Dilmun Burial Mounds Facts: Things You Might Not Know Before | Kidadl


Dilmun Burial Mounds Facts: Things You Might Not Know Before

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Did you know that the Dilmun Burial Mounds are one of the oldest archaeological sites in the world?

These mounds date back to the Dilmun era, which is thought to be around 3200-2100 BC. They offer a fascinating glimpse into life in Dilmun.

Dilmun is actually the name of an ancient independent monarchy headquartered on Bahrain Island, in what was then the Persian Gulf, that flourished in approximately 2000 BC. In the late fourth millennium BC Sumerian economic literature, this kingdom was described as a trade center. It also served as a transshipment point for goods between Sumer and other parts of the world, even in the famous Indus Valley civilization. The goods traded and transported were copper, precious stones, stone beads, and dates along with a variety of vegetables.

The oldest and largest burial mounds are the Royal Tombs, or Royal Mounds. They are characterized by elaborate burial chambers that are lined with many valuables and artifacts. You can notice the difference between these burial mounds and the other smaller mounds.

These mounds offer visitors an interesting look into Bahrain's ancient history, and they are sure to fascinate anyone who is interested in archaeology. If you're planning on visiting Bahrain, be sure to stop by the Dilmun burial mounds!

Discovery And History

Bahrain is actually well-known for a number of large burial mounds since ancient times. These burial mounds depict the efforts taken by the people to bury their ancestors and the unique ways they built them.

The Dilmun burial mounds are the most transparent evidence that links the local people of Bahrain to the ancient civilization and its culture. Going back in history to the ancient world, there was a time when the main island of Bahrain enjoyed great prosperity and wealth. This became one of the primary reasons for the people at that period to create an elaborate burial tradition that was adopted by the entire local population. Among the artifacts found in the mounds were pottery, jewelry, ivory objects, and weapons. The most famous discovery was the Dilmun Seal, a small piece of carved stone that is thought to be the world's first example of writing.

Constructed during the early Dilmun period over a time period of 4550 years, the Dilmun burial mounds are from roughly 2200 to 1750 BCE. At this site, you can find some early and late pieces of construction used on the Dilmun burial mounds. These burial mounds have been present since the creation of the early Dilmun civilization around the second millennium BCE. It is in this period that the nation of Bahrain gained an economic status globally as a world trade center. This further paved the way for a population boom which went on to create a diverse social stratification. This social system is the best depiction of an elaborate and extensive burial architecture structure of an ancient civilization with a distinct variety of graves. The size of the mounds varies, with the grandest mounds as the Royal Mounds, and also the Chieftain Mounds.


The Dilmun burial mounds is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

The site components found at the serial property of Dilmun burial mounds are registered under the National Monuments. Decree No. 11 from Kingdom of Bahrain Legislative on Antiques Protection from 1995. The urban growth constraints inside the site's buffer zones are built into the Land Use and Zoning rules. The 1994 plan of Physical Planning Legislation is divided into sub-categories. The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiques is in charge of the site administration. The property will be administered by a unit under the direction of the Directorate.

A plan to look after this site was implemented. The Dilmun Burial Mounds Management Plan was authorized in January 2018 and has been in force since then. It was in force for a five-year period and contained the site's long-term objectives. It was regarded as having well-coordinated management and action plan that covered the areas of administration, finance, conservation of ancient societies, community involvement, and awareness-raising. This management plan further works as a protection plan that helps in addressing problems like pollution, erosion, and pressures from construction developments.

Site Statistics

The Dilmun burial grounds date back to around 2800 BC, making them one of the oldest structures in the world. Some scholars believe that this is where the first writing originated, which would make this site even more significant!

The Dilmun people were a mysterious group who left few clues about their lives or culture. However, we do know that they were very advanced for their time and that their religion played a large role in their society. Dilmun burial mounds are a significant part of Bahrain's history and culture. They were used as tombs for Bahrain's earliest inhabitants, and many believe that they hold religious and spiritual significance.

The Dilmun burial mounds are located in Bahrain and cover an area of approximately 96.52 sq mi (250 sq km). There are around 600 mounds in total, with the largest one measuring 196 ft (60 m) in diameter and 39.37 ft (12 m) in height. The mounds span over 21 archaeological sites in the island's western part. Out of these 21 sites, six of them are burial mound fields that consist of several thousand timuli. In total, there are about 11,774 burial mounds and they are low towers constructed in a cylindrical shape. The other 15 sites consist of 17 royal mounds which are built as two-story sepulchral towers. The burial mounds are proof of the ancient Dilmun civilization which explained how Bahrain became a major trade hub during the second millennium BCE, during which the ancient civilization's prosperity enabled its people to construct elaborate burial chambers and develop a unique burial tradition.


What were burial mounds used for?

Archaeologists believe that the burial mounds were largely used to bury royalty and prominent members of ancient societies. The burial mounds are earthen and keyhole-shaped and also covered by gravel and moats.

What is the largest burial mound?

The largest Dilmun burial mound is the Royal Mound in Bahrain. It is thought to be around 4000 years old and is made up of several layers of mud brick. The Royal Mound measures 295 ft (90 m) in diameter and 59 ft (18 m) in height, making it one of the largest man-made structures in Bahrain.

What was found in European burial mounds?

European burial mounds were always found to have a widespread of stones and earth that was placed over a stone chamber or a grave. These burial mounds are also known as 'timuli' or barrows!

Where are the Dilmun burial mounds?

The Dilmun burial mounds are located in Bahrain. The largest mound, the Royal Mounds, is located in the town of Saar. Other mounds can be found throughout Bahrain, including in the towns of A'ali and Al-Muharraq.

Sharon Judith
Written By
Sharon Judith

<p>A humanities and Science student, Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Psychology, Economics, and Sociology from Mount Carmel College and is currently pursuing her Master's in Science from Bournemouth University. She is passionate about research, content writing, and development, and has a keen interest in international finance and economics. With her strong analytical skills and inquisitive mind, she is always striving to deepen her knowledge and understanding of these subjects.</p>

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