Hunting Ghosts in the World’s Largest Prehistoric Cemetery

bahrain burial mounds view from the air

Bahrain’s ghosts have been around since – well – since words were first scratched into clay.  Back in 1890, writer J.T. Bent described Bahrain’s inner desert as a “vast sea of sepulchral mounds.”

One of the world’s largest, Bronze Age, cemeteries, the Sumerians called ancient Bahrain, Dilmun, the place where no man or woman cried or felt sickness.  The legend was the neighboring countries sent their dead to Bahrain to live out their eternity in Paradise.

Bahrain burial mounds

Today, the 170,000 burial mounds are believed to be the final resting place for five centuries of island inhabitants and not the neighboring countries’ relatives.  Whether or not the dead were locals, the island still carries their ghostly memories.

Funny enough, these ghosts leave their mark on the island’s transient, expatriate population.

Writer and cultural commentator, Deonna Kelli Sayed, was one resident whose years living on the island impacted her life in ways she may not have anticipated.  Although we never had a conversation about the island’s ghosts during our writing classes, it was while living in Bahrain that Deonna became fascinated with ghost hunters.

After she and her family moved back to the USA, she literally began following the Syfy Channel’s paranormal investigators and documenting her experiences.

Paranormal obsession by deonna kelli sayed ghost hunting

Her adventures and interest in culture led to her first book, Paranormal Obsession where she investigated America’s interest in the paranormal since 9/11.

so you want to hunt ghosts by deonna kelli sayed

But her second book, So You Want to Hunt Ghosts: A Down to Earth Guide, is the one you might want to consider if you are interested in investigating for yourself whether or not ghosts are real.  The book “explains how to conduct historical research on your case, how to properly document your discoveries, and how popular media and ghost hunting TV shows have impacted the modern paranormal community.”

deonna kelli sayed american muslim bahrain ghosts

Deonna Kelli Sayed is a fascinating Global Citizen.  She talks about her first paranormal experience in New York, her multi-cultural family and living in Bahrain in this January 2013 interview on That’s Some AmericanMuslim Life.


Spoiler Alert: The Sun Will Rise Again

Dawn at GMT+3

Dawn at GMT+3

Mojo, Ace, Mark, Susan and I greeted the dawn of the new age at 6:21, GMT+3.

This, actually, was not the easiest thing to do, not because we had to dodge zombies, but we had to find a beach on this island.  Knowing we had to leave early in the morning, I did not want to discover en route that we could not find an empty beach to stop at.  Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours scouting out a spot on the eastern side of the island.

Secondly, I had to convince the troops to go.  Last night when I told them what I wanted to do, the conversation went like this.

Mark said, “Sounds like a Mom-thing.”

I insisted, “It’s historic.  The next cycle won’t start for another 2,000 years.”

“What time do we have to get up?” he asked suspiciously.

“5:30.  You can sleep in the car.”

“Noooo! Not on our holidays!  I can’t believe you’re making us do this.”

Obviously my cunning repertoire convinced them to go.

Ric's Country Kitchen Doomsday Bash

After we took our photos, Mojo insisted our first meal in the new age be biscuits and bacon at Ric’s Country Kitchen.

“Nooo, we want to go hooooome,” wailed the boys on our deaf ears.

The party streamers and stragglers were cleaned up by the time we arrived.  But the last of the ancient Gods met us, and we toasted the new day with beer.

Enki God of Heaven and Earth and his antelope having a beer with a friend in Ancient Dilmun or Bahrain

Enki God of Heave and Earth and his antelope having a beer with a friend. Dilmun seals found in Bahrain, the ancient Dilmun.

So far, the news from Paradise is the next 2,760 years will be better.

Peace to everyone on earth.

And to the survivalists, you can turn in your semi-automatic weapons now.

Tidying Up for the New Age

November 13 1833 the night the stars fell

A story my great,great-grandfather used to tell was when he was a young boy working on Erie Canal, he watched the greatest astronomical spectacle in recorded history – The Night The Stars Fell.

What? You never heard of it?

On November 12-13, 1833, watching what they believed were falling stars, people concluded the Day of Judgment had arrived.  The nine-hour, meteor show was so intense the night sky looked like a snow storm.  The story had a happy ending.  The humans survived, and from that night, scientists began formulating their first meteor theories.

Today, scientists are busy posting articles that December 21st is the end of a Mayan calendar cycle, not the apocalypse.  They are also busy debunking the Planet X rumors.

Twelfth Planet by Zecharia Sitchin

In 1976, the late author Zecharia Sitchin claimed in his translation of the Sumerian texts, he rediscovered the lost planet Nibiru, which allegedly orbits the sun once every 3,600 years.  In his translations, Sitchin referred to four regions where the Nefilim resettled man.  The fourth, a “holy” region, was called Til.mun.

Other Sumerian archeologists translate Bahrain’s ancient name as Dilmun.

“Ziusudra, the king, having prostrated himself before An and Enlil…they bestowed eternal life upon him as a god…They installed him in a country overseas: At Dilmun, where the sun rises.”

– Sumerian text l.254-262 from Traces of Paradise: The Archaeology of Bahrain

Gilgamesh and Enki Dilmun era tablets from Bahrain

Gilgamesh holding the lion. The god Enki standing at the head where the two waters meet. Tablets uncovered in Bahrain.

Ziusudra was the Sumerian hero who survived the great flood.  Gilgamesh’s epic journey was to find immortality in Ziusudra’s Paradise.  Over millennia, as the flood story continued to be told, Ziusudra’s name was changed to Noah.

Overtime, Zecharia Sitchin decided Til.mun was not our little island.  He said the texts referred to Til.mun land and Til.mun city, the other being in the Sinai.  But I still think he should have visited the Bahrain Museum and studied the original, Dilmun seals.

Dilmun seal with Enki enclosed in a room  perhaps a teleporter

Dilmun seal on display at the museum. Enki is holding his two jars of water and standing “in an enclosed chamber.” Could that be a teleporter?

This last day of the 13th b’ak’tun in the ancient Mayan calendar system, I am cleaning up my desk.  Living between Dilmun’s ancient tombs, my family and I wait to see whether we, like my great, great-grandfather, live to tell the tale about the dragons and rabbits in Paradise.  I suspect one day, my great, great-grandchildren will read this post and giggle at our quaint notions and antiquated communication systems.

Mayan nay-sayers and doomsdayers aside, I hope a new era is beginning.


Note:  You can read about the Dilmun Seals and learn about Bahrain’s ancient history in this 2000 museum catalog, Traces of Paradise: The Archaeology of Bahrain 2500BC-300AD.  Edited by Harriet Crawford and Michael Rice.


FOR RENT One Gently Used Tomb

Rental Sign on Tomb in Sar

Lease for eternity.

Compares favorably to the other 5,000 year old tumuli in the immediate vicinity.

Previous tenant left no dust but occasionally seen floating around the neighborhood.

Preferred deposit gold, silver or pearls.  No paper notes are accepted.

Dilmun Makes A Comeback in 2011

The Meeting Point by Lucy Caldwell, Dylan Thomas Award Winner

Lucy Caldwell begins her Dylan Thomas Prize winning book The Meeting Point with

The land of Dilmun is holy, the land of Dilmun is pure.

In Dilmun the raven does not croak, the lion does not kill.

No one says, “My eyes are sick, my head is sick.”

No one says, I am an old man, I am an old woman.”

Sound familiar?  If not, refer to Standing Out in Saudi Arabia.

This verse was written on a 4000 year old clay tablet held in the Bahrain National Museum.

Caldwell wrote a lyrical story of an Irish woman who follows her husband to Bahrain.  Ruth dreamed of a new life in an exotic country.  Like thousands of expat housewives before her, Ruth’s life without financial or domestic responsibilities and a husband who is completely absorbed in his new job leaves her plenty of time to wonder – what do I do all day in Paradise?

Confronted by people living normal existences but under a different belief system and unsupported by the cultural walls of their own country,   expats often find themselves asking the existential question – Who am I?

The Meeting Point describes a woman’s unexpected search to find that answer while describing life in Bahrain in beautiful detail.  I was more than pleasantly surprised by the book.

Tourist Climbing Tree of Life featured in Lucy Caldwell’s Book.

I recommend it if you are interested in expat life, Bahrain or enjoy a well told Irish story.

Standing Out in Saudi Arabia

Starbucks in Saudi Arabia. On the left with the chairs is the men's section. On the right behind the wood panel is the "family" section where women can go. During prayer everyone was asked to leave and the doors were locked.

“You live in Bah-rain,” the Saudi woman whispered Bahrain as if it were a dream, or Disneyland.  “You take my sons,” she declared.  “You take them Bahrain.  Learn English like you.”

I apologized to her saying I had three of my own children to care for and assured her that her husband was a wonderful father and provider for her family.  But this was not the first time a Saudi woman engaged me.

Because I don’t cover my hair, I stand out in Saudi Arabia.  Often when I sat alone, women veiled from head to toe in black approached me.  Sometimes we talked and sometimes they pulled out their phones and took a picture of us together.

To many Gulf citizens, Bahrain continues to maintain its 2300BC reputation.  The Sumerians wrote about Dilmun the ancient name of Bahrain.

“Blessed in Sumer…blessed is the land of Dilmun..

When he settled there, the first at Dilmun, the place where Enki settled with his wife,

this place (became) pure, this place is radiant.”

Although now Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by a 16-mile bridge for many Saudi women Bahrain is still only a legend.

“At Dilmun, no crow cawed

The lion did not kill,

The wolf did not carry off the lamb…

No one with pain in their head said “My head hurts!”

No old woman said “I’m old!”,

“No old man said, “I’m old!”…..

People from every corner of the planet consider Bahrain to be an island paradise where they can dress, live and pray however they want.

In Bahrain, Mojo and I along with 700 other people similarly dressed attended the Think Pink Charity Fundraiser. Women's breast health was highlighted, donations were made and men and women danced together.


Tales by Chapter

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