The Lebanon is a major commercial and cultural crossroads. Tire, Sidon, Byblos, Baalbek or Beirut are cities that still resonate today. This rich history has left traces which, since the 19th century in particular, have enabled scientists and archaeologists to better understand the cradle of the Phoenician civilization. The number 392 of Archeology files proposes to come back to this space which has already been the subject of previous issues. This new issue focuses on a few sites that have benefited from recent excavations that were not covered in previous issues.
Beirut and its surroundings
Preventive archeology is today a great source of knowledge, especially in the most dynamic cities like Beirut. After presenting the general directorate of Lebanese Antiquities and the main Lebanese archaeological museums, Beirut and its excavations are presented to the reader. The history of the city, the results of urban excavations over the past twenty years and the archaeological management of heritage are discussed in two introductory articles. The eastern suburb of Béry (now east of the Beirut Central District) has been excavated since the 1990s and provides insight into its history. This vibrant suburb is close to the ramparts and traffic routes that evolved between the Hellenistic and Roman times. Originally artisanal, in the 2nd century it housed sanctuaries which were then abandoned at the end of the 4th century. The district resumes its previous functions, in particular artisanal. Funeral practices and the village of Ej-Jaouzé are the subject of a focus. The Romano-Byzantine site of Deir el-Qalaa is the subject of an article which provides a better understanding of the religious landscape of this period and partially calls into question the idea of a "pagan resistance", at least for the site.
The Sidon site has also been the subject of numerous recent excavations which, in particular, provide a better understanding of the site's occupation during the Bronze and Iron Ages. The extra-urban sanctuary of Eshmoun is discussed in a contribution. Dating from at least the 6th century BC. AD, it reached its peak in the 4th century BC. AD, when the site adopts a more Greek architectural and stylistic register before the conquest of Alexander. The latter led to a decline of the sanctuary and Sidon, although its history continued until Roman times. The site was converted in the Byzantine era into a church and then abandoned in the Muslim era. The funerary monuments of Sidon in Roman times are also the object of a contribution which reflects the diversity of the cultural currents of the city.
Tire and Beaufort Castle
The Phoenician necropolis of Tire was excavated in the late 1990s. According to archaeologists, the creation of the urban cemetery in Tire at the end of the 10th century BC is early compared to other sites in the region. This would reflect the political change of the city which would have reached the rank of city-state. A Phoenician sanctuary has also been excavated in the city and is the subject of a contribution. In addition to the racecourse, which is the subject of the focus, an article concludes on the history of the excavations, of the city and the latest archaeological discoveries. The medieval Beaufort Castle is the subject of the last article in this dossier. Restored following the degradation resulting from the civil war in Lebanon, the excavation site before the restoration allows us to rediscover it and better understand the history of the site.
This file is a good update on the archaeological knowledge of the Lebanese territory. The rich iconography, always of very good quality, embellishes and enriches the reading. The end of the Dossiers d'Archéologie is, as usual, devoted to various news. An article deals with the archaeological film with an interview with director David Geoffroy. Finally, the last contribution is devoted to the exhibition in Louvres (Val-d'Oise) entitled "Falling on a bone. When archaeologists make the dead speak ”. A good accessible number of Dossiers d'Archéologie.
Lebanon, new discoveries. Archeology files n ° 392. In newsstands and on subscription