Findings and experiences of Dr. Ueli Brunner from his several journeys in traditional Yemen
September 2010

Dr. Ueli Brunner

Born May 9, 1953 in Zurich, Switzerland

Studies at the University of Zurich, Dept. of Geography

Ph. D. in 1983 with a work about the Oasis of Ma’rib (Die Erforschung der antiken Oase von Ma’rib mit Hilfe geomorphologischer Untersuchungsmethoden. Archäologische Berichte aus dem Yemen, vol. 2, Mainz 1983

Kantonale Maturitätsschule für Erwachsene: Teacher in Geography from 1983– 2005.

Since then free lancer in geoarchaeological research.

Fieldwork in Eritrea, Pakistan and mostly in Yemen (Ma’rib, Wadi Markha, Lahj, Wadi Jirdan, Jabal al-’Awd, Sirwah).
Selected Publications
  • Altsüdarabische Bewässerungsoasen. Die Erde 121, 135-153, 1990 (with H. Haefner)
  • The history of irrigation in the Wadi Markkhah. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 27, 75-85, 1997.
  • Map of Ancient Yemen/Carte du Yémen Antique 1:1'000'000, 1997. (with Chr. Robin)
  • Geography and Human Settlements in Ancient Southern Arabia. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 8, 190-202, 1997.
  • Jemen – Vom Weihrauch zum Erdöl. Böhlau Verlag Wien, 1999.
  • The Sustainability of the Ancient Great Dam of Ma’rib in Yemen. ICID Journal 49/4, 49-61, 2000.
  • Die Gärten der Königin von Saba – Antike Bewässerungssysteme im Jemen. Nürnberger Blätter zur Archäologie 18, 45-60, 2001/2002.
  • The Geography and Economy of the Sabean Homeland. Archäologische Berichte aus dem Yemen 10, 1-7, Mainz 2005.
  • Notes on gabarbands in Balochistan. Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran und Turan 38, 103-135, 2006.
North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen.

Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states.

The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.


total: 527,968 sq km
country comparison to the world: 49
land: 527,968 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)