Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hili Archeological Park Series: Tombs E and N

Tombs E and N are located about few meters away from the Hili 10 building. Tomb E is a circular structure while the Tomb N is a pit grave. At the time of my visit, Tomb N was covered with a brown cloth and few pieces of stones were scattered around the tomb. The outer wall that covers the entire area is surrounded by wooden fences of about 2 feet high.

Tomb E is a circular and above-ground structure of a standard collective tomb that belongs to the Umm an Nar culture on the end of 3rd millennium BC. This reconstructed tomb is divided into 2 main sections, each divided into 3 chambers accessed by a small entrance. The original tomb was 3-4 meters high with the exterior built with carefully dressed stones. Only few of the these stones were left. It was excavated in 1970's under the direction of the former Department of Antiquities and Tourism now part of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. The tomb was empty when excavated and led the archeologists to believe that the remains originally buried here may have been transferred to the adjacent pit-grave (Tomb N).

Tomb N is about 2 feet away from the ring of wall of Tomb E and approximately 2.5 meters deep, 2 meters wide and 7 meters long pit grave. It is one of the only two Umm an-Nar pit graves discovered so far here in the United Arab Emirates that contained the remains of hundreds of individuals. According to the osteological studies conducted by the archeologists, an estimated 600 people were buried in that pit-grave. Males, females and children of all ages were found buried in a contracted position. Tomb N is of great significance amongst Umm an Nar period burials in the 3rd millennium BC but it is also unusual because the Umm an-Nar culture is known for its circular tombs.

It has undergone 2 stages of excavation. Tomb N was accidentally discovered while clearing up around the circular grave, the Tomb E, which was excavated in 1970's under the direction of the former Department of Antiquities and Tourism, now part of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and W.Y. Al Tikriti. A huge volume of skeletal and artefactual material was removed, while some of the contents were left intact to demonstrate the incredible richness and depth of the burial deposit. The second stage of excavation and study began in November 1998, a joint project by the Department of Antiquities and Tourism and the French Archeological Mission in the UAE led by W.Y. Al Tikriti and S.Mery. Excavations were completed in March 2006 but the anthropological analyses of the recovered remains were not yet done by that time.

Aside from human remains, hundreds of pottery vessels were found together with a number of stone vessels and a large collection of ornamental beads.

The pottery, ornaments and stone vessels that they have discovered in the Hili Tombs are currently housed in Al Ain National Museum's Archeological Section. Click here if you wish to see my photos of the stone vessels and some of the ancient pottery that I have seen in the said museum.

Source of Information: From the articles of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and Emirates National History Group and from journal readings on Arabian Archeology and Epigraphy.

If you wish to read further, please visit the site provided below. You need an Adobe Reader to open the file.
If you wish to read my previous posts, click here for Hili Grand Tomb and here for Hili 10 Building.

This post is linked to My World Tuesday. Join us and enjoy the cyber tour!


  1. are these tombs inside a park? looks like the place is surrounded by walls. must be an interesting place to visit.

  2. Interesting!
    I'd love to check out the pottery, ornmanets, stone vessels etc if I reach Al Ain some day.

  3. wow, a treasure for archeologists ... must be an interesting place to roam around..
    Dropping by for My World Tuesday

  4. A treasure indeed! Great captures and thanks for the additional information, Misalyn, I look forward to reading more about your world! Have a lovely week!


  5. Thanks so much for this informative post through historical places.

    Have a great day, dear Misalyn!!



Marhaba! SHUKRAN JAZILAN for taking time to reading my posts and posting your comments.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...