Bahrain: Archaeological discoveries in Muharraq, Samahij

An international team of archaeologists excavating at Samahij village and in Muharraq town has recently made some exciting discoveries.

In Samahij the team have been continuing excavations started in 2019 of an early Christian site, the first to be found in Bahrain, which dates from the sixth century CE. 

This year they have found out more about the building and have identified the kitchen area, the communal dining hall, a workroom and 2 living rooms. The living rooms were originally decorated with finely carved plaster and show that the building was the home of someone of wealth and importance – possibly even the Bishop of Meshmahig (now Samahij). 

The work in Muharraq town proved equally lucky. Here the team have been looking for the earliest Islamic settlement (Umayyad) on the island, which lies over 3 metres below the ground surface. 

This year they were successful and found a very large storage jar, nearly a metre in diameter, dating from this period and set into a paved floor. It was so large that it took 2 days to remove it safely and take it to the museum. This is the most complete example of such a storage jar ever found. It appears that early Christians may also have been living in this part of Muharraq too, not just at Samahij, as the team also uncovered a tiny bone or ivory cross. A second very exciting pot was also found here.

An examination revealed the bad condition of the pot, which required careful restoration, and showed that the pot was filled with small coins and some large coins at the bottom.


Bahrain News Agency

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