All the Foundation Jars in the temple of Baalat Gebal in Byblos were found below the pavement and are dated prior to the end of the 6th dynasty in Egypt. The famous foundation deposit consisting of a jar with geometric decoration with circles and wavy lines in red is fitted with a lid and filled with a wide variety of objects. All objects bearing hieroglyphs that it contained predate the end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom notably some carry the cartouches of Ounas, Pepi l and Pepi II. Inside the famous Pierre Monter Jar discovered during the first excavation campaign in Byblos in 1922 we find beetles, bronze pins, torcs and helixes, three cylinders seals, four vases, two in bronze and two in silver, a magnificent spearhead and about fifteen gold figurines, a gold medallion, beads of carnelian, crystal, bronze, silver and gold that filled half of it. On one of the pearls we read in hieroglyphs "Life of Ra". The rings are numerous. Many scarabs have served as rings. This jar was discovered in a blockage of coarse masonry nearby the column bases of the north entrance of the temple. Not far two other jars were found in another blockage of stones inside two niches. The jars were closed with a lid. Both have the same fine paste and an ornamentation of red lines identical to that of the famous Montet jar discovered not far from there in 1922 . These jars date to the Old Kingdom in Egypt. When the pavement of the temple was removed were found a big number of fragments of inscriptions dating to the Old Kingdom particularly to the VI Dynasty. During the last campaign of excavation in the temple three new jars were found. The two first were devoid of any decoration. They contained many cornelian pearls a few scarabs a magnificent gold aiguillette and a lot of tiny gold rings. The third jar appeared to us a little further west. The decor consists of a grid of red lines. The interior was stuffed with 150 bronze objects.
In the pro-cella of the temple of the Obelisks in Byblos two large deposit jars were uncovered located in a pit beneath a paving stone slab of the north- eastern corner of the room. It consisted of a large number of different objects for a total of 455 artifacts. The vast majority of these artifacts are represented by a corpus of faience miniature models representing human beings. Other objects belonging to this deposit include models made of stone, toilet vessels in alabaster, cuboid rods in steatite, tablets and beads, and pottery vessels of different shapes and sizes and lot of Gold foils. Most of the objects from this deposit are closely related to the material culture of Middle Kingdom Egypt. Other deposit jars located in a pit dug in the south-western corner of the temple and covered by stone slabs which formed the floor of the room. Six other deposits of objects were uncovered in the whole Obelisk Temple complex. Several objects found in these offering caches belong to or show influence from Mesopotamian. A lapis lazuli cylinder seal found near the floor represents one of the key finds dating between the Ur III phase and the early First Babylonian Dynasty, 2112–1800BCE. The bag-shaped jar in which the bronze figurines were found has a wide aperture and a flat base, similar bag-shaped jars were produced in Egypt from around the time of Amenemhat III . Some of these deposits can be defined as a "structured deposition" or in other words an "intentional" assemblages. Some archeologists advanced the idea that some of these deposits were created with the purpose of "hiding valuable objects" or safeguarding a treasure or a form of capital reserve or currency objects.
The Chalcolithic period in Byblos is also called énéolithique and spans between around 4500 to 3700 BCE. The archeological site of Byblos has 2,059 burial jars for the Chalcolitic era with 3,652 grave goods with an average of 3 objects per jar. Burials in jars was either inside or in the immediate vicinity of the dwellings. A variety of jar forms can be observed including ovoid, globular and elongated. The three types of observed decorations on the jars were incisions of a chevron type, horizontal bands, parallel line incisions arranged in a “herring-bone” motif, relief decoration such as ropes. Seals impressions with signs and animal figures appeared on the handles or shoulders of some jars. A rich variety of artifacts was discovered in these jars. The grave artifacts included ceramics, metals, stone objects, lithic objects, and art objects and ornaments objects. The ceramic shapes include several pots, bowls, jugs, cups, plates, kraters, twin jugs and tripod vessels . Objects made of limestone or basalt were found. Stone artifacts included cups, mace heads, goblets, bowls. Found, weapons made of flint and objects in obsidian and ivory. Metals included shaped beads, rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, daggers and fishing hooks, those last two were mainly maid in copper. The ornamentation was predominantly made of silver, gold artifacts were rare. Art objects include some small sculptures, figurines made of stone or ivory, beads, amulets, necklaces with a lot made in carnelian. The glyptics consisted of several clay cylinders and stone or ivory seals.
Noticeable objects found outside the temples and the tombs in Byblos, fragment of a bas-relief from the time of Thoutmes III in local limestone with the cartouche of Thoutmes III. A fragment of an Egyptian stele containing magic texts in limestone. A cubic-shaped fragment covered on three faces with columns of hieroglyphs. A fragment of a basalt statuette found, against the tower of the Crusaders. A large white quartz beetle found around the temple of Baalat Gebal. A faience beetle bearing on the reverse the first name and an epithet of Ramses II. A faience scarab. Eight flint blades pointed at one end, rounded at the other. A flint saw. Three flint scrapers . A terracotta head. A Terracotta statuette of Astarte. A terracotta monkey found near the Baalat Gebal Temple. A double-edged bronze hatchet. An ivory needle with the decoration consisting of a hatching and parallel circles found between tomb V and the colonnade. A stone altar bearing a Phoenician inscription.
The design of artifacts are produced by ancient people as they lived according to the traditions and the rules that governed these ancient societies and the economic and cultural conditions that prevailed at these times. Art history permits the interpretation of the influence of one historical artistic style or thoughts or actions of one civilization upon another.
The first vitreous materials were glazed stone like quartz, body coated with a glaze that was colored blue by the addition of copper. Small glazed objects such as beads, scarabs and seals were first produced in the Near East and Egypt during the fourth millennium BCE. The discovery of the process for producing a blue glaze most probably was when melted copper colored melted sand. It was not until about 1500 BCE that significant quantities of glass began to be produced. The range of colorants used in both faience and glass included copper for blue, cobalt for dark blue, iron for pale yellow or green, manganese for purple, calcium antimonate for white, lead antimonate for yellow. The production of glass vessels that were formed round a clay mold was a process that was more akin to metalworking and was influenced by Mesopotamia early 2nd millennium BCE. Glass was a composite material which could have been be remelted and reused.
The earliest known use of metal seems to have been in south eastern Anatolia at the late eighth millennium BCE where a native copper was produced. The earliest metal to have been smelted from its ores was probably lead. Smelted copper was probably first produced in the Near East during the fifth millennium BCE, during the fourth millennium copper alloys start to be produced. Artefacts would have been to melt the copper or its alloy in a crucible and then pour the molten metal into a mold which could be either open or closed. The mold would have been made from clay, stone, or even metal itself. The casted metal would've been worked to its final shape by of hammering.
TORQUES: The united torques are either isolated or united in such a way as to form composite necklaces. Bronze necklaces can have rolled ends. These torques can be also called Circles. Most of the torques or bracelets and armillas had their extremities twisted or with spiral ends.
SPIRALS: Spirals of bronze look like coil springs. The bronze spirals forming a tube are found in considerable quantity and can be with rolled edges. Some tubes can be engraved and with a variety of buttons.
BELTS: Bronze belts were made of thin plate of bronze sometimes rolled at the extremities. The two edges of which can be underlined by a band of repulse grains or lines of points bordering the belt. Bronze belts are numerous and can have rolled hems. or a twisted extremity or a spiral end.
PINS: The pins look like the ones of the Cypriot style. Most of the bronze pins are pierced below the head about one third of its length. These pins can be large or short. These bronze Byblos pins can be engraved in their bulging area or decorated.
SWORDS AND DAGGERS: The bronze axes can have raised edges. The bronze swords have a smooth silk surface with their terminal pallets fixed by rivets to a solid handle. The swords can be casted in a mould and the handle inserted in the molten bronze. These swords or daggers can have median notches and have silk blades. A crescent in relief sometimes recalls the notch of the solid handles.
Bronzes in Byblos are manufactured on the spot or imported with a quantity of objects dating back to the first dynasties. The oldest belonged to the Middle Kingdom. Most of them correspond approximately at the twelfth dynasty and thirteen dynasty period in Egypt and around between 2000 and 1700 BC.
They also remind of the collections found in the Caucasus and Armenia especially the united torques forming a necklace. The spirals crafts and other examples seems to have been transmitted from age to age.
The necklaces and pins found at Byblos are a indirect witnesses of the metal trade between the country they come from and Phoenicia, Egypt. the Mediterranean and Europe. This trade had begun very early.
Objects and artifacts listed here some are found in many copies and variations. This list is not completely exhaustive but is a good representation of what is found during seven excavation campaigns by Pierre Montet and Maurice Dunand from 1921 to 1926:
• vase in obsidian, set with gold
• gray stone vase in the name of Amenemhat
• silver teapot vases
• several vases of alabaster, one of them is of globular form, others more elongated
• vase cut in the body of a fish
• Cup with handles in two heads of cow and a plate shape of a bird's head
• jug in yellowish earth, the paunch of which is decorated with two cups of lotus of small features
• lustrous black earth jug divided into alternately smooth and engraved segments
• large and small jugs, pinched rim in front of the handle
• plates among unpublished shapes
• votive axes
• lances and bronze dagger blades
• small cup in earth and barely cooked
• vase of Ounas
• vase carved in a square block with carved facades representing a building, Pepi I
• vase of Pepi
• vase of obsidian
• silver containers
• cup with handle
• vase in the shape of a bell
• bowls and plates of bronze
• cylindrical vases
• jars with two handles, wide belly, narrow neck and pointed bottom, jars with wide mouth and rounded bottom
• cones in pottery painted, with petals and sepals of a lotus, pots with broad belly and flat bottom, pot with two handles furrowed from top to bottom by red stripes, pottery with collar and equipped with one or two handles
• vase carved in the body of a cynocephalic female
• alabaster vases
• elongated ovoid vases, a few flat bottom
• goblets elongated with flat rims
• vases and utensils in the shape of antelope with the four tied legs
• statuette of monkey
• kettle decorated with paintings of animals and characters
• statue of a woman, funerary statuette, statuettes of figures kneeling, statuette of child carrying the
• pottery of birds heads
• Small bronze animals
• tiny figurines of archaic style
• Silhouette of a bird in metal
• duck raising his head
• cylinder of thinite period
• acylinder with a hieroglyphic legend
• small cylinder between two discs with composition
• set of obsidian, set with gold
• large silver mirror with gold trim
• sandals of silver
• beautiful harps
• silver knife
• table and 4-foot bronze tables (very small)
• small nail and bundle of bound gold threads
• big bronze keys
• votive stone votive apses
• small pyramidion with steps
• discs made of alabaster or black breccia raised on a hollow support
• very thin medals
• tight barrel with ropes
• cylindrical cases in spiral rod
• votive objects
• cup of lotus
• round case decorated with two heads of women
• sistrum in alabaster
• pectoral in gold and stones calibrated with its chain in the form of shell
• pectoral in gold with threads of pearls
• bronze statuettes lined with extremely thin golden leaves (Byblos figurines)
• ivory objects, amulets cut out of ivory plates, Osirian fetishes, five-petalled lotus flowers, lotiforme column, a bee, a lion, a seated cynocephalus, head of a cynocephalus, five prisoners kneeling , royal crowns placed on a basket, votive objects, a swallow
• bracelet with threads of pearls mounted on two metal strips
• bracelet with gold leaf terminated by two threads that go through the two holes of the amethyst
• bracelet with ornamentation in thyste and amethyst scarab
• bracelet fashioned so as to resemble a rope
• bracelet with several rows of pearls
• gold rings with amethyst
• vessel of bronze decorated with characters
• shards with combed decoration
• head of crystal serpent
• pendant in serpentine
• lamps and a small bronze altar
• torques in silver
• scarab in crystal
• scarabs of the Hyksos type
• small vase in breach
• baked clay masks
• bull or cow of bronze clad in gold
• small bronzes, animals, axes, necklaces, pins, torques and helikes, belts, belts, spirals in the form of a springs
• amethyst perls, carnelian perls, alabaster perls, finely chiselled gold perls, crystal perls, pale blue earthenware perls
Special objects found in the royal tombs:
The following are scenes represented on artifacts from Byblos:
- Man with a band covers on his forehead.
- A standing woman wearing a narrow dress.
- Griffon in front of a plant or in the mountains.
- A falcon spreads its wings.
- A lotus bud between two spirals.
- A feline in the attitude of walking.
- A lying or standing or walking lion or a lioness.
- A flower with six petals in the shape of a calyx.
- A monkey sitting on top of a cylinder.
- Birds fitted on their necks.
- Chariot drawn by two horses.
- A seated cynocephalus.
- Sphinx or winged Sphinx or Sphinx with a female or a man head.
- A bull flapping its sides with its tail.
- A bull and a goddess and a square table with four legs and a vase.
- An antelope, probably an Oryx, attacked by a griffin.
- A goddess wears a vulture and a disk surrounded by the horns on her head.
- A bull grappling with a lion and a griffin.
- Uraeus which decorates the king's forehead.
- The hair of a woman is divided into two large braids which fall down in front and end in a curl, on the breasts.
- Women carry baskets on their heads.
- Women hairstyle is the large wig surmounted by the citef tiara, the two straight feathers above the disc and the ram's horns.
- God with the head of a ram with horns around a solar disk.
- Confronted goats.
- Falcon with or without opening its wings and holding in its talons rings or plants.
- Heads of ox and birds.
- Monkey-shaped vases.
- A bull attacked by a griffin and a lion.
- Women having torn their dress to the waist dressed like the mourners the dress completely covers the shoulders and chest.
- A monkey sitting on top of a cylinder.
Five royal inscriptions from Byblos date from the tenth century and are written in Phoenician. Names of Abibaal and Elibaal of Byblos are written on Egyptian statues of Shoshenq I and Osorkon I. One dedicatory inscription of Shipitbaal of Byblos refer to the genealogy of the king. The genealogy in Shipitbaal inscription includes two generations listing his father Elibaal and grandfather Yahumilk. Each of the inscriptions is dedicated to the goddess Lady of Byblos. Another royal inscription that involves curses are on king Ahiram sarcophagus of Byblos.
Found in Byblos six scarabs bearing names and titles of rulers of Byblos written in Egyptian hieroglyphs each inscribed with the title “Governor of Byblos” followed by a Phoenician name. The phrasing using is the same as used for Egyptian officials as well as the back type used in the 13th Dynasty in Egypt and late Middle Kingdom royal-name scarabs. The phrase on this scarab evokes Hathor Lady of Byblos. The back of the scarabs is decorated with apotropaic signs and symbols, and a human face replacing the beetle’s head. These rulers enclosed their names in cartouches. The function of private-name scarabs was probably amuletic rather than administrative. One was an amethyst private-name scarab.
The cylinder seal from Byblos dating from the early Sixth Dynasty possibly around 2350 BCE is well designed. The cylinder is the main sealing instrument in the Old Kingdom in Egypt. The sequence of the signs in hieroglyphs reads: "Beloved of Si-hathor, the Sun of foreign land(s), (of) Hathor (and of) Khaitaw, Rum's son, ruler of the land of Byblos, Hasrurum, given life forever. Beloved is the King of Byblos. The tilted hieroglyph of the seated goddess connects with the bird-sign, placed to its left. The mention of the goddess with the signs written beneath it occupying the entire right section of the legend with bird-sign between the hieroglyphs.