1 Section for Prehistoric Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Moesgaard Museum3 Moesgaard Museum
New evidence of a proto-cemetery and its genesis, c.2050-2000 BC
This paper focuses on the major transformation in the social organization of Early Dilmun society which led to the emergence of the vast mound cemeteries in Bahrain. The paper examines this transformation on the basis of developments within the transitional mounds of a "proto-cemetery" dated to c. 2050-2000 BC, which has been identified within the greater Karzakkan Cemetery. It is argued that the emergence of the compact Dilmun cemeteries is a product of new, larger and more permanent rural settlements. Further; it is demonstrated that the earliest parts of the cemetery were associated with a characteristic Radial Wall Type of mound that can be set in relation to individuals of prominent rank within a low-level village hierarchy. It is demonstrated that seals of Persian/Arabian Gulf Type (henceforth: Arabian Gulf Type) emerge simultaneously with the cemetery and that this type is distinct from the later Dilmun seals. Together with the introduction of a broad variety of imported vessels from Mesopotamia, SW Iran and the Indus, the evolution in local pottery is taken to reflect a fundamental restructuration of Dilmun's network of exchange at the time of the emerging cemeteries. The proto-cemetery is seen as a reflection of a social system which pre-dates the Dilmun state proper that apparently developed after the fall of the Ur III state.
Death and Burial in Arabia and Beyond: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 2010, p. 115-139
Burial mounds; Social complexity; Early Dilmun; Networks
Main Research Area:
Society for Arabian Studies Monographs, Bar
<em>Death, Burial and the Transition to the Afterlife in Arabia and Adjacent Regions: Proceedings of Society for Arabian Studies conference held at the British Museum November 2008</em>, eds. W. Lloyd