Al-Sabiyah, Bahra 1 (Kuwait)
Dates of work: 19 October–28 November 2015
Co-directors: Prof. Piotr Bieliński, archaeologist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Dr. Hamid Al-Mutairi (Department of Antiquities and Museums of the State of Kuwait)
NCCAL representatives: Mustafa Al-Ansari, Talal Al-Shimery
Archaeologists: Dr. Marcin Białowarczuk, lithic material specialist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Dorota Bielińska (Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences), Mateusz Iskra (PCMA UW scholarship holder), Dr. Agnieszka Pieńkowska (PCMA UW), Andrzej Reiche, small finds specialist/photographer (National Museum in Warsaw), Dr. Urszula Wicenciak (PCMA UW)
Ceramologist: Dr. Anna Smogorzewska (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Archaeobotanist: Agata Bebel (PhD candidate, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow branch)
Registrar: Agnieszka Szymczak, archaeologist (PCMA UW)
Surveyor: Piotr Zakrzewski (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Documentalist: Marta Momot, archaeologist (PCMA UW)
(Joint description of seasons 2014 and 2015)
Six building units were excavated during two seasons of fieldwork (2014 and 2015) at this large Ubaid-period site which combines Ubaid and Arabian Neolithic characteristics, proving intensive contacts with Mesopotamia in the second half of the 6th millennium BC. Of particular interest was Unit 6 with an oval courtyard surrounded by a stone enclosure and fireplaces and fire-pits in two occupation phases. Several fireplaces were found also in an older level, apparently of a distinctly different character. Unit 14 showed the first case of a shelter being built into natural rock feature, while the remains under Unit 3, presenting a different spatial layout than later structures, indicated a period of abandonment of some duration between successive phases.
The rich pottery collection of over 6200 fragments was broken down into nearly equal shares of Ubaid ware and Coarse Red Ware. The lithic material (over 30,000 tool fragments and debitage) formed a specialized assemblage dedicated to the production of tubular shell beads, adding to the evidence already collected for the existence of bead workshops at the site. An exceptional find was a copper object from one of the older layers of the settlement.
Bieliński, P., Białowarczuk, M., Kiersnowski, H., Piątkowska-Małecka, J., Reiche, A., Smogorzewska, A., Szymczak, A. (2015). Bahra 1. Excavations in 2013. Preliminary report on the fifth season of Kuwaiti–Polish archaeological explorations [=KPAM Publications]. Kuwait–Warsaw: National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, Kuwait; PCMA UW
[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 25]