Preserve Ancient Burial Sites

burial mounds

Target: Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain

Goal: Prevent private developers from bulldozing Bahrain’s ancient and sacred burial mounds

Bahrain was once home to the world’s largest collection of prehistoric burial mounds. Over 76,000 mounds dating back to 2050 BC have been discovered there, but many of them have been demolished to make room for causeways and residences. Private developers are now threatening to bulldoze the remaining sites to make room for more housing structures. Save the remaining ancient sites and preserve Bahrain’s national treasures.

The country is home to over 1.2 million residents today, and it has the third largest population density in the world. This meant that by the 1960s, around 90% of Bahrain’s ancient burial sites had been destroyed in the name of human progress. These sites held the remains of community leaders and heads of commercial dynasties –  the very fabric of Bahrain’s history.

“Bahrain feels a huge responsibility to preserve the remaining mounds, and to transfer them to future generations,” said Britta Rudolff of Think Heritage. Rudolff estimates that should UNESCO approve their petition, the mounds will be granted protection by 2016. Sign the below petitions to urge Bahrain’s government to work with developers to find a better way to provide residents with homes while respecting their culture.


Dear Prime Minister Al Khalifa,

As you know, Bahrain is home to one of the world’s most importantly archaeological discoveries: the royal mounts in the northern district of A’ali. Although most of the mounds have already fallen victim to infrastructure and housing pressures, a few cultural treasures still exist. These burial sites contain the history and traditions of your peoples’ ancestors, as the region transformed into a tribal state to an economic powerhouse.

I am urging you to work with residential developers and local archaeological groups to provide for the needs of your people while still preserving the remains of their ancestors. Although some experts say that the damage to the mounds is already done, some important artifacts still remain accessible today.

I understand that land is an issue in your country due to the growing populations. Please rely upon the recommendations of UNESCO and local heritage groups to preserve the history of your country as much as possible. If careless development continues, the people of Bahrain will not be able to understand the culture that they’ve lost until it’s already gone.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Peter from Riyadh via WikiMedia Commons

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140 Signatures

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