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LOOKING FOR DILMUN by Geoffrey Bibby



Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1970
ISBN: 0905743903
Publisher: Knopf

The gerundive title seems appropriate for this very dynamic account of archaeological explorations in southern Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and other little-known but now wealthy oil kingdoms of the Arabian Gulf. Bibby, an Englishman formerly associated with an oil company, is now an active archaeologist working with a group of Danes who for the past fifteen years have been engaged in opening up new sites in the Middle East--cultures long forgotten but now revealed as important trading centers linking the Indus Valley civilizations with those of Assyria and Babylonia. Bibby's account is informal and chronological. He describes not only the excitement of discovering a sequence of seven ""Cities"" at Bahrain (reputedly the Dilmun of the title) or prehistoric sites in southern Arabia, but, better than most, he describes how the digs were organized, what everyday routine involved, and what climate, people, food, and life are like in these inaccessible areas of the world. The pitfalls of this approach however are that the reader is often confused by who's where doing what; by the use of too many names (usually first names at that), too many sites, too many different species of cultures scantily presented, and too many digressions to put them in historical contexts. With time, more money, and broader studies, perhaps Bibby will write a more definitive volume--hopefully illustrated on every page.