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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Posted at Feb 25/2007 08:46PM:
Harry: Dilmun was a major center beginning around 3000 BCE. Located on the island of modern Bahrain, it is known through many ancient written accounts. It experienced a downturn around the second century BCE with the decline of the Mesopotamian city-states, with whom Dilmun heavily traded. Dilmun was revived again in the third century BCE by Hellenistic trade that demanded incense from Southern Arabia. The island also abounded with temples, and many considered Dilmun to be a sacred land, possibly even the site of the Biblical Eden.

Posted at Mar 06/2007 01:46PM:
ian: From ery early on there seems to be integration of Arabia into broader economic social and political networks. But was this land subject to Mesopotamia or simply a pawn of those city states? What were the kinds of power relationships that were developing?

Posted at Mar 17/2007 09:39PM:
Harry: Actually, I'm not really sure. What degree of independence DID Dilmun face? I know there are Assyrian accounts of the forced tribute given by the Dilmunites, but I'm not really sure I know what the answer to your last question is.

Posted at Mar 19/2007 09:32AM:
ian: Certainly we know that Dilmun had its own culture and was not simply a colony of the Mesopotamian city states. I would argue that while it was economically dependent on the wants of Mesopotamia it had a certain level of independence as the middle man of the Persian gulf linking Mesopotamia with South Asia and the emerging civilizations there.