Located north of Al Ain, Hili Archaeological Park features remains from 2000 to 3000 BC. There are many Hili sites in Al Ain, all numbered. Those of Hili Archeological Park are arranged for the visit within a green space. Circular tombs, the remains of the first irrigation systems (Falaj), and the ruins of an ancient village can be seen there.
Introduction to Hili sites
The sites of Hili date from the Bronze Age, more precisely from 2000 to 3000 BC, that is long before the advent of Islam. This prehistoric period is locally named Umn An-nar. The sites are all numbered and can be found on several sites in Al Ain and its surroundings. In this article we will focus on the sites visited and arranged for tourists on the Hili Archeological Park area. This site is also a park where families come to walk.
The number one site of Hili was brought to light by Danish archaeologists in 1965. These are traces of old dwellings built of dried earth, framed by a defensive ditch, and with a tower at its center.
On this site were discovered several funerary stone monuments. Circular in shape, they would indicate that the inhabitants of this village believed in a life after death.
The great tomb of Hili
On this site, you can find the great tomb of Hili (Hili Grand Tomb), pictured above. With a diameter of 12 meters and a height of 4 meters, it was a collective tomb, which has the distinction of having been made with impeccably carved stones, some of which framing the two entrances are carved with engravings representing men or animals like the Oryx. The researchers found in the tombs objects of everyday life. The building was rebuilt in the 1970s by Iraqi archaeologists.
The so-called E and N graves
These tombs were erected at the same time, probably over a period of 100 years, by prehistoric peoples who believed in life after death, and carried many objects of daily life into their graves. We have found the remains of nearly 600 people, men, women, children.
Circular grave on the archaeological site of Hili in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio
This archaeological site dates from the same period as the previous ones, and has the particularity of having been reoccupied 1000 years before J.C. Here no graves but the remains of a building.
Remains of a pre-historic building at the archaeological site of Hili 10 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio
The opening hours are fairly accommodating, except on Friday when the site does not open before 10am. Free admission, allow 30 to 45 minutes for the visit.
Location of Hili Archaeological Park in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors
Map of Al Ain (United Arab Emirates) with the location of the main tourist attractions of the city ©OpenStreetMap contributors