from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dilmun ( Sumerian kur.dilmun.na ; Akkadian Tilmun ; Greek Týlos) is the Sumerian name for a paradisiacal country, probably the island of Bahrain , as well as other nearby areas, such as the Failaka .

During the Bronze Age , the island of Bahrain became an important trading center because of the unique occurrence of fresh water in the region from artesian springs that have now dried up . The strategically favorable location on the sea trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley promoted the prosperity and importance of Dilmun.


Ziusudra , according to the Sumerian list of kings, the last king of Shurupag before the flood , landed in Dilmun after the flood according to the Sumerian deluge story.

Sargon of Akkad (around 2356 to 2300 BC) states that ships from Dilmun called at its port. The Elam Empire , which controlled the tin trade, also maintained close contact with Dilmun.

Since around 2050 BC There was an independent kingdom of Dilmun, which is mentioned sporadically in Mesopotamian texts, but is also known from its own text witnesses from Bahrain and Falaika. Texts are known from Isin that mention royal gifts for Dilmun. From around 1750 BC Two rulers are known by name. Rimum and his son Yagli-El call themselves servants of Inzak . It is known from various sources that Inzak was the main deity of Dilmun. The kings of that time were buried in large burial mounds on Bahrain. Around 1700 Dilmun seems to have gone through a time of crisis. Settlements were abandoned, the construction of large burial mounds for kings ended and the main town of Qalʿat al-Bahrain also seems to have been at least partially abandoned. Around 1650 BC There seems to have been a period of recovery. Large burial mounds were built again and a king named Sumu-lel dates back to this time. Because of the few written sources, however, it is difficult to get a clear picture of political developments. Around 1450 BC Dilmun seems to have come under the rule of the Meerland dynasty . A text from Qalʿat al-Bahrain is dated under King Ea-Gamil (approx. 1451 to 1460 BC).

In the 14th century BC The Kassites controlled southern Mesopotamia and installed a governor on the island. Two texts from Nippur show that Ili-ippašra was the Kassite governor in Dilmun. He sent letters to Illilija or Enlil-kidinni, the governor of Nippur under Burna-buriaš II and Kurigalzu II. A third letter is very poorly preserved. A seal in the British Museum belonged to Uballissu-Marduk, great-grandson of Usiananuri šakkanakku from Dilmun, and it also proves the Kassite rule over the island, but cannot be classified more precisely in time.

Agum, son of Kaštiliaš (also Agum III. ), Inspected his army according to the chronicle of the early kings and marched against the " Zealand ". This usually means southern Mesopotamia, but a cuneiform tablet from Qalʿat al-Bahrain dates from the 4th palu of the Kassite ruler Agum . Mostly it is assumed that they Agum III. is to be assigned. So it could indicate a conquest of Bahrain.

In the 8th century BC Dilmun is mentioned as a vassal of the Assyrian Empire , in the 6th century BC. It was part of the New Babylonian Empire . Around 800 BC According to Assyrian cuneiform texts, Obiri is said to have ruled his mighty palace.

List of rulers and governors

(only those rulers who are known by name are named)

Surname function Dating source
Rimum king approx. 1750 BC Chr. Inscription from Bahrain ( The palace of Rimum, servant of Inzak , of the (tribe) of Agarum ); is referred to as the father of Yagli-El in inscriptions.
Yagli-El king approx. 1750 BC Chr. Inscriptions from his grave. Son of Rimum
Sumu-lel king approx. 1650 BC Chr. Name on his daughter's seal.
Usiananuri ...) Kassite governor approx. 1400-1380 BC Chr. Cylinder seal of his great grandson
Ili-ippaschra Kassite governor approx. 1340-1320 BC Chr. Two letters to Ililiya in Nippur
Uperi king approx. 720-706 BC Chr. Annals of Sargon II
Ahundaru I. king approx. 706–685 BC Chr. Annals of Sargon II
Qanaia king approx. 685-660 BC Chr. Annals of Assurhaddon
Ahundaru II king approx. 660–635 BC Chr. Annals of Ashurbanipal
Kephisodorus Strategos shortly before 124 BC Chr. Building inscription of a temple
Yarhai Satrap of the Charakene around 131 AD Inscription from Palmyra
Sanatruk Satrap (?) Of the Charakene around 131 AD is referred to by Tabari as king


After the legendary land, the artificial island Dilmunia ( Arabic دلمونيا) east of Al-Muharraq in Bahrain and the reed boat DILMUN S of the German experimental archaeologist Dominique Görlitz .

See also


  • Geoffrey Bibby : Dilmun. The discovery of the oldest high culture . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1973, ISBN 3-498-00440-9
  • Daniel T. Potts: Dilmun. New Studies in the Archeology and Early History of Bahrain (= Berlin Contributions to the Middle East, Volume 2). Dietrich Reimer, Berlin 1983, ISBN 3496007443 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Randolf Rausch, Heiko Dirks, Katlen Trautmann: The artesian sources of Dilmun. Spectrum of Science, June 2008, pp. 62–69.
  2. ^ Finkel, Irving L .: The ark before Noah: decoding the story of the flood . London, United Kingdom, ISBN 978-1-4447-5705-7 .
  3. Steffen Terp Laursenː The Royal Mounds of A'ali in Bahrain , Aarhus 2017, ISBN 978-87-93423-16-9 , p. 381
  4. Laursen The Royal Mounds of A'ali in Bahrain , p 389
  5. Laursen The Royal Mounds of A'ali in Bahrain , p 390
  6. ^ Albrecht Goetze, The texts No. 615 and 641 of the Istanbul Museum. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 6, 1952, 142-145.
  7. BE XVII 88
  8. ^ JE Reade, Commerce or Conquest: Variations in the Mesopotamia-Dilmun Relationship. In: HA Al Khalifa / M. Rice (ed.), Bahrain through the Ages: The Archeology (London, 1986), fig. 137
  9. DT Potts, Elamites and Kassites in the Persian Gulf. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 65/2, 2006, 116.
  10. ^ Steffen Terp Laursen: Kings of Dilmun identified by name ; [1] Kings of Dilmun identified by name and announced in a press conference held by BACA
  11. ^ Gianni Marchesiː Inscriptions from the Royal Mounds of A'ali (Bahrrainʼ and related Texts , inː Steffen Terp Laursenː The Royal Mounds of A'ali in Bahrain , Aarhus 2017, ISBN 978-87-93423-16-9 , pp. 428– 430
  12. abora.eu , under DILMUN S launched (accessed: December 23, 2017)