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an ancient southern Arabian tribe and kingdom that occupied the northern part of the present-day Yemen Arab Republic.
The earliest written records of the Minaean kingdom date from the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. The Minaean capital was originally Yathil (present-day Beraqish); the capital was later transferred to Qarnau (present-day Main). The Minaean kingdom had an early class society; the priesthood and tribal aristocracy played an important role in government.
The Minaeans flourished as middlemen in the incense trade. They controlled trade routes through Arabia; from the fourth through the second century B.C., a large Minaean colony existed at Dedan (present-day Al Ula). In the first century B.C., the Minaean kingdom came under the rule of the kings of Qataban; it was soon incorporated into the kingdom of Saba (Sheba) and later became part of Saba and the Raydan territory.