UNESCO Adds Dilmun-Era Burial Mounds to World Heritage List

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has recently voted to add Bahrain’s Dilmun-era Burial Mounds to the World Heritage List.

This is the third time Bahrain has been added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List as Qal’at Al Bahrain (Bahrain Fort) was added to the list in 2005. In 2012, the Bahrain Pearling Trail was added, consisting of 17 buildings, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qal’at Bu Mahir fortress.

The well-known landmark comprises 21 archaeological sites located in the western part of the island and spreads over a distance of 20 km. It includes area like hills of Madinat Hamad, the hills of the Janabiya tombs, the hills of the eastern high tombs, and the hills of the western high tombs, with a total number of 11,774 hills. All of these hills were built between 2050 BC and 1750 BC.

According to the UNESCO studies, it confirms that six of these are burial mound fields that consist of a few dozen to several thousand tumuli, with a total of about 11,774 burial mounds originally in the form of cylindrical low towers. The other 15 sites include 13 single royal mounds and two pairs of royal mounds.

© Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities

Studies and research indicate that the builders are the ancient inhabitants of Bahrain, who used the least fertile lands to build these unusual burials, to be the hills of the largest and densest burials in the world at all, and to witness to a unique burial method in the Dilmun civilization that believed in life after death.