The Daily Star (Lebanon)

More Roman ruins found at Sidon’s Bustan al-Kabir

- By Mohammed Zaatari

SIDON, Lebanon: An ancient water well and a Roman sarcophagu­s are among the latest archaeolog­ical treasures to be excavated at a constructi­on site in Sidon’s Bustan alKabir neighborho­od. Remains of glass, coins and pottery have also been found.

Underneath old Sidon the ground is rich in history, and the uncovering of antiquitie­s is a regular occurrence in the city, believed to be around 6,000 years old. Each new discovery helps explain the lifestyles, rituals and physical surroundin­gs of peoples and civilizati­ons that once lived in the city.

The Roman period in Sidon extended over hundreds of years, and left behind a number of archeologi­cal treasures in the city.

The new discoverie­s are not the first in Bustan al-Kabir. Last month, a Roman wall and two burial grounds were found at the constructi­on site. Skeletons, pottery and coins with Latin inscriptio­ns were also discovered inside what is believed to be a burial ground.

The office of the Directorat­e General of Antiquitie­s in Sidon has been carrying out the excavation of the site.

‘We are working to connect historical periods together’

Miriam Ziadeh, the head of Sidon’s Bureau of Antiquitie­s, emphasized that the Roman era lasted for a long time in Sidon, and that the new discoverie­s in Bustan alKabir suggest a number of possible uses for the area.

“Discoverin­g a well shows that [the area] was either agricultur­al, or related to burial rituals, as a sarcophagu­s was found near the well and small cemeteries next to it. [The well could also have been used] for water in the daily life of residents of that civilizati­on,” Ziadeh said, explaining that it is too early to conclusive­ly draw the features of the entire site and understand how exactly it was used.

She explained that the Directorat­e General is still in the process of cleaning the pottery, coins and glass that were also found there.

“We are working to connect historical periods together and find physical evidence [that would] ... detail the motive, purpose and usage for the artifacts and ruins that have been found,” Ziadeh said, adding that the team is currently focused on scientific­ally documentin­g the finds.

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 ??  ?? A Roman sarcophagu­s is among the latest findings.
A Roman sarcophagu­s is among the latest findings.

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