SIDON: Excavations led by a delegation from the British Museum at the Frères’ archaeological site in the old city of Sidon unearthed more important antiquities during their 14th year, it was revealed Tuesday.
Preparations also got under way for the construction of a museum to display the findings at the site. The construction is due to begin in September.
Discoveries at the site since excavations began in 1998 have revealed artifacts from the Early Bronze Age, which began around 3,000 B.C., through to the Iron Age, which covered around 1,200-539 B.C.
Among the latest discoveries was a particular type of Phoenician architecture, which the archaeologists said was not commonly found in Lebanon, consisting of stones cut for the construction of walls or floors. Read more.
The ruins of the site rest atop a sandstone hill, hugging the far northern coast of the current State of Israel near the border with Lebanon. One can see later-period standing structures that provide the backdrop for what is now a national park and beach resort. But below the surface, and beneath the ocean waves, lie the remains of an ancient harbor town that reach back in history to as long ago as Chalcolithic times (4500 - 3200 BC). After decades, a team of archaeologists will return to the site to investigate evidence of a settlement that played a chief role in the ancient commerce of the area and the civilizations that crossed and controlled its strategic location.
Known today as Tel Achziv, its remnants have been explored and excavated before, by Moshe Prausnitz from 1963 through 1964 and, in the vicinity of the site, by E. Ben-Dor, M. Prausnitz and E. Mazar, who uncovered large-scale Phoenician cemeteries. Read more.
Azzaman - Lebanon has handed over 78 ancient artifacts to Iraq, the Iraqi ambassador to Lebanon has said.
The pieces were passed to the Iraqi embassy early this week and include cuneiform tablets, statues and reliefs belonging to the Sumerian civilization that flourished in ancient Iraq some 5000 years ago.
The artifacts were passed to the embassy in a ceremony attended by the Lebanese Culture Minister Gabi Leon and the Iraqi ambassador in Lebanon Omer al-Barazanji.
“The artifacts belonged to the Iraqi civilization. We are handing them over as part of an agreement we have with Iraq on the repatriation of archaeological treasures,” said the Lebanese minister.
He said the pieces were seized by the Lebanese police and border guards. Read more.
TYRE, Lebanon: UNIFIL’s Italian contingent inaugurated Sunday a wall that was built to protect the Al-Bass archeological site, as well as the renovation of part of the Bassel al-Assad Cultural Center in the southern coastal city of Tyre.
The initiatives, which were funded by the Italian government, are two of the projects being carried out by the contingent’s Civil-Military Cooperation Office.
The commander of UNIFIL’s Sector West, General Gualtiero De Cicco, said that the 1,700-meter-long wall, built at the cost of 73,000 euros ($98,000), “does not only aim to support the most important and beautiful archeological sites in Lebanon but also seeks to improve the cultural heritage in the southern city of Tyre and give the city a strong push towards developing its tourism and economic sectors.”
General De Cicco added that the contingent also invested 28,000 euros in the Bassel al-Assad Cultural Center to renovate it and to make it a better facility for the various community activities it houses. (source)
BEIRUT: Amid the towering building projects dotting the cityscape of Beirut, that ancient city where Poseidon was worshiped millennia ago, a battle rages between the guardians of the past and the developers for the future.
A number of the capital’s real estate developers, all anxious to get their projects up and running as soon as possible, are voicing their frustration over the delays brought on by protracted excavations by archaeologists at sites planned for development.
Tourism-related activities and real estate seem at odds at times in this country of both modern and ancient.
Real estate in Lebanon, and particularly in the capital, is one of the country’s most lucrative sectors. With the average square meter of land worth $3,500, Beirut often ranks among the world’s most expensive capitals.
And, with relics strewn across the country and potentially undiscovered ones only a few meters below the surface, Lebanon is also both a treasure trove for archaeologists and a leading tourist destination in the region. Read more.
Early Roman ruins have been discovered along a main road in the Tyre area, causing the road to be partially closed while excavations continue ,the find is significant, because of the scale of the ruins, which consist so far of five Byzantine marble tombs, and the fact they were found largely intact
. “This is the first such discovery this year, and the most important Byzantine ruins found in the area in the past five years,” said Nader Saqlawi, who is leading the excavation.
The team, consisting of three Lebanese archaeologists and several day laborers, has also found glassware, but nothing wholly intact so far.
The ruins, as well as an ancient road dating back to the same period, were found four meters beneath the ground during an excavation that began just over a week ago. Saqlawi says the work could continue for the next several months, depending on how much they find. Read more.
ENAISEH, Lebanon: Parts of a Byzantine church at the top of Jabal al-Kenaiseh were destroyed by treasure hunters, according to anthropologist Chamoun Mouannes, who lamented the attack and called on officials to protect the country’s archeological sites.
“We often cross rough roads in Lebanon, and we were very surprised when we saw a historical site at 2,100 meters above sea level, a temple dating to Roman times, with large parts of it destroyed and tampered with in search of treasures,” said Mouannes, who heads the hiking group, Club of the Hidden Roads and Foot Trails of Lebanon.
The structure witnessed a succession of peoples belonging to different historical eras before it was transformed into a Byzantine church, Mouannes said, affirming that the mountain, which stretches between the two villages of Falougha and Kfar Salwan, was named Al-Kenaiseh (church) after the structure.
Mouannes was surprised that those responsible for damaging the temple were able to reach the site. Read more.
SIDON, Lebanon: Excavations led by a delegation from the British Museum at the Frères’ archaeological site in the old city of Sidon unearthed Wednesday antiquities from 5,000 years ago.
The most important findings of the excavations, which are funded by the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development and the National Cement Company and are now in their 13th year, include a sacred musical instrument from the Iron Age, the head of a Phoenician figurine, a ring from the Roman age, and a large storage room for wheat from 3,000 BC.
A 48-meter-long temple, where religious feasts were held, was also discovered along with a huge burial site with a number of burial jars, pieces of pottery, and the remains of animal bones. Read more.