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Location and surroundings

The site of H3 is a low mound on the northern, inland edge of a peninsula, which stretches into the mudflats on the northern side of Kuwait Bay. The peninsula is known as Jazirat Dubaij.

Natasha Mulder walks across the site, before the removal of back-fill (Picture by M. Beech)

Today, the site's surroundings appear empty and poor in vegetation, but there is evidence that the climate was slightly wetter when the site was occupied.

The location of Kuwait at the head of the Gulf means that anyone travelling by river and sea between Mesopotamia and the Arabian Gulf will pass nearby.

Map adapted from Perry-Castenada Library Map Collection, University of Texas

Map by R. Carter

Map by R. Carter, from original prepared by Khan Guven


Although these days the sea is far to the south, separated by several kilometres of sediment, geomorphological studies suggest that it came right up to the south side of Jazirat Dubaij during the occupation of the site. A string of Late pre-Islamic or Early Islamic sites along that edge suggests that this was still the case during the 1st millennium AD.

The bay between the peninsula and the mainland is now filled with sabkha (salt flats). In the past, it could have been a sheltered lagoon, so H3 may have bordered a rich marine environment in antiquity, and was perhaps directly accessible by boat.



Heiko Kallweit and others at Dubaij Well (Photo by M. Beech)


Fresh water can be found at nearby wells, now abandoned. These wells are found at Dubaij and Mughayrah, the former being under 3km distant. This  would not have been considered a long distance to travel for water by the ancient inhabitants of the site.


Home Excavations at H3 Sponsors Archaeological Background Staff Pages Introduction