Sheba: Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.98
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Excellent dust jacket. Binding: Hardcover. / Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co / Pub. Date: 2001 Attributes: 372 p. / Illustrations: B&W Photographs and Illustrations Stock#: 2065508 () * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Sheba: Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen Hardcover – April 24, 2001


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.95 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Curious History
Learn about fascinating moments in history, from Arctic expeditions to the origins of Wonder Woman and more. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The legendary Queen of Sheba (known in the Islamic world as Balqis or Bilqis) is a fascinating and perplexing figure. She is the only woman of note in the Bible or Koran who wields political power. Yet the historical basis for the Queen of Sheba has never been clear. In this charming investigative account, filmmaker and archeology lecturer Clapp (The Road to Ulam) creatively seeks to unravel the myth and surprisingly, his search bears some fruit. Clapp brings readers on an unusual trip to the Middle East, including relatively obscure locations in Yemen and Ethiopia, where Sheba is still a living legend. Clapp's narrative is a combination of serious scholarly investigation, casual observation, travel account and personal diary. He is a genial travel companion with a good eye for detail, though he tends to sensationalize his subject matter. Many of his local informants speak in broken and grammatically incorrect English, which may be intended to convey the sense of the foreign, but it also belittles his well-meaning helpers. Fortunately, this aspect does not overshadow the overall contribution of this book. Utilizing recent archeological data, Clapp imaginatively reconstructs the life of Sheba and her visit to Solomon. In opposition to the biblical story, Clapp cleverly suggests that Sheba was in fact a far more powerful political figure than Solomon. The purpose of her visit, Clapp says, was not, as the Bible suggests, to test Solomon's wisdom but rather to engage in high-powered trade talks. Clapp is able to provide a solid, realistic insight into this intriguing figure. As he points out, the evidence is still scanty, but overall this is a well-written and informative book that will not disappoint. Illus.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-According to two brief biblical accounts, the Queen of Sheba visited the court of King Solomon in 950 B.C.E., but if the story is true, "not a shred of extrabiblical evidence backed it up." Though history tells us nothing of the woman known only as Sheba, she persists as an icon of unique female power in all the religions that originated in the Middle East-and in the popular imagination. Clapp explores the lore surrounding Sheba and sets out to discover, if he can, the facts behind the legends. He follows clues in Jerusalem, Ethiopia, and Arabia, often visiting places not normally open to Westerners and archaeologists. In a dangerous region of Yemen he makes an important discovery and finds what seems a plausible solution to the historical puzzle: "Sheba" was actually the legendary Yemeni Queen Bilqis of the ancient kingdom of Saba, traveling to Jerusalem on a trade mission. (This theory accommodates a historical basis for Sheba's significance in Ethiopian culture as well.) This account is exciting, fast moving, and richly illustrated. The author's observant eye, pitch-perfect ear, and unfailing sense of humor carry readers along on an adventure he justifiably describes as both "harrowing and sublime." This title should please a wide variety of readers-even reluctant ones whose only interest in archaeology is through Indiana Jones.

Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (April 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395952832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395952832
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,259,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jon Wheeler on May 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Nicholas Clapp has done it again! This renowned amateur archeologist has done something us armchair adventurers can only dream about -- he has crafted a brilliant historical account of the mystery surrounding the life of the Queen of Sheba that incorporates a fantastic journey through Europe and Middle East. I was captivated by his conversational style and ability to present the historical backround in an engaging manner, as well as his always fascinating and often humorous tales of his life on the road (or even on a tiny fishing boat crossing from Ethiopia to Yemen).
Lovers of travel and history will undoubtably enjoy this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lyon on March 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
From the acheologist and author behind the superlative Road to Ubar comes this years-long search for the titular queen. Clapp knows that behind many a legend looms a historical figure. In contrast to his search for Ubar, however, Clapp seems a bit too willing to believe the most tenuous of connections when seeking Sheba's stomping grounds. As his ability to wander through possible sites becomes increasingly restricted (due to political unrest), his healthy critical outlook appears to take a back seat to his need for an expedient resolution. Clapp himself seems as likeable as ever, though, and many of his observations (especially those made while in Yemen) are as hilarious as they are insightful.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Neptune on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Nicholas Clapp may be better known for his remarkable discovery of the so-called "lost city" of Ubar in the 90's. What makes his discovery all the more remarkable, and entertaining, is that Clapp is a documentary filmmaker... not an archaeologist. Of course, one could say that a documentary filmmaker is something of a jack of all trades, a good description of Clapp, it seems, as he brought together a team of NASA scientists, a British adventurer in the Lawrence of Arabia vein, and his parole officer wife, among others, on an adventure he created from some serious, in-depth study of ancient texts and maps.
Clapp's Sheba takes place in a similar area, and again deals with the murky mists that cover mankind's ancient past, and with the myths and legends that may, or may not, be based on fact. However, Sheba is notably different than "The Road to Ubar" in that his quest this time involves a person and not a place. Unfortunately, places last quite a bit longer than flesh-and-blooders like ourselves, and Sheba should be approached differently than Ubar-- if you've read it-- because here there will not be that "aha!" moment when the seeming lump of sand gives up its treasure.
Clapp's quest for Sheba offers the tantalizing prospect of such "aha!" moments when and if Yemen becomes a safe place for large, organized archaeological digs. A vast, ancient city of 20,000 people awaits that intrepid Indiana Jones.
Now, having said that, Clapp shows more of his wonderful storytelling ability, and his historical detective work, looking for the weave of fact amongst the warp of time.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Newton Ooi on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Books about Bible characters are aplenty, but most deal with the men. This is one of the few that deal with the queen of Sheba, neither Christian nor Jew, but probably more politically powerful than any of the other women in the Bible. The book is part history, part commentary and part travelogue. The author traverses the various lands mentioned in the Bible such as Jerusalem, Ethiopia, Arabia, etc..., with each chapter dedicated to one region in the area. In each region, the author explains how Sheba figures into local folklore and history. Throughout the book, the author also compares and contrasts the different interpretations of Sheba's life and relationship with King Solomon.

There are several areas where the book could have been improved. First, more pictures would have been nice. Second, the book should have had one table near the end that compares the relative veracities of the different interpretations given about Sheba's life. Instead, this is given over several paragraphs. Third, the book should have given one long time-line with competing dates marked out. But all in all, this was still an interesting and engaging book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Meegan VINE VOICE on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nicholas Clapp's search for the Queen of Sheba is one of the best non-fiction books I've read this year. The book is a travelogue, history, biblical study, analysis of Arabic mythology, and view of Middle Eastern and Eastern African politics all wrapped into one. Clapp is an engaging writer with a dry and subtle sense of humor that had me laughing out loud as I followed him on his often whimsical quest through Israel, Yemen, and Ethiopia. His frank, honest style and his ability to poke fun at and not take himself too seriously made the book and absolute pleasure to read. Like most books that focus on the world's great "unsolved mysteries," Clapp's journey often raises more questions than it answers. But that only added to my enjoyment of the story. When I finished the book, it felt as if I'd come to the end of a long stay with a good friend.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?