The Dilmun
Burial Mounds

The Dilmun Burial Mounds

The Dilmun Burial Mounds - Panoramas


The Dilmun Burial Mounds is a serial property formed by 21 archaeological sites located in the western part of the island of Bahrain. Six of the selected site components are burial mound fields consisting of some dozen to several thousand tumuli. Together they comprise about 11,774 burial mounds. The remaining 15 site components consist of 13 single royal mounds and two pairs of royal mounds, all embedded in the urban fabric of A´ali village.

The Dilmun Burial Mounds were constructed during the Early Dilmun Period over a time span of 300 years, approximately between 2050 and 1750 BCE. The property encompasses the most representative sites of Late Type Early Dilmun Burial Mound construction. The burial mounds bear witness to the flourishing of the Early Dilmun civilization around the 2nd millennium BCE. During that period, Bahrain gained economic importance on an international level as a trade hub which led to population growth and, as a consequence, to a more diversified social complexity. The latter is best reflected in the extensive necropoleis with their variety of graves, comprising burial mounds of various size, as well as chieftain mounds and the grandest of them all, the so-called royal mounds.

Archaeological evidence shows that the burial sites were originally not constructed as mounds but as cylindrical low towers. The royal mounds, characterized by their pronounced sizes and elaborate burial chambers, were constructed as two-storeyed sepulchral tower forming a ziggurat-like shape. The Dilmun Burial Mounds illustrate
globally unique characteristics not only with regard to their numbers, density and scale but also in terms of construction typology and details, such as their alcove-equipped burial chambers.