The Six Civilizations on the Banks of the Arabian Gulf (Feb. 2019)

 In a symposium organized by the center, Dr. Khazal Al-Majidi, Professor of Religions and Ancient Civilizations, gave a lecture about the six ancient civilizations on the banks of the Arabian Gulf: “Dilmun”, “Umm al-Nar”, “Magan”, “Anshan”, “Arta” and “Mlukha”. He reviewed the relation between the civilizations of both coasts and their influence on and by the cultural environment. He mentioned the naming of the Arabian Gulf in the past: “Sea of the Land of God”, Sea of Great Rising”, “Lower Sea”, “the Bitter River”, “Kaldu Sea”, “Persia Sea”, “Gulf of Iraq”, “Gulf of Basra”, “Gulf of Oman”, Gulf of Bahrain”, “Gulf of Qatif” and “Arabian Gulf”. He then moved on to talk about the phases of the prevalence of the Mesopotamian civilization on the eastern and western coasts of the Gulf, the image of “Dilmun” in the Sumerian mythology, and the status of “Dilmun” for the Sumerians, the phases of the culture of “Dilmun” and tombs, arts, architecture and stamps in “Dilmun”. He then talked about the settlements, graveyards, heritage, and antiquities of the civilization of “Umm al-Nar”, clarifying its Ubaidian roots. After that, he talked about the “Magan” civilization (the region of copper) demonstrating to what extent it was influenced by the culture of “Umm al-Nar”.

 Al-Majidi then dealt with the civilizations of the eastern coast of the Arabian Gulf. He pointed out that “Elam” is the oldest civilization in the extreme southwest of modern-day Iran. It was a part of the “Chalcolithic” period. He indicated that “Anshan” civilization, located also southwest of Iran, was one of the early “Elamite” capitals. He discussed also the archaeological culture of “Jiroft”- dating back to the Bronze Age; about the third millennium BC- which was inherited later by the gold- and silver-rich civilization of “Arta”. He then moved on to discuss the civilization of “Marhasi”-dating back to the third millennium BC- that lies to the east of “Elam” in the Iranian Plateau.

 In the third part of his lecture, he talked about the relations of the cultures of the two coasts of the Arabian Gulf with one another and as being a commercial intermediate between the Mesopotamian and the Sindhi cultures. He reviewed the Sindhi culture of “Mlukha” and its relations with “Magan” and “Dilmun”. The moderator for the symposium was Prof. Jamal Hajar, the former dean of college of Arts at Alexandria University.

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