Friday, September 5, 2008

Sidon is a remarkable archaeological city

"Sidon is a remarkable archaeological city where we have found that economics and religion are closely related," archaeology expert and field supervisor Claude Doumet Serhal told The Daily Star. "And for the first time, we have discovered ways of burying the dead during the Canaanite period i.e. 3, 0000 years B.C. and the accompanying ceremonial religious rituals."

"Our discoveries included eight rooms and 25 warehouses containing pottery and burnt wheat," she said.

"But what surprised us," she added, "was the discovery of melted bronze material which indicated that the old Bronze Age existed before the Canaanite period."

Serhal also said her team had unearthed 92 graves where children and teenagers were found buried in jars, in addition to warriors along with their spears, knives and arrows that dated to 2,000 years B.C.

"We have also discovered the old oven known as 'Tannour' and a pestle to grind cereals," she added. "Some of the ovens discovered contained bones of goats, birds and fish representing the gifts that had been offered for the dead at the time.

"The Freres site also included a four-meter-wide building of which we have discovered the ruins of five rooms so far, which were also related to the religious rituals of that period. Some 300 broken earthen plates and 600 lamps of the Canaanite period were also unearthed," she said.

According to Serhal, the excavation team could also prove the existence of commercial exchange between old Sidon, Egypt and Greece through the discovery of utensils with hieroglyphic inscription and the signature of Pharaoh Taousarat in addition to some Greek cups.

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