Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos

Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos is part of the Tentative list of Bahrain in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.

Map of Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos

Load map

The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

Write a review


Solivagant

UK - 18-Feb-09 -

Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos (T) by Solivagant

We visited most of Bahrain’s T List sites in 2005 and, with Bahrain hosting the 2011 WHC, are interested to guess which (if any) might be inscribed as that country’s “reward”! Could it be the “Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos”? Now, right from the start, I must make it clear that we were blown away in amazement at these remains – burial mounds stretching into the desert as far as the eye could see (photo 1). At first sight one thinks that they must be the detritus from some huge modern construction project and that dumper trucks have left thousands of mounds of unwanted spoil. But no – each one represents a single or family burial. Go to the magnificent Bahraini National Museum to see a reconstruction of one shown in section. Most of the mounds are 1-2 mtrs in height but, in some areas, there are enormous hills which tower over the surrounding houses. Their age covers the period “mid 3rd millennium B.C. till the mid 1st millennium A.D.” – such continuity, such enormity!!

Now this T List site was only added in May 2008 and encompasses 11 different sites of moundfields and associated remains. Surprisingly, these 11 include 2 other sites from Bahrain’s earlier T List which dates back to Sep 2001 and which have been allowed to remain in the new list

a. The Hamad Town Tumuli moundfield

b. The Saar Honeycomb tombs

So could this be Bahrain’s 2011 “prize”? Certainly the fact that the new T List entry was made as recently as May 2008 might indicate that work is in progress to get it inscribed. The description is much more “on message” than that for the earlier one. I note the use of phrases like “The Cultural Landscape of Aali” (CLs are definitely a “plus point” when it comes to gaining inscription!). In terms of its intrinisc merits I put it in a very high category – I know of nothing like it elsewhere in the World and there are not that many T list sites to which I would apply the epithet “Unique” ( and even many Inscribed sites don’t reach this bar!!). Yet I somehow feel that this particular T List entry is too “big”. Can Bahrain really satisfy ICOMOS across all 11 sites- perhaps if a fair number of them were sacrificed and effort were concentrated on just 1 or 2 – e.g the “Aali cultural Landscape”? But another problem is the integrity and preservation of the sites. Bahrain faces similar problems to other countries in arriving at a balance between the needs of development and preservation – the island is short of development land, has an increasing population and is not as rich as other Gulf states. In addition it faces a religious dimension to these tensions. Conservative Islamists (with Wahabbi influences?) can actively oppose the preservation of ancient artefacts and especially those of non Islamic provenance. “Attempts to protect the burial mounds have run into opposition by religious fundamentalists who consider them unIslamic and have called for them to be concreted over for housing.” One MP said in Parliament “Housing for the living is better than the graves for the dead. We must have pride in our Islamic roots and not some ancient civilisation from another place and time, which has only given us a jar here and a bone there." The larger mounds of the Aali mound field for instance are not well preserved – they are situated among housing (photo 2) and the burial chambers of some are used for play. So, on balance, I would be surprised if Bahrain was able to bring this site to a suitable level of conservation by 2011.


Full Name
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos
Bahrain
Added
2008
Nominated for
2019
Link
By ID
2017 Requested by State Party to not be examined

2008 Added to Tentative List

The site has 21 locations

Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: A'ali East Burial Mound Field (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: A'ali West Burial Mound Field (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Janabiyah (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Madinat Hamad 1 Burial Mound Field (Buri) (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Madinat Hamad 2 Burial Mound Field (Karzakkan) (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Madinat Hamad 3 Burial Mound Field (Dar Kulayb) (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Pair of Royal Mound 13 and 14 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Pair of Royal Mounds 11 and 12 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 1 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 10 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 15 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 16 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 17 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 2 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 3 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 4 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 5 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 6 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 7 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 8 (T)
Burial Ensembles of Dilmun and Tylos: Royal Mound 9 (T)
WHS 1997-2019