The Dilmun burial mounds have long been a top cultural site to visit in Bahrain, beloved by tourists and locals alike – but now they have finally been officially recognised.
The mounds, built between 2050 and 1750BC, were made a UNESCO World Heritage site earlier this year for their testimony to the ancient civilisation which has since disappeared.
There are 21 archaeological sites in the western part of Bahrain, with tens of thousands of mounds. Some contain the remains of royals from the Early Dilmun period, with two-storey towers inside.
It is believed that the mounds were once the world’s largest graveyard, and they showcase the rich culture in the area at a time when Bahrain became a trade hub.
Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA), said the mounds is “a living proof of Bahrain’s distinguished cultural heritage”.
She added that the Kingdom had invested successful in the area, which helped “boost sustainable cultural tourism, achieve development and preserve authentic cultural identity”.
The mounds were given the status at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in July 2019.
Bahrain’s other UNESCO World Heritage sites include the pearling trail and Qal'at al-Bahrain, which were given the status in 2012 and 2005 respectively.
At the same time, six other sites were inscribed on the list – the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in Australia, the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City in China, Jaipur City in Rajasthan, India, the Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto in Indonesia, the Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group in Japan, and Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhouang in Laos.