Al-Khor Island | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Al-Khor Island

Al Dhakira, Al Khawr, Qatar

About Al-Khor Island

Al-Khor Island is thought to have been a Bronze Age way station in the Arabian Gulf used by ancient traders around the late 3rd / early 2nd millennium BC.

Seafarers and traders of the day would weigh anchor in this protected port as an overnight safe harbour, or perhaps to repair ships, process fish, or prepare charcoal. The Island was protected by an embayment, and ships could be anchored close to shore for repairs or cargo loading.

Nearby to the west the Dilmun civilization was in full swing, and the Dilmun traders were travelling to trade and sell their goods. Many coastal sites have been found in the Arabian Gulf area with Al-Khor being sited between Bahrain and the present Northern Emirates. Early Dilmun pottery and charcoal from many stone lined pits dates the site at Al-Khor to late 3rd / early 2nd millennium BC. Dilmun pottery, a few bronze artefacts, and stone arrowheads were found at the site by Danish archaeologists.

The alternative modern name, Purple Island, comes from a purple dye which was produced from shellfish in ancient times. Four sites are known today, with the two on the east and northeast in a very poor state, but the sites at the northwest and southern end of the island remain a very good state of preservation.

The sites are not on the hill tops, but rather, on the very level coastal plains proximal to the sea. A few outcropping overhands were thought to be used as shelters also, but we could not determine if so.