The exact location and chronology of the ancient harbours of Phoenicia's two most important city-states, Tyre and Sidon, is a longstanding debate. New geoarchaeological research reveals that the early ports actually lie beneath the modern urban centres. During the Bronze Age, Tyre and Sidon were characterised by semi-open marine coves. After the first millennium BC, our bio-sedimentological data attest to early artificial harbour infrastructure, before the later apogees of the Roman and Byzantine periods. Post-1000 AD, silting-up and coastal progradation led to burial of the ancient basins, lost until now, beneath the city centres. The outstanding preservation properties of such fine-grained sedimentary contexts, coupled with the presence of the water table, means these two Levantine harbours are exceptionally preserved. This work has far-reaching implications for our understanding of Phoenician maritime archaeology and calls for the protection of these unique cultural heritages.
- Ancient harbour
- Coastal heritage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
- Computer Science Applications