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Overview

The quest for the real Dilmun, the lost civilisation of Arabia, began when the author Geoffrey Bibby revisited Bahrain in order to explore the thousands of undated burial mounds scattered across the country. A brief season's digging was enough to establish the existence of a major civilisation dating from around 2300 BC. Thus began an undertaking to reveal the extent of Dilmun, a land which stretched beyond the confines of Bahrain, as far north as Kuwait and as far south as Saudi Arabia. In this classic tale of ...

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Looking for Dilmun

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Overview

The quest for the real Dilmun, the lost civilisation of Arabia, began when the author Geoffrey Bibby revisited Bahrain in order to explore the thousands of undated burial mounds scattered across the country. A brief season's digging was enough to establish the existence of a major civilisation dating from around 2300 BC. Thus began an undertaking to reveal the extent of Dilmun, a land which stretched beyond the confines of Bahrain, as far north as Kuwait and as far south as Saudi Arabia. In this classic tale of discovery, first published in 1969, renowned scholar Geoffrey Bibby tells his story of archaeological detective work with style and humour. Looking for Dilmun is re-issued here for a fresh generation of readers, and introduced by Dr Harriet Crawford, one of the leading archaeologists of the region.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781909022164
  • Publisher: Stacey Publishing Limited
  • Publication date: 3/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 860,352
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Bibby studied Arabic at Cambridge, having decided in his teens to be a Middle Eastern archaeologist (the curriculum did not then include Oriental archaeology), and learned about the practical side of excavation while digging at Hadrian's Wall in the north of England. His first job in the Middle East was with the Iaq Petroleum Company, which sent him to Bahrain. Bibby died aged 83 in 2001.

Harriet Crawford is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute, Cambridge. She has excavated extensively in Iraq and the Gulf.

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Read an Excerpt

We were digging a Viking causeway as I recall it. It was an idyllic spot, deep in the heart of Jutland, where a placid stream flowed through water-meadows below low green hills, and cattle scratched lazily against the posts that fenced off, precariously, our excavation from their pasture. It was the middle of a drowsy summer, the summer of 1953.

Across this valley, a thousand years ago, one of the major military roads of Viking Denmark had run, connecting the garrison camp of Fyrkat with the seaport of Aarhus. It had been part of the organized network of military preparedness that cast a new light – at least to an English archaeologist but newly come to Denmark – on the seeming haphazardness of the Danish invasions of England during the century before the Norman Conquest. Where the road had dipped down to the marshy ground of the valley bottom, the engineers of Sweyn Forkbeard’s army had built a causeway, a road of stout oak planks laid crosswise over a fivefold row of lengthwise beams that in turn rested upon a brushwood bed and was tied down at fixed intervals by triangles of posts driven deep into the peat. It was a wonderful piece of engineering, preserved in its entirety by the waterlogged soil and lying a scant two feet below the greensward.

It was not the only road to have crossed the valley at that point. Below the Viking causeway three other roads, the upper also of wood and the two lower ones of cobbles, took the tale back another millennium and a half, to the end of the Bronze Age. Fifty yards to one side a mediaeval post-road still made a discernible mound below the grass of the next meadow, and a hundred yards farther away a modern road ran on an embankment that raised it forever above the floods and freshets that had menaced seventy-five generations of wayfarers and overwhelmed, one by one, the five earlier roads.

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