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Notes on the Geography of Yemen: Shibam: Photo 12

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Had you noticed that the walls of the houses are battered? They're thick, too: three feet at the base, one at the top. The bricks themselves are smaller in the higher floors. The lower floors have few or no windows--deliberately, for security--and were used for storage, especially in times of siege. The windows are screened with planks of carved wood, not the myriad small pieces of the meshrabiya screens found elsewhere in the Middle East.

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