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MINEANS, mĭ ne’ ənz. A Sem. people of the kingdom of Ma’in in SW Arabia, prob. not mentioned in the Bible.

The Minean kingdom was centered in the Jauf, a region in the NE corner of modern Yemen, just N of ancient Sheba (q.v.). Intensive cultivation by irrigation canals and control of the principal caravan route supported a number of cities there. Strabo lists the Mineans as one of the four major peoples of Arabia (q.v.) in his day and says the name of their capital was Karna. Minean inscrs. (ANET, 2nd ed., 508-510) give it as QRNW, vocalized as Qarnāwu, modern Ma’in. These also show that Ma’in was founded by the kings of Hadhramaut (see Hazarmaveth) c. 400 b.c. It reached its zenith c. 200-75 b.c., and was conquered by Qataban c. 50-25 b.c. (W. F. Albright, “The Chronology of the Minaean Kings of Arabia,” BASOR # 129 [1953], 20-24).