Archaeologists unearth 13 burial sites in Lebanon

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Beirut (Lebanon), August 7 (ANI): A team of archaeologists has recently unearthed 13 burial sites, temples and personal items dating to the Canaanite period in Sidon in Lebanon, which are missing links in the city's historic legacy.

"We uncovered the biggest number of ruins this year and this helped complete the cycle of historic periods discovered in the site," head of the British Museum delegation Dr. Claude Doumit Serhal, told The Daily Star.

"What is remarkable about this week's discovery is that it reveals the religious rituals and lifestyle during the Canaanite period," said Serhal. "The site, unlike any other in Lebanon, showed the clear succession of historic periods in Sidon," she added.

Similar archaeological discoveries were made in Jbeil 50 years ago and in Wadi Arqa in the northern town of Akkar but never in such a "large historic amount," the delegation said.

The discoveries included a 48-meter-long temple filled with bronze pieces, knives and rings as well as pottery and stone statues used by ancient people to repel evil spirits.

The site also contained temples dating back to 3000 BC and 1000 BC along with nine rooms and cereal stocks.

"We found new pieces in each room this year," said Serhal, adding that the discoveries show the temple to be from the Canaanite period between 1800 BC and 1500 BC.

Around 108 burial sites from 1900 BC and 15000 BC were also discovered. They contained several types of burnt cereals and animal corps and revealed the religious and funerary rituals of that period.

The excavations proved that the archaeological site was not only used as a normal housing location but as a temple for gods from different and successive historic periods.

Ruins from the Ottoman era were also uncovered and will be further looked into the coming year, according to Serhal.

The delegation also found the missing piece of a vase decorated with the pharaoh's Lotus flower. The piece is believed to be a gift to Sidon's king from the Pharaoh Queen Tausert who succeeded Ramses II.

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

"The uncovered archaeological pieces will be displayed in the city's museum," said Serhal who described this year's discoveries as "astonishing."

"This site will become a cultural and tourist reference in the city of Sidon," she added. (ANI)

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