About Hili Archaeological Park
The Hili Archaeological Park and Gardens is a Bronze Age site located just north of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. In use in the 3rd millennium BC, today the ruins include settlements, tombs, and a later Iron Age falaj (irrigation channel) which made use of water from nearby springs well into the Iron Age.
The Hili Archaeological Park has since been sculpted as both an historic site and public garden, and is a popular place to relax and explore for both tourists and locals.
Hili Archaeological Park history
The earliest agricultural village at Hili dates back to 3000 BC, artefacts of which were excavated and moved to the Al Ain National Museum. Between 2500 and 2000 BC, the settlement at Hili expanded during the period known as Umm an-Nar, named for an island off Abu Dhabi where the Bronze Age culture’s remains were first found. The Umm an-Nar society were notable for constructing circular shaped tombs with well-fitted stonework encasing an inner tomb that held human remains.
The Hili Archaeological Park was developed after excavations in the 1960s to highlight the ancient Al Ain monuments in an accessible way for visitors.
Hili Archaeological Park today
Open between 4 and 11pm, today the Hili Archaeological Park is a great space to wander, exploring the perfectly green gardens, fountains and for young people, a small play area. Follow the archaeological trail to view from close-by the prehistoric remains of the Umm an-Nar society.
A highlight of the park is undoubtedly the Hili Grand Tomb, dating back to 2000 BC. In circular Umm Al-Nar form with a diameter of 12 metres and 4 metres high, the tomb was a burial site for people of surrounding settlements. The tomb has 2 entrances, both intricately decorated with images of people and animals.
Getting to Hili Archaeological Park
The Hili Archaeological Park is located around 15 kilometres north of Al Ain near the Oman border. It is easiest to get there by car, a half hour drive via the central city district following the Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Street. There is parking on site.