Monday, February 23, 2015

Sidon Ancient Secret Room Unearthed at Frères Archaeological Site Temple in Lebanon

""SIDON, Lebanon: Dozens of workers were busy covering old Sidon’s Frères archaeological site Monday, to protect a major new discovery unearthed by a delegation from the British Museum.

“A small contingent of the British Museum/Directorate General of Antiquities of Lebanon team of archaeologists discovered a new deeply concealed room,” read a statement released by the delegation.

The newly discovered monumental room is believed to be an extension of the underground Temple of Sidon, which dates back to the Bronze Age.
This finding comes as workers prepare the foundations of a new national museum, which will be established beside the archaeological site. Construction of the museum led to urgent excavations at the site last month.

Ten years ago, the delegation discovered an underground “holy of holies” room, dating back to 1300 B.C., where ancient residents are believed to have worshipped their gods. The newly discovered room was found adjacent to it, and is thought to be an extension of the site’s temple. It is believed to have been used by high-status members of the community.
Claude Serhal Doumit, head of the delegation, described the finding as significant, and said the room had been concealed by later developments built over it.
“Sealed by the imposition of a Persian period building constructed on top of it, this new room is of the highest importance in terms of its monumentality and untouched pottery material, both [domestically produced] and imported from Cyprus and Mycenae,” read a statement released by the delegation.

The British Museum delegation conducted excavations at the Frères site for nearly 17 years, after receiving approval from the Directorate General of Antiquities.
The room’s walls were constructed with monumental stones to a height of 4.5 meters, while the floor of subterranean room would have been 7.5 meters below street level. Archaeologists unearthed a number of artifacts inside.

“Wooden material, pottery and utensils for ritual celebrations used for eating, drinking and mixing fluids were found,” Doumit told The Daily Star.
Sidon MP Bahia Hariri hailed the new discovery, saying it helped reveal the rich history of the ancient city.

Hariri, who visited the Frères archaeological site Monday, praised the excavation work carried out by the Directorate General of Antiquities’ Sidon office and the British Museum delegation.

Sidon is a repository of many ruins, which reflect the various civilizations and cultures that inhabited the city. Hariri believes that the finding will contribute to the city’s new museum, which in turn will revive south Lebanon’s economy and culturally.""

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