell Phillips, an oil-rich American archaeological pioneer who made a name for himself as the first foreigner to excavate in South Arabia. With Yemen currently in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, A Glimpse of Ancient Yemen is an important reminder that there’s so much more to the country than the war and destruction shown on television and in newspapers—it’s home to one of the most vibrant ancient cultures in the world. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Aug. 18, 2019 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-1000. freersackler.si.edu. (Rose Shafer)
OH AND ALSO
DC9 welcomes Swiss rock artist Reverend Beat-Man, performing with punk-blues artist Nicole Izobel Garcia. 8 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $15.
The National Museum of American History continues its run of The American Revolution: A World War, an exhibition that explores the war through a global lens. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free.
Professor William Egginton speaks at Politics and Prose about The Splintering of the American Mind, his new book which makes the case that liberal higher education should return to its egalitarian values. 7 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
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