Research projects

The Islamic Funerary Inscriptions of Bahrain, pre-1900 CE 

Principal investigators: Professor Timothy Insoll, Dr Salman Almahari, and Dr Rachel MacLean.

This project is compiling an inventory and catalogue of all Islamic funerary inscriptions on Bahrain pre-dating 1900 CE. A total of 150 gravestones have been recorded in 26 cemeteries, shrines, mosques, and museums. Of these, 38 were exposed through archaeological excavation and 106 have inscriptions which provide a wide range of biographical and historical information. Data on the contemporary use and meaning of the historical gravestones and the material culture associated with graveside commemoration in Shia cemeteries has also been collected and was the focus of an exhibition in the Street Gallery, IAIS. The inscriptions are being published in a monograph (Insoll, T., Almahari, S., and MacLean, R. Contracted and in Preparation, 2018. The Islamic Funerary Inscriptions of Bahrain. Pre-1900 CE. [Handbook of Oriental Studies Series] Leiden: Brill).

The research is being completed in co-operation with the relevant local communities in Bahrain and with permission from the Jaffaria Waqf, Sunni Waqf, and Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities.