Calendar   Home
Previous Day

April 13, 2002

Next Day
Historically, Bahrain carries a more interesting past than the other Gulf Coast Countries (UAE and Qatar) because the Dilmun Empire kept its capital here and controlled the region’s trade during the Bronze Age. As one of the world’s first great trading empires, everybody knew about Dilmun. In 600 BC the Babylonians quashed them and ended 2000 years of Bahrain’s dominance. Bahrain fell into obscurity. Other powers controlled the islands until independence in 1971. By then, Bahrain had established itself as a leading Gulf country; prospectors discovered oil here before all of the other Gulf nations. A lot of history for a small island.
Bahrain's main archaelogical site, the fort at Qala'at al-Bahrain. The Dilmuns first occupied this area in 2800 BC. The Portugese left this fort in mid-16th century. Today, Bahrain's ruling family is the al-Khalifa.
Because Bahrain's history is ancient and mentioned in Sumerian mythology, some archaelogists and scholars conclude the Garden of Eden existed here. This lone tree survives by itself in the desert. It's called the Tree of Life and the local tourist office claims this is a marker for the Garden of Eden. We didn't see an angel with a flaming sword guarding the area.
Wind towers created pre-electricity air conditioning by catching the slightest breeze and funneling it into the house below.
The arabian oryx, indigenous to the Arabian peninsula and extinct in the wild. We saw these specimens in Bahrain's zoo.