THULA FORT RESTORATION

ABDULLAH AL-HADRAMI

Photos courtesy of Abdullah Al-Hadrami

THULA FORT RESTORATION

ABDULLAH AL-HADRAMIarchmarathonABDULLAH AL-HADRAMI

Category:
Landscape and Public Spaces
Project selected:
THULA FORT RESTORATION
Location:
Thula, Amran, Yemen
Year:
2011

Thula is a small town fortified by a stone wall 1,162 meters in length and constructed of oblique, yellow sand stone. Twenty-six watch towers of varying shapes intersect the town wall, as well as four main gates. After the revolution of 1962, the town needed additional openings in the perimeter wall to access a road which had been recently built.
Urbanization was underway along the new road in the north east section of the old town until the project was realized in October 2003.
The goals of the project were to protect and save the numerous constructed and natural elements: agriculture terraces, catchments with traditional water channels, cisterns and burial sites. Additionally, the project sought to protect the cultural landscape, and to create jobs and provide local household income through the work of rehabilitating the large site.
During the rehabilitation work of the old stepped road from the lower gate, which was discovered in the course of project execution, to the upper gate of the fortress in 2009-2010, team members uncovered a complex of previously unknown buildings. The construction details show a gate with all of its annexes, towers, entry points with arches, pathways, walls, stairs and climbing passages. The rehabilitation and restoration project at least unlocks some of the mysteries of this historic site, expanding the world’s knowledge of the Sabaean kingdom and adding valuable information to the history of the ancient Arabia Felix and its rich cultural heritage.

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