Byblos Ruins Archeological SiteByblos Ruins Archeological SiteByblos Ruins Archeological SiteByblos Ruins Archeological Site
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Map/Plan of the facility/Installation/City Byblos 2700-2150BCE with subsequent levels till 3300BCE
-First human settlement at the site which would become Byblos.
-First trade contact between Byblos and Egypt
-The Egyptian king Sneferu sends a maritime.expedition to Byblos in search of cedar wood.
-The Temple of Baalat Gebal or The Lady of Byblos is built.
-The conquest of Byblos by the Amorites for Mesopotamia.
-The Amarna Dynasty rules in Egypt, Tutmosis conquers Phoenicia, Byblos became a vassal state of Egypt.
-Earliest appearance of the Phoenician alphabet.
-Phoenician mariners begin to navigate by use of the North Pole Star.
-Death of Ahiram of Byblos.
-First coinage appearance under Persian mandate.
*byblos is mentioned in egyptian sources dating to the old kingdom.
*trading with the pharaohs of egypt starting from the early first dynasties in upper egypt.
*numerous inscribed egyptian objects dating from the end of the 2nd dynasty to the later 6th dynasty have been found in byblos.
*reliefs in memphis from the 5th dynasty (2350 b.c) in egypt show phoenician princess arriving on a byblos ship to marry the pharaoh.
*inscriptions in the temple of the obelisks in byblos mentioning egypt date from the 9th and 10th dynasty.
* during the new kingdom after egypt conquered the levant byblos became a vassal city-state (1550-1300 b.c) with its own king caller ""mayor"" by egypt and use to provide annual payments to egypt.
*from the fourth millennium b.c since the first dynasty in egypt byblos was a very active center for commerce and became the key port city on the levantine coast.
*byblos ruins sites contains layers of civilizations from the neolithic to phoenicians to persians to greeks to romans to the arabs invasion and crusaders era.
*the word byblos comes from bublos the essence used to make paper and byblos has always been associated with papyrus and the writing of books.
*byblos used to be also a main religious center in the region.
*the phoenician female diety the godess baalat-gebal of byblos was associated to aphrodite and astrate and was the goddess patron of the city and protector of the royal family.
*the site is enclosed in a defense wall that the origins goes back to the 4th millennium b.c
*since early antiquity the site had an east gate giving to the mainland and a north gate giving to the sea and the phoenician port of byblos.
* was found in the tombs a reused egyptian sarcophagus of the king of byblos ahiram dating from around the year 1000 b.c, on this sarcophagus were found the famous inscription of the twenty two letters of the phoenician alphabet.
* the phoenician figurines or statuettes of byblos date to the late third or early second millennium b.c, they were offered by worshipers as a plea for the god reshef in the temple of the obelisks.
*more than 3000 objects were found on the site related to the early ages.
*byblos appears as the first phoenician city to strike a coin a little before the middle of the fifth century.
The old name of Jbeil, Gebal ou Gebla. In the 4th millennium b.c it used to be called Gubia. The Assyrians use to call it Gubil, the Egyptians Kepen, the Greeks, mainly Herodote called it Byblos. The word Byblos comes from Bublos the essence used to make paper and Byblos has always been associated with Papyrus and the writing of Books. Papyrus used to be exported by boats from Egypt on Byblos Boats to other parts of the Mediterranean Sea. The crusaders use to call it Gibelet. With time, the name transformed to Jbeil.
-History of human occupation which dates the tenth millennium BCE.
-Emergence of Byblos as a city-state 4500-3500 BCE.
-Early Bronze Age (EB) 3500-2000 BCE.
-Middle Bronze Age (MB) 2000-1550 BCE.
-Late Bronze Age (LB) 1550-1200 BCE.
-Iron Age I (IA I) 1200-900 BCE.
-Iron Age II (IA 11) 900-586 BCE.
-Babylonian Period 586-539 BCE.
-Persian Period, Phoenicia under Persian occupation 539-332 BCE.
-Alexander the Great conquers Phoenicia 336-323 BCE.
-Hellenistic Period 323-63 BCE.
-Roman era ( Construction of Baalbeck under Augustus Cesar) Constructions under Adrian: 63 to 330 a.d
-Arab invasion: 637 to 1098 a.d
-Crusaders rule: 1098 to 1289
-Reconquest by the Arabs: 1289 to 1516
-Ottoman rule: 1516 to 1915
-French mandate: 1915 to 1943
In the Early Bronze Age emergence of Byblos as the first city-states harvesting of marine resources agriculture and animal husbandry, use of metals and trading Cedar wood with Egypt. In the Early Bronze Age appearance of ceramic objects with decoration with red or reddish-brown slip and pottery were produced in large quantities. Social stratification was a consistent feature Byblos at that time. Byblos was the wealthiest of all Phoenician states. By the Middle of Bronze Age more construction of cultic temples, shaft tomb was being used, active trade in the textiles trade, production of glass and faience wares. The Late Bronze Age, Byblos was a flourishing and key city in the mediterannean. The Iron Age I and II showed a decline and marginalization of Byblos, schism with Egypt. In the Babylonian Period, Byblos made alliance with Assyria. In the Persian Period the Phoenicians of Byblos had their own kings and were allowed to rule and paid their tribute to Persia. Byblos was flourishing again in the Persian period. By the end of the fifth century the trade routes stretched from India to Morocco and from the Black Sea to the Red Sea. Byblos struck its first coins in this period with abundance. Construction of roads and trade with Mesopotamia. At the arrival of Alexander The Great, the council of Byblos open their gates to Alexander.
The site is about 14 ha and has a perimeter of around 1500 m, and has a natural spring cut in the rock in a depression in the middle of the site. Every civilization left its mark in an independent zone on the site. Ernest Renan, during the French archaeologist campaign in Byblos at the end of the 19th century said that the biggest destruction of the site happened during the religious wars, the Arab invasions and the Crusaders campaigns. Much of the ruins are remains with no monument in quasi-integral shape except for the crusaders castle. Most of the objects found during the excavations of the site by the English and the French are either in the British museum or the Louvre. More than 3000 objects were found on the site related to the early ages. There is a collection of these objects in the national museum in Beirut.
The site is enclosed in a defense wall that the origins goes back to the 4th millennium b.c. Since early antiquity the site had a East gate giving to the mainland and a North gate giving to the sea and the Phoenician Port of Byblos. It is said that the city had two ports as of the customs on the Phoenicians, one on the North part of the site and one on the South part.
It is not been proved but it is said that perhaps the settlements in the site were reserved to the city personnel and the people taking care of the temples and that the populations lived outside the walls towards the North and East of the acropolis.
The Quaternary plateau of Byblos and beaches of Byblos is down dropped block covered with poudingues and sandstones on top of the formation of Ghazir Marls. This Quaternary formation is a sheltered bay against the up-thrown block of the formation of Ghazir Marls at the location of Saqiet Zaidane (Clif just 1km north of the port of Byblos) from one side, and the massive Turonian limestone strata south along the shore from Ras Qartaboun to Halate (Clif just 5km south of the port of Byblos) on the other side. This down dropped block forming the plateau and the bay of Byblos were created by a normal faulting occurred since Tertiary time. The differential erosion that followed the faulting coupled with uplift uncovered the substratum of Ghazir Marls at Saqiet Zaidan.
The sources used to study the history of Byblos are the classical sources written by the Greeks and Romans, the Biblical texts, the outputs of Egypt, Babylon and Assyria and the Hittites, the Amarna letters, the reports of the Egyptian emissary Wenamun, the Ugarictic texts and the study of some inscription and works on artifacts.
Several Greek histories of the Phoenicians and Byblos once existed. Besides the histories by Menander of Ephesus and Dius, we know of the Phoinikika by Hestiaeus. Philostratus also composed a Phoenician history. The Suda mentions local histories of Byblos and one is by a certain Aspasius of Byblos. Josephus also cites a passage from a Phoenician history by the historian Dius.
Philo of Byblos writing in about 100 BCE, supposedly translated into Greek a much older Phoenician history by Sanchuniathon. Porphyry locates Sanchuniathon in the time of Semiramis. Porphyry says Sanchuniathon collected all the ancient history from city records and temple registers and wrote it up in the Phoenician language. Philo of Byblos in his famous book Sanchuniathon wrote the history of the Phoeniciens and Byblos. Philo's work was largely dismissed as Greek storytelling until a treasure trove of Bronze Age mythical texts discovered at the port of Ugarit and fragments of the Hittite Kumarbi myths found in Turkey revealed surprisingly close parallels with parts of his text.
Byblos is mentioned in hieroglyphic and hieratic records of Egypt for almost 2000 years. The earliest mention of the city's name found on a lintel of a door of a 4th Dynasty at Giza and the city was spelled Kbn. During the 6th Dynasty Kbn is mentioned in the tomb inscription of Pharaoh Khui. In a text from this same dynasty of Pharaoh Pepi the term "Byblos-ships" is mentioned. In the 18th Dynasty the city's name is spelled Kpn instead of kbn. On two 12th Dynasty Coffin Texts the city was mentioned. The transition from Kbn to Kpn took place during the 12th Dynasty. The mention of the city name is found on a manuscript of the Story of Sinuhe which dates from the late 12th Dynasty . Also in a letter from Kahun the city was mentioned. Byblos name occurs in several Egypt Middle Kingdom inscriptions one of which is on a 12th-Dynasty stele in the British Museum. The city name occurs twice in Sethe's texts. The name occurs also in the Papyrus Ebers written during the Egypt Second Intermediate period. In the Egypt New Kingdom texts Byblos occurs on the Gebel Barkal Stele of Thutmose III and on a stele of War about an officer of Amenhotep II and in an Asiatic list of Amenhotep III. The city's name is also found in the satyrical letter of the Papyrus Anastasi I of the 19th Dynasty. The story of Egyptian emissary Wenamon of the 21st Dynasty tells about his voyage to Byblos. The Amarna Letters of the 14th century BCE talk about the correspondance between Byblos and Egypt. The city is mentioned in the Onomasticon of Amenope which comes from the 22d Dynasty. In cuneiform records from Mesopotamia Byblos is mentioned first in two Drehem texts of the 3d Dynasty of Ur where it is spelled Ku-ub-la. Also from Mesopotamia Byblos is mentioned in the Mari texts of the 18th century BCE. Yantin-Ammu or Inten king of Byblos in the 18th-century BCE is mentioned in cuneiform text found in Mari. Zirmri-Lim of Mari with his son Hammurabi met Yantin-Ammu of Byblos during a military campaign . The city is mentioned in the Assyrian texts from Tiglath-pileser I down to Ashurbanipal, and a Babylonian text from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II where the city is spelled is Gublu, Gubal or Gubla. In Phoenician inscriptions written in alphabetic script the name of Byblos occurs first on the Ahiram Sarcophagus. The name of the city written Gbl found in the Onomasticon of Eusebius. The city is mentioned in a hieroglyphic on obelisk found in the Obelisk-Temple at Byblos. Byblos is mentioned also several times in the Bible.
Byblos is mentioned four times in the Bible
The area of Byblos; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.
Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
Veteran craftsmen of Byblos were on board as shipwrights to caulk your seams. All the ships of the sea and their sailors came alongside to trade for your wares.