Fishing at Qal’at al-Bahrain, archipelago of Bahrain, from the Early Dilmun (2200 BC) to the Middle Islamic period (13-16th centuries AD)
Excavations have taken place at the site of Qal’at al-Bahrain in Bahrain, Arabo-Persian Gulf, since the 1950’s. They have revealed significant architectural remains and a rich assortment of material, including ceramics, metal objects, figurative representations, inscriptions, seals, and botanical and faunal remains, which include a large number of fish bones. Its exceptional stratigraphy, which extends from the Early Dilmun (ca. 2200 BC) to the Middle Islamic period (13-16th centuries AD), enables us to study and compare successive occupations. The results discussed here are based on the analysis of fish bones from the French and the previous Danish excavations. A total of 24,559 fish bones were studied, of which 10,515 can be identified as having precise stratigraphic dating. Four families dominate the assemblage: groupers (Serranidae), emperors (Lethrinidae), seabreams (Sparidae), and jacks (Carangidae). The taxonomic variety increases, however, to a total of 15 families during the Early Dilmun and Islamic period, and to 17 families during the Late Dilmun. The preliminary results discussed here provide evidence of the focus on marine resource exploitation in this region during these periods.