This was, however, more probably due to the deterioration of the country through desiccation, which has forced the settled population farther westward, where Sana became the centre of the later Himyaritic kingdom.
The Arhab district drained by the Wadi Kharid and Shibwan between Sana and the Jauf is covered with Himyaritic ruins, showing that the land formerly supported a large settled population where owing to the want of water cultivation is now impossible.
But the official language and that of all the upper classes is of Semitic origin, derived from the ancient Himyaritic, which is the most archaic member of the Semitic linguistic family.
It seems unlikely that this modern admixture of Asiatic and African blood represents the " Asiatic Ethiopian " of Herodotus, which was more probably a direct connexion of the Himyaritic Arab builders of " bunds " and revetments who spread eastwards from Arabia.
The south Arabian inscriptions to which the terms Himyaritic and Sabaean are applied fall into two groups, the Sabaean proper and the Minaean.