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Tumuli graves and other stone structures on the north coast of Kuwait Bay (Al-Subiyah 2007-2012)



Hundreds of stone structures, mainly circular burial mounds made of rough local stone, are found scattered in the coastal region of Al-Subbiyah, a desert plateau extending along the north coast of Kuwait Bay. Since 2007 the Kuwaiti–Polish Archaeological Mission (KPAM), a joint project of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw and National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters of the state of Kuwait, has been working in the region, carrying out among others an extensive survey and selected excavation of these stone structures. The "Tumulus Project", which started as a small salvage excavation of a cluster of burial mounds in 2007, building on archaeological work in the region by Kuwaiti and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) teams since the turn of the 21st century, was expanded in the course of successive seasons to include a belt of land approximately 20-kilometers long running parallel to the shoreline. More than two hundred archaeological sites/structures, including around 130 tumuli and around 100 stone features of different type, were recorded. A select 40 stone structures were excavated, this counting 27 tumuli, seven of the mysterious “elongated structures” and six structures of a different kind. The archaeological evidence suggests that most of the tumuli were constructed during the Bronze Age. The present volume discusses the results of six seasons of investigations, from 2007 to 2012.
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... 7.21/8), andWadi Wutayya (2003: 45, fig. 4/2-10, 19, 20), while in the UAE they were discovered at Umm an-Nar (Wygnañska, 2015). ...
... The use of faience (thirty-eight beads) in bead-making is attested as early as the fifth millennium BC (Moorey, 1999: 167-172) until the Late Iron and pre-Islamic period (Yule, , 2016De Waele, 2007) (Fig. 31). Faience beads usually show a manufacturing technique similar to that of the Harappan microbeads and therefore, they could have either been produced at Harappa and Merghar, from where they were imported (Wygnañska, 2015), or they were manufactured in situ using an imported-or acquired-technique. For example, the case of Sharm, in Fujairah, where several micro flat beads were discovered (Barker, 2001) which are very similar to Harappan microbeads, although this type of bead does not continue beyond the third millennium (Benton, 1996: 118). ...
... Gold beads are entirely composed of small granules with no supporting structure (Wygnañska, 2015), a technique known from other sites in the region (e.g. Méry & Mouton, 2013;Weeks et al., 2017). ...
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The aim of this paper is to present the rich set of finds collected inside the grave Dibba 76/1, in the Emirate of Fujairah, during a season of rescue excavation conducted under the direction of S. Ali Hassan in 1994. The recovered grave‐goods include pottery, soft‐stone vessels, metal finds, personal ornaments, coins, and other items. Although comparable with other corpuses of material excavated in south‐eastern Arabia, the material of Dibba 76/1 stands out for the inner variety of the different artefacts’ classes and their remarkable chronological heterogeneity. The study of the grave‐goods suggests that Dibba 76/1 was reused over several centuries, showing a strong continuity in the funerary destination of this specific place from the end of the Wadi Suq period (2000–1600 BC) to the first phases of the late pre‐Islamic period (250 BC–AD 400), and the full integration of the area of Dibba in the succession of the various cultural facies known during this long time span.
... Important chronological benchmarks were supplied by the first pottery vessel recovered in context since the beginning of fieldwork in the Al-Subiyah region in 2007 and the shell beads in situ, which could be radiocarbon-dated. The rich and diversified evidence from these three tombs, disproportionate in quantity and substance to what has been found in other structures, will be summarized here briefly, the reader being referred to a full publication published recently (Rutkowski 2015). ...
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Field research was concentrated on excavating burial mounds and non-sepulchral structures located in two different microregions: Muhaita (a new cluster of five structures representing different categories) and Bahra/Nahdain (three tumuli of which two represented a type with outer ring wall that had not been excavated so far). The excavation also provided the first secure dating evidence for the burial field in the form of a and a dating based on the first pottery find from the tombs for another one. This has supported an earlier hypothesis that at least part of the cemetery should be dated to the Early/Middle Bronze Age. Areas between previously investigated locations were surveyed, completing gaps in the hitherto studied regions.
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