Oxford Brookes Archaeology and Heritage

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  • Bahrain, Bu Maher Fort

    Excavation and recording of standing architecture at Bu Maher Fort, Muharraq, Bahrain. The property is to be developed as part of a Historic Pearling Trail, by the Ministry of Culture and Information. Formerly the chief fortification of Muharraq Town, this historic fortress had been reduced to a single tower. Excavations established the ground plan of the fort by relocating the other three towers and its internal buildings, and also uncovered earlier architecture. Artefact studies have established a robust dating framework for the fort as well as revealing a much earlier (Umayyad/early Abbasid) occupation, while geoarchaeological work has revealed that the area was subjected to a change in sea-level, resulting in inundation following the Umayyad occupation and prior to the building of the fort.

    Geoarchaeological investigation at the site has revealed a detailed picture of the evolution of this part of Bahrain’s only remaining virgin shoreline. A series of test pits excavated on the sand island upon which Bu Maher Fort was built has shown that the island has periodically been submerged by rising sea levels. Dating of the main marine transgression should allow for the correlation of this event to other records of sea level rise in the Arabian Gulf. This work is important to our understanding of the record of human activity on Muharraq Island.

    Reports and publications

    Excavations at Bu Maher Fort, Bahrain

    A film of excavations at Bu Maher Fort in Muharraq, Bahrain, undertaken by Oxford Brookes Archaeology and Heritage on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Bahrain. Bu Maher Fort is to be the starting point of a heritage trail relating to Bahrain and Muharraq's historic pearl fishery. The properties on this trail are part of a submission for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.