The Kuwaiti-Polish Archaeological Mission has started its 7th season of investigations at the site of Bahra 1 in Northern Kuwait. This research project is a cooperation between the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw and the National Council for Culture Arts and Letters of the State of Kuwait. The mission is headed by Professor Piotr BieliÅ„ski.
Polish archaeologists are investigating an over 6 thousand years old settlement. The objects recovered during excavations – fragments of pottery vessels and other finds, point to its connection to the Ubaid culture, which developed in Mesopotamia and spread to the neighboring regions, from Anatolia in the north, to the Persian Gulf coast in the south.
Bahra 1 is the largest site of this period discovered so far in the Arabian Peninsula. The remains of at least eight houses were discovered here, each comprising several rooms of which the stone-built wall foundations and floor pavements have been preserved. In a number of rooms traces of a specific activity were preserved proving that a special type of shell beads was being produced there. Numerous stone tools used in this process and scores of different types of semi-products and production waste were found, which allowed the archaeologists to reconstruct their whole production process. Yet, there is still no indication as to where was an outlet for these personal decorations.
Polish excavations in Kuwait were initiated in 2006, when an agreement on archaeological cooperation was signed. Excavations at the Bahra 1 site are just one of few Kuwaiti-Polish research projects. On Failaka Island two Islamic-period sites have been excavated: Al-Qusur and Kharaib el-Desht, with the investigations undertaken not just on land but also under water. This year the final publication of another project – a survey of tumuli burials and other stone structures in the Al-Subiyah region – is due to appear.