Just as today the inhospitable terrain and climate of the Arabian peninsular meant it was sparsely populated, and many of those that did inhabit the area were nomads, so it never produced a major power in the ancient era. Nevertheless its location on the borders of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Assyria and the rest meant it played a part in most of the ancient empires as they rose and fell, and its warriors were on occasion to be found fighting for or against many of them.
From what little evidence has come down to us we know that the Arabs were lightly armed and clothed, which is natural given the climate and the nature of their society. Clothing was a simple kilt and sometimes a turban (there is no evidence of armour or helmets), and weaponry was a javelin or spear, sometimes a sword, and a light bow. The figures in this set are faithful to that look and are likely to be entirely accurate.
The nine infantry poses offer a selection of men using these weapons, and all are very nicely animated and proportioned. The archer is not looking where he is firing, but apart from that we thought the poses were very good. The two archers mounted on the camel are also fine, although as can be seen here when placed in the intended position they tend to sit either side of the hump rather than on top. This model is clearly inspired by the illustration in Osprey's "Ancient Armies of the Middle East", but we were not convinced that the final arrangement was entirely natural. However if the pegs on the figures and the holes in the animal's side are ignored then different arrangements should be possible. We also thought that the pose of the camel, while not wrong, was not particularly typical as the head is held very high.
The sculpting is of the usual high Caesar standard, with every fold and muscle clear and well done. On this occasion all the weapons come as part of the figures (rather than on a separate sprue), and the soft plastic means some spears are a little bent, but they straighten out easily so that is no problem. As always there is no trace of flash or imperfections where the moulds joined, making this another excellently engineered product. Unfortunately the mounted men struggle to have their leg pegs reach the holes in the camel's side, and this animal is also slightly leaning to the left, which makes it a little unsteady when the riders are added.
These men make suitable opponents for several of Caesar's earlier ancient sets such as Egyptians and Assyrians, and their simple costume and weaponry mean they are appropriate for a very long period. Despite the minor issues with the camel this is another excellent set. To what extent these men were all similarly dressed we do not now know, but these figures will find many uses in a lot of ancient wargames and models.