Ancient ruins proving historic succession uncovered in Lebanon 2009-08-06 23:00:42   Print

    BEIRUT, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- A British Museum delegation have excavated a large number of valuable ruins in an archaeological site in Sidon, south Lebanon, which date back to the Canaanite period of Sidon, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, local Daily Star reported on its website Thursday.

    "We uncovered the biggest number of ruins this year and this helped complete the cycle of historic periods discovered in the site," Dr. Claude Doumit Serhal, head of the British delegation, was quoted by the paper as saying.

    The delegation, consisting of 90 Lebanese and foreign professionals, uncovered this week 13 burial sites, temples and personal items, which "reveals the religious rituals and lifestyle during the Canaanite period (3,500 BC - 1,150 BC)," according to Serhal.

    "The site, unlike any other in Lebanon, showed the clear succession of historic periods in Sidon," he said.

    The ruins included a 48-meter-long temple dating back to 1,800 BC and 1,500 BC, filled with bronze pieces, knives and rings as well as pottery and stone statues used by ancient people to repel evil spirits.

    Some other temples dating back to 3,000 BC and 1,000 BC and nine rooms and cereal stocks were also found.

    The discoveries proved that the cite was not only used as a normal housing location but as a temple for gods from different and successive historic periods, the report said.

    Sidon has suffered from a succession of conquers in history, and also witnessed these numerous civilizations -- Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

    Both Jesus Christ and Saint Paul are said to have visited the city. It was eventually conquered by the Arabs and then by the Ottoman Turks.

    The British Museum delegation has been excavating the site for 11 years. Among this year's discoveries also include 4,000-year-old burial sites, ruins from the Ottoman era (1,299 AD - 1,923 AD),and a piece of a vase decorated with the pharaoh's Lotus flower, which is believed to be a gift to Sidon's king from the Egyptian Pharaoh Queen Twosret (1,191 BC - 1,190 BC in reign).

    "This is but another proof of the succession of civilizations," said Serhal. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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