Evolution of Sociopolitical Institutions in North-East Yemen (The 1st Millennium BCE–The 2nd Millennium CE)
In the late 1st millennium BCE, a relatively strong Ancient Sabaean state was transformed into the Middle Sabaean political system consisting of a weak state in its center and strong chiefdoms on its periphery. In the 1st millennium CE, the North-East Yemen political system consisting of a weak state in its center and strong chiefdoms on its periphery appears to have been transformed into a system consisting of a bit stronger state in its center and true tribes (but not chiefdoms) on the periphery. Within this system, the tribes and state constituted one well integrated whole. There are no grounds to consider these transformations as a “regress,” as there was no significant loss of the general system complexity and elaboration, one complex political system was transformed into another one, structurally different, but not less complex, highly organized, and sophisticated. In many respects, the tribe of the North Yemeni type could be regarded as a rather developed form of political organization, whose complexity could be compared with that of the chiefdom, implying first of all a very high level of development of political culture and the existence of an elaborated system of sociopolitical institutions of arbitration, mediation, search for consensus and so on, a wide developed network of intensive intercommunal links on enormous territories populated by tens and hundreds of thousands of people.