Aarhus Universitetsforlag

The Barbar Temples

A part of the series Jysk Arkæologisk Selskabs Skrifter (48; the Carlsberg Foundation's Gulf Project) , and the subject areas and

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429 pages ill., 2 vols.
ISBN 87 88415 27 9


With contributions by
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More about the book

About the book

This book provides a detailed description of the three ancient temples unearthed between 1954-1961 near Barbar on the northern part of Bahrain island in the Persian Gulf. Two of the structures, from the centuries around 2000 BC, reveal traditions going back to Sumerian temples.

A number of spectacular objects were found here, including cylindrical alabaster jars, a human-shaped copper mirror handle and the most famous object from the Barbar Temples, a bull's head of copper.

Structurally, a chamber was found over a freshwater spring, indicating the presence of a water cult and perhaps forging a connection to Enki, the Mesopotamian god of the subterranean freshwater ocean, apsu. The temple-apsu is well known from cuneiform sources, but has been extremely difficult to identify in Mesopotamian excavations. The Barbar well chamber may be such an apsu, as the authors point out among their highly detailed descriptions and analysis of the finds.

Table of contents

Volume 1
1. Introduction, by H.H.A.
2. Stratigraphy, by H.H.A.
3. Temple I, by H.H.A.
4. Temple II. The Central Platform, by H.H.A.
5. Temple II. The Oval Platform, by H.H.A.
6. Temple II. The Pool, by H.H.A.
7. Temple II. The Eastern Court, by H.H.A.
8. Temple III, by H.H.A.
9. Islamic Masonry, by H.H.A.
10. The Northeast Temple, by H.H.A.
11. Pottery and the Dating of the Temple Phases, by F.H.
12. Copper and Copper Working, by F.H.
13. Alabaster and Calcite Vessels, by M. Casanova
14. Stamp Seals and Seal Impressions, by P. Kjærum
15. Sasanian and Islamic Pottery, by S. F. Andersen and D. Kennet
16. Parthian-Sasanian Sculpture
17. Other Finds, by F.H.
18. Conclusions, by F.H.

Volume 2
Appendix 1. Animal Bones, by P. Bangsgaard
Appendix 2. Analysis of Wood, by M. Tengberg
Appendix 3. Metal Analyses, by E. Sangmeister
Appendix 4. Metal Analyses, by D.L. Heskel
Appendix 5. The Well at Umm as-Sujur, by H.H.A. and F.H.
Appendix 6. Phallic Cult-Stones from the Barbar-Temple Period, by H.H.A.
Appendix 7. Bibliography and Abbreviations
Appendix 8. Sections and Plans

Press reviews

Mark W. Chavalas, NEASB

"The excavators are to be congratulaed for their efforts in producing these handsome and insightful volumes."

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