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Dilmun -- Telmun -- Tylos

The islands of Bahrain first stepped onto the stage of history some 3000 years BC as the centre of one of the great trading empires of the ancient world. This was the civilization of Dilmun -- founded during the Bronze Age and lasting in one form or another for over 2000 years. Dilmun developed as a centre of trade and commerce because of its location along the trade routes linking Mesopotamia with the Indus Valley. Its decline dates from the time the Indus Valley civilization fell in the middle of the second millenium BC. Once the decline had set in it continued over the following centuries. There is mention of Dilmun as a vassal of Assyria in the 8th century BC and by about 600 BC it had been fully incorporated into the Neo-Babylonian Empire. There is virtually no information about what happened between Dilmun's absorption by the Chaldean Empire and the arrival of Nearchus -- an admiral serving under the Greek Alexander the Great. It is known that he explored the Gulf at least as far south as Bahrain. From the time of Nearchus until the coming of Islam in the 7th century AD Bahrain was known by its Greek name of Tylos ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium