Mittwoch, 24. Januar 2018, 17:30

Nineteen years of excavation on Sidon’s College site

From 3rd millennium BC hunters to Crusaders; culture, beliefs and commercial dealings in the city

Claude Doumet Serhal (Special Assistant, The British Museum and Honorary Research Fellow, University College, London, Director of the Excavations at Sidon)

The city state, 30 km south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was one of the most important ancient Canaanite and Phoenician coastal cities. However, like other places in modern Lebanon, most of what we knew of its history until now came from contemporary Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Greek records.

Events of ritual activity that involve shared food and drink consumption in archaeological records can be identified in Middle Bronze Age Sidon from funerary assemblages as well as from “ritual breakage and burning” of pottery. Prestige items and ritual paraphernalia are also found in the Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age indicating the importance of the Sidon excavation in illustrating communal feasts, a fundamental aspect of Levantine archaeology.

A main network of maritime traffic with Sidon started in the third millennium BC and developed as early as the 12th dynasty with Egyptian, Cypriot and Aegean pottery. In the Late Bronze Age, the elites from College site exclusively obtained open vessels linked to ceremonial and ritual activities. The Tawosret vessel is one of the first examples to illustrate an aspect of international communications not directly linked to religion or trade. These elements will contribute to the development of our knowledge of the archaeology of the Levant