Descubren en Sidón (Líbano) el ritual funerario de los cananeos

Un equipo de arqueólogos libaneses y del Museo Británico de Londres ha descubierto en el Líbano el ritual funerario de los cananeos, gracias a las excavaciones efectuadas en un yacimiento cercano a la ciudad de Sidón, en el sur del país.

Vía: EFE | La Opinión de Málaga.es, 4 de septiembre de 2008

En declaraciones al diario "Daily Star",difundidas hoy, la jefa del equipo, Claude Dumet Serhal, señaló que "por primera vez, se ha descubierto el modo en que se enterraba a los muertos durante el período cananeo, en el 3000 a.C., así como el ceremonial que acompañaba a los ritos religiosos".

"Nuestros descubrimientos incluyen ocho salas y 25 almacenes que contienen cerámica y trigo quemado. Pero cuál fue nuestra sorpresa al descubrir material fundido de bronce que indica que dicha Edad (de bronce) existía antes del periodo cananeo", explicó.

Los arqueólogos han hallado 92 tumbas que datan del 2000 a.C., con niños y jóvenes enterrados en jarras, mientras que también hay guerreros inhumados con sus lanzas, cuchillos y flechas.

Además, "descubrimos un viejo horno conocido como 'Tannur' y una pieza de madera con la que molían los cereales -siguió Dumet. Asimismo, hornos que contenían huesos de cabras, pájaros y pescados, que representan las ofrendas a sus muertos".

La experta añadió que otros hallazgos encontrados en el sitio arqueológico son cinco salas donde se celebraban rituales religiosos, además de 300 piezas de terracota y 600 lámparas de la época cananea.

Para la arqueóloga, "Sidón es una extraordinaria ciudad arqueológica, donde la economía y la religión estaban estrechamente vinculadas".

Los trabajos se han desarrollado a lo largo de dos meses cerca de la fortaleza de esa ciudad y han permitido demostrar la existencia de intercambios comerciales entre Sidón, Egipto y Grecia, gracias al descubrimiento de utensilios con inscripciones jeroglíficas, la firma del faraón Tausarat y de copas griegas.

Los cananeos fueron los pueblos semitas que habitaron Palestina, el Líbano, Siria y Jordania en el III milenio a.C. Su nombre viene de Canaan, primogénito de Cam, hijo de Noe.



(2) Archaeologists shed light on ancient Canaanite burial rituals

Team wraps up this year's dig in Sidon after uncovering several buildings, artifacts and graves

By Mohammed Zaatari, Daily Star staff, Thursday, September 04, 2008

SIDON: The British Museum's excavation team in Sidon on Wednesday declared the end of its mission for 2008 at the "Freres" excavation site near the southern port city's fortress.

"Sidon is a remarkable archaeological city where we have found that economics and religion are closely related," archaeology expert and field supervisor Claude Doumet Serhal told The Daily Star. "And for the first time, we have discovered ways of burying the dead during the Canaanite period i.e. 3, 0000 years B.C. and the accompanying ceremonial religious rituals."

According to Serhal, excavation works have lasted more than two months this year. "We have expanded our work for a better understanding of the historic era that goes back to 3,000 years B.C.," she added.

Serhal expressed her gratitude to the General Directorate of Antiquities and Sidon's archaeology office for providing "all what had been necessary for the team to accomplish its mission successfully."

"Our discoveries included eight rooms and 25 warehouses containing pottery and burnt wheat," she said.

"But what surprised us," she added, "was the discovery of melted bronze material which indicated that the old Bronze Age existed before the Canaanite period."

Serhal also said her team had unearthed 92 graves where children and teenagers were found buried in jars, in addition to warriors along with their spears, knives and arrows that dated to 2,000 years B.C.

"We have also discovered the old oven known as 'Tannour' and a pestle to grind cereals," she added. "Some of the ovens discovered contained bones of goats, birds and fish representing the gifts that had been offered for the dead at the time.

"The Freres site also included a four-meter-wide building of which we have discovered the ruins of five rooms so far, which were also related to the religious rituals of that period. Some 300 broken earthen plates and 600 lamps of the Canaanite period were also unearthed," she said.

According to Serhal, the excavation team could also prove the existence of commercial exchange between old Sidon, Egypt and Greece through the discovery of utensils with hieroglyphic inscription and the signature of Pharaoh Taousarat in addition to some Greek cups.

The British team has been working in Sidon for 10 years in coordination with the General Directorate of Antiquities and Sidon's archaeology office, the British Old House Institution, the Issam Fares Foundation, the National Cement Company of Sabaa, the Hariri Foundation, Sidon's school network and Byblos Bank.


(3) 4,000-year-old Canaanite warrior found in Sidon dig

By Mohammed Zaatari, Daily Star staff, Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SIDON: The British Museum's excavation team in Sidon have recently unearthed a new grave containing human skeletal remains belonging to a Canaanite warrior, archeology expert and field supervisor Claude Doumet Serhal told The Daily Star on Monday. According to Serhal, the delegation made the discovery at the "Freres" excavation site near Sidon's crusader castle.

"This is the 77th grave that we have discovered at this site since our digging activities has started ten years ago with Lebanese-British financing," she said.
According to Serhal, the remains go back to 2000 B.C., with a British archeologist saying the warrior had been buried at the age of 15 to 20 along with a spear and two stamps.

"We have discovered earlier this year a jar also belonging to the Canaanite period i.e. to 2,000 years B.C. where a skeleton for a newborn baby had been found," she added.

The archeologist said that Freres "is the first excavation site in old Sidon that is located on a land owned by the General Directorate of Antiquities."

"We can say that through the discoveries we have been making at this site, we will be able to draw a graph showing the history of this ancient Mediterranean merchant city since 3000 BC," she added.

Serhal said the British delegation would continue its work until the first of September "when we will announce the discoveries we have made."

"Among the institutions that have taken in charge the financing of our project, are the British Old House Institution, the Issam Fares Foundation, the National Cement Company, the Hariri Foundation and Sidon's school network in addition to Byblos Bank," she said.

Serhal had described Sidon as one of the most important metropolises of the Near East from the earliest of times.

"It is mentioned 38 times in the Old Testament and appears in Genesis as the oldest Canaanite city, 'the firstborn of Canaan,'" she said.

During those 10 years ago of excavation the discoveries were continuous: tombs and burial jars for children and adults, jugs, pieces of pottery with Phoenician inscription, bronze weapons for warriors in addition to jewelry.

"Last year, for example, we found tons of wheat going back to 3000 BC," Serhal added.

The British Museum launched earlier this year an archaeological documentary entitled "Sidon 5,000 years" with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the ancient history of the southern port city.

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