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Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon


An archaeological survey in advance of new construction in the city of Batroun, about 20 miles north of Byblos on the Mediterranean coast of northern Lebanon, has unearthed an ancient burial ground.

Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Detail of skeleton in Batroun graveyard [Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP]
Archaeologists from Lebanon’s Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA) found 17 graves with skeletal remains at the site of a planned addition to the San Stephano Resort. Initial osteological examination found the remains of men, women and children.

Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Aerial viewof the archaeological dig at a construction site in the coastal city of Batroun
[Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP]
Preliminary estimates date the graveyard to the 2nd or 3rd century AD, a period when the city prospered under Roman rule.

Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Some of skeletons unearthed at the construction site in the coastal city of Batroun 
[Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP]
These estimates are based mainly on the type of interrals: coffin burials. The wood has not survived, but the coffin nails have.

Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Some of skeletons unearthed at the construction site in the coastal city of Batroun 
[Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP]
There are few grave goods — a coin, an iron ring and two modest pieces of Greek pottery from the Hellenistic period — but nothing clearly datable to the Roman period.

Ancient cemetery unearthed in Lebanon
Lebanese archaeologists dig up a skeleton at a construction site in the coastal city of Batroun 
[Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP]
A Roman-era necropolis was found nearby during construction of the main road, so this may be a continuation of the same burial ground.

Source: L'Orient le Jour [November 03, 2016]
TANN

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