BERYTUS - ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES
From BERYTUS Vol. XXXIX, 1991


A TOPHET IN TYRE ?

HELGA SEEDEN

ABSTRACT

The archaeological material presented below was discovered in Tyre, rescued and offered to the Department of Antiquities of Lebanon in June 1991. It consists of Phoenician cinerary urns containing ashes, very badly preserved bones and votive gifts, offering jars and stelae of local beach-rock bearing Phoenician inscriptions and / or symbolic motifs. Funerary and votive vessels were found together with the stelae within a relatively restricted plot of land located at the edge of the Department of Antiquities' excavation site on the mainland and just inside a present-day camp quarter of small houses. The archaeological and historical significance of this discovery made an immediate rescue action imperative in order to prevent its dispersal on the antiquities market. This public salvage project resulted in the first postwar retrieval of national archaeological heritage material by the Department of Antiquities of Lebanon. The National Museum collection is now on view in a popular, context reconstruction exhibition at the Bank of Lebanon in Beirut, until it can be returned either to the National Museum or the regional museum of Tyre.

 

Fig. 1: Burial jar (no. 9) and offering jug (no. 10)

Fig. 2: Offering jugs (nos. 14, 9 and 11)

Fig. 3: Burial jar (no. 7) and jugs (nos. 19 and 18)

Fig. 4: Offering jugs (nos. 12, 16, 17 and 14)

Fig. 5: Stele (S5) and burial jar (no. 8)

Fig. 6: Stele (S6) and jars (nos. 18 and 19)

Fig. 7: Stele (S12), burial jar (no. 7) and jug (no. 20)

Fig. 8: Burial jar (no. 3), covered by bowl (no. 22), jugs (nos. 12, 13, 15), scarabs and amulets, and the tortoise 'Tanit'

Fig. 9: Exhibition at the Rifbank. Summer 1991

Fig. 10: Exhibition detail

Fig. 11: Exhibition opening, June 23, 1991, the key for the collection is being handed over to the Department of Antiquities.

Fig. 12: Exhibition planners, sponsors and participants at the Rifbank opening.

Fig. 13: Tyre's Roman triumphal arch and today's urban growth (looking towards the island)

Fig. 14: Tyre's Roman-Byzantine period necropolis and empty regional museum

Fig. 15: Department of Antiquities employees plant trees and flowers around their museum

Fig. 16: The locked gates of the still empty museum

Fig. 17: Site map

Fig. 18: Two further stelae, an anchor and six more cinerary urns

Fig. 19: An anchor 'recycled' as a votive or funerary stele, broken by the excavators

Fig. 20: Detail of symbol on the anchor

Fig. 21: Detail of Fig. 18

Fig. 22: Detail of Fig. 18, funerary jar and stele

Fig. 23: Three further inscribed stelae

Fig. 24: Inscribed half of a stele cut off with a rock saw

1. The story of a discovery and an exhibition (figs. 1-24)

Towards the end of 1990, while the war was still raging in Beirut, some people in Tyre dug up unusual rocks bearing symbols, letters, or both, together with large pottery jars and attractive jugs and bowls. The bowls were found closing the mouths of jars. After the first lot had been discovered inside a living quarter, the excavations soon extended into clandestine digs in adjacent plots, sinking irregular shafts into the ground. While the pickaxes did not so easily break the stones (but see fig. 19), the pottery was less resistant and quite a few pieces were hopelessly broken. Much later, vegetable vendors with permanent stalls on the road overlooking the site, were still offering mutilated bodies of Phoenician so-called 'beer jugs' and other vessel fragments with handles, spouts and necks missing, to interested customers. Doubtless these were remnants discarded by the original diggers who only stopped for complete pieces. The minds of these men were on 'treasure', and so their immediate thought was to empty the large heavy jars. These were buried in and filled with marine deposits, as the site was located on the beach sands of the mainland (see map, fig. 17), where the original coastline had once jutted out towards the island of Tyre (Biaki 1989:96, pl. 13). It was possibly close to this spot - but 2322 years earlier - that Alexander's engineers began building their military note to conquer the turreted island city (see Stewart 1989).

The modern Tyrians working near that site were perfectly innocent of any knowledge concerning the importance of this or any other historical events and activities which had impregnated the soil under their hands. The stones they brought up were of Tyrian beach-rock, in various stages of cementation, mother rock formations are not far away. The diggers removed the stones and set to impatiently emptying the jars, because they observed that if left to dry out after coming up from their moist burial context, the contents solidified into concrete which could no longer be broken up by any manual means, except at the expense of the pots themselves. Even when emptied while still damp, the jars frequently cracked or disintegrated. The salty humidity of the marine environment during millennia of burial had leached the original resistance of the potters' product. In fact, picking up one of the storage jars by its large handles often resulted in leaving just a handle in your hand. The men were quick to realize this, and so proceeded at once to empty out the contents, either on site or more frequently at home. They found that the jars contained much sand with pebbles of various sizes, small shells and snails mixed with masses of white ash and a quantity of mostly white bone fragments (see below, pp. 79ff, and catalogue figs. 61-73). These contents of bone and ash filled most jars up to their shoulders, with the admixture of sand, pebbles and shells getting heavier towards the top part. The men quickly spotted and removed any small finds, such as beads, scarabs and the like (see cat. figs. 48-58, and Ward, below: 89-99, figs. 1-12), into their pockets - wrapped in tissue paper. One was later to report that he had found a gold earring - a plausible story. However, they were puzzled by the bones. Of course these were useless to the men, but they were troubled because bones mean dead life, and bones in jars mean that someone had once buried these remains with the intention to preserve them from dispersal. The men's apprehension grew when they came up with jar after jar with the same contents. Finally one of them thought of collecting the assorted bones in a plastic bag and reburying them elsewhere - to appease his own conscience or that of the disturbed unknown dead?

Meanwhile, in Beirut, a young Tyrian student of archaeology at the American University of Beirut, endowed with a passionate interest in his city's past, was attending classes in Phoenician archaeology. There he saw screen projections of the tophets at Carthage and Sardinia. Very well acquainted with the area of Tyre and having done his own surveys of sites, Ali Badawi had come across many emptied tombs in the Tyrian countryside, had seen bulldozer holes for building and digging activities all over the old and new archaeological sites which pockmark the town- and landscape of Tyre. He had collected samples of potsherds and taken countless photographs of such sites in order to be able to find out more about them. He was amazed when he came across the first strange stones with the associated jars and jugs. He returned to Beirut with a big question in his mind, and reported to his teachers: "I think there is a tophet at Tyre!"

In January 1991, the present author accompanied Amelie Beyhum, an AUB archaeology graduate and Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, to Tyre in order to obtain some sherds for archaeometric analysis from Patricia Maynor Bikai's soundings on the island settlement (1978). Some of Bikai's excavated material is stored to this day in a small dig house located between the two main island excavation areas, the large southern one adjacent to the ancient 'Egyptian harbour', and the smaller cathedral site which adjoins the remaining delapidated houses of old Tyre (see fig. 17, map: sites 1 & 2). It must be said to the credit of the guards of the Department of Antiquities still working at the site - for a ludicrous salary - that they did not allow us access to the storerooms, despite our assurances that our interest was purely scientific. The irony in the sequence of events is stunning to say the least. Important archaeological discoveries are constantly being made in Lebanon, valuable material leaves the country to reappear in antiquities, shops in Paris, or auctions in Switzerland (see Fisk, below: 243-252), for example, or to enter private and even public museum collections abroad. Most of this incalculable loss of Lebanon's cultural heritage passes undetected and unchallenged. But the quest for access to a small sample of potsherds for scientific analysis - miraculously surviving on a dormant official excavation site - encounters the kind of resistance which should be put up against the removal of important clandestinely excavated heritage material from the country.

Displeased with our vain attempt but nevertheless impressed with the guard's proper conduct, we went to inquire about excavated pottery on the local market, and were soon in front of an impressive collection of complete Tyrian red slip ware amphoras and various jugs (figs. 1-4), and - the first two painted burial jars (catalogue figs. 3-6), with a whole layer of small bones cemented to the bottom of one of them (see below: fig. 68). Stone stelae were stored in a small storeroom in the same building. This trip was immediately followed by a second with the epigraphist Helen Sader, to inspect the stelae which had been retrieved in connection with the pottery. The stelae turned out to be a versatile lot of relatively unattractive local rock including a perforated anchor slab broken into two (fig. 19). A sculpted face on one of the stelae raised suspicion concerning its authenticity, as it was very simply and quite crudely modelled and yet of a haunting expression (fig. 6). Finding a very close parallel in Ferron (1975: pls. 137, 149), did not necessarily alleviate our suspicions. The inscriptions on some of the stelae contained Phoenician divine names, and the symbols on others had parallels from elsewhere in the Phoenician world (figs. 5, 7; and see Sader, below: 101-126).

There was no doubt that the men from Tyre had made a discovery the importance of which Ali Badawi alone had been able to fathom. What was to be done? Early in 1991, the Lebanese Armed Forces had not yet been deployed as far south as Tyre. How were we to prevent the material reaching the local and then the international antique dealers' mafia, which would have meant the dispersal of the finds into private and public collections abroad? Concerned friends in Beirut offered instant support. A decision had to be taken fast. Regrettably, a finite representative choice of artifacts had to be made, since the number of stelae and associated pottery was too large to be acquired as a lot. We decided that the discovery ought to be saved in Lebanon; and, more importantly perhaps, that it could serve as a model for attracting public awareness to the plight of the country's cultural heritage, only if the public had access to the information value of the find. Accordingly, we simultaneously began to raise funds for the acquisition of the representative selection, and the author started work on a model reconstruction exhibition of these artifacts in their plausible original environment. In May, Helen Sader introduced the historical and archaeological background information to a crowded audience at a public lecture given at the Museum of the American University of Beirut, and entitled "Phoenician child sacrifice: fact or fiction?" The same lecture was repeated in Arabic to a local audience at Tyre on July 13, 1991. A very lively discussion on the subject and the salvage of Lebanon's cultural heritage ensued, vindicating our conviction of the public's genuine concern about this issue.

To be saved in Lebanon, the collection had to be offered to the Lebanese Department of Antiquities, its legal owner (Règlement sur les Antiquités 1935:5) From there on, ideal visions and real constrictions in Lebanon today clashed in the most frustrating and nerve-wracking tug-of-war between the archaeologists assisted by their sponsors, and the administrative bureaucracy, creating rather perverse and sometimes hilarious situations. Rescuers of Lebanese archaeological material ended up by suffering from nightmares about imprisonment for illegal trafficking, while whole shiploads of antiquities from Lebanon continued to reach European ports unhampered (Fisk, below: 243-52). Foreign professional archaeologists tarried in the bathroom of their Lebanese colleagues, confronted by Phoenician inscribed stelae in the bathtub! To cut a long, exciting but tiresome story short, funds were raised.* The main sponsor suggested mounting the exhibition at a bank located close to the long-divided centre of Beirut, accessible to both major parts of the city. A perfectly suitable glass office at the bank was transformed to offer the public a glimpse into the 'first Phoenician child cemetery at Tyre' ever to be recreated (figs. 9-10). A team of architects, principally the AUB graduates Yaser Abun Nasr and Rula Katkhouda, and students of archaeology from the American University of Beirut, assisted by bank employees, cooperated enthusiastically in mounting the exhibition, which involved dragging concrete blocks and sand bags across the polished stone floor of the bank's main hall. Mustapha Haidar with members of the Green Line Association for the Conservation of the Natural and Cultural Environment founded in 1991 at AUB, contributed plants of Tyre's living green environment and a baby tortoise for the occasion. After making a relatively quick round through the exhibition, the small animal stood still under the stele bearing the name of the Phoenician goddess, and at once everyone agreed to call the tortoise Tanit (fig. 8). This Tanit was to win the heart of many smaller visitors to the exhibition. The day of the opening, on June 20, 1991, the Tanit-shaped holder and key to the collection was handed over to the Acting Director of Antiquities of Lebanon, Dr. Camille Asmar (figs. 11-12). The Bank Director, Dr. Willy Rellecke, appropriately reminded the public present, "Lebanese do not usually visit museums, as there are hardly any left in functioning order in the country, but every Lebanese goes to the bank, ergo the most likely place to introduce the Lebanese public to their endangered heritage is a bank."

The exhibition at the Rifbank drew nearly 2500 visitors during the summer months. By September the gracious cooperation of the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon, Sheikh Michel Khoury, had provided an appropriate glass case for moving the exhibition to its new abode. Without the invaluable efforts of Miss Suzy Hakimian, in charge of the Museum Service at the Lebanese Department of Antiquities, all through the spring and summer of 1991 and her unflagging labour during the actual moving of the collection from the Rifbank to the Bank of Lebanon, the exhibition could hardly have been ready by September 28, 1991, in its new setting. It will continue to stay open there, until the Beirut National Museum or the regional museum at Tyre can open their gates to exhibit the country's archaeological heritage to the public. One of the popular slogans used at the exhibition, was: "A Lebanese collection of antiquities from Tyre without museum space faces a ready but empty museum at Tyre without a collection" (figs. 13-16).

Public reactions to the exhibition were broad-based and continue to come in from all sides. The particular regret of some Beiruti visitors, concerning the absence of 'treasure', namely gold and silver jewelry or masterpieces of sculpture, simply mirrored, in a different social milieu, the original diggers' preferences, and hence the appalling general lack of realistic information on the true value of archaeological information about the past and its people. There is an urgent need for public information campaigns, beginning at schools, to rectify the lopsided collector's view of the 'past and its relics' (cf. above: 9f., UNESCO recommendations; and Hakimian, below: 253-61).

While we were occupied with the public interest of the discovery in Lebanon, the more purely scientific aspects had not been neglected. Already in spring we requested and received an area survey permit from the Department of Antiquities, in order to locate the exact site of the clandestine excavation pits. Once retrieved, the survey was to be followed by a rescue operation on site. The survey accomplished its aim in the summer of 1991. The site of the probable Tyrian tophet is located in the area of the Roman/Byzantine period cemeteries ( = earlier Department of Antiquities excavations; see fig. 17, site 3; cf. also Salame-Sarkis 1988). The rescue test is therefore planned to be executed within the terrain belonging to the Department of Antiquities and at a spot situated close to the regional museum of Tyre (see figs. 13-16 and 17, map). Funds for the survey and sounding have been granted by the American University of Beirut Research Board. The permit to proceed with this essential test excavation, requested on August 19,1991, is still pending. Until July 1992, the Department of Antiquities and the Lebanese government had not granted or renewed any excavation permit whether local or foreign.

By contrast, the Lebanese Armed Forces have meanwhile been deployed in parts of southern Lebanon, including Tyre, and an official army post is now stationed in front of the site, which reduces the possibility of clandestine excavations resuming openly. This fact does not diminish the need to test the site by scientific excavation.

During our survey, we were able to photograph further material from the site (figs. 18-24). All jars contained traces of the typical sandy bone and ash concretions, some of the stelae were inscribed, one was the anchor (see above: 43), decorated with the motif of a water-bird (?), although the two upright lines on top are at first sight suggestive of masts (figs. 18-20).

The Lebanese government having newly withdrawn all antique dealers' licences and officially forbidden all trade of antiquities, some arrests have been made and several clandestine lots have been confiscated in different parts of the country. News about these events affected the small-scale and occasional vendors much more than the 'professionals'. Some people began to fear the consequences of the recent decrees, and storing cumbersome stone stelae with diminishing chances of being able to transport them secretly became a bother. In an attempt to reduce these bulky artifacts, some resorted to cutting them up with a rock saw, preserving only off with a rock saw the inscriptions intact. Seeing thus mutilated Phoenician stelae was a shock indeed (fig. 24). We were told that a large number of such sawn stelae were being offered for sale.

Altogether the site delivered perhaps two hundred stelae, of which we were able to see a little more than half. The number of cinerary jars, offering jugs and votive amulets (for examples from this collection, see below, figs. 1-58, and Ward below: figs. 1-12) extracted from the robber trenches cannot even be approximated. The National Museum Collection rescued from the market and presented here comprises sixty artifacts altogether (see subsequent catalogues). It can only be hoped that the importance of the site for Phoenician archaeology in general and, in this case, the preservation of Tyrian cultural heritage in particular, will be realized on a wider international scale, so that some of the most urgent appropriate measures already envisaged here may actually be applied.

2. Phoenician cinerary urns, offering jars and votive gifts from Tyre (catalogue figs. 1-59)

The archaeological material we were able to save in the spring of 1991 originated in the clandestine excavations near the ancient cemeteries of Tyre (fig. 17, area 3). Recent and Byzantine-Roman period sherds can be collected from the surface of the looted plot, similar to what is found on the surface of the unexcavated and undisturbed portions of the adjacent cemetery site. However, in the area of the robber pits, the later surface material is mixed with recognizable Iron Age sherds. These are absent from the neighbouring Department of Antiquities' excavation area. The diggers' hasty desire for quantity and work in the narrow and deep robber shafts inevitably produced much breakage. The neck- and handle-less 'torsos' of jugs in the hands of the road-side vegetable vendors (see above: 39) further indicate how much damage was done during the clandestine digs. The vendors hold nothing but Iron Age mutilated pottery, vessels the diggers were likely to have discarded because they were badly damaged. No other context information is as yet available concerning the archaeological material from this clandestine excavation site.

Presented below are the sixty artifacts rescued and restored to the National Museum. They are accessible to the public, to students of archaeology, school classes and specialists alike in the permanent exhibition at the Bank of Lebanon in Beirut. Here photographs, detailed drawings and ceramic information will be provided in order to enable the reader to visualize and identify the artifacts. In the absence of any stratigraphical context information, this material is useless for internal dating purposes. However, it has close parallels from regular excavations in the territory of Phoenicia proper: at Tyre (Bikai 1978; Doumet 1982), Khaldeh (Saidah 1966), Sarafand (Pritchard 1975, 1988; Anderson 1988; Khalifeh 1988), Saida and in its area (Saidah 1977 and unpubl. PhD dissertation), and at other sites in southern Lebanon (Chapman 1972; Culican 1982;) and northern Galilee (Prausnitz 1982; Mazar 1990), as well as in Cyprus (Bikai 1987) and western Phoenicia (Bartoloni 1983; Buchner 1982; Del Olmo Lete & Aubet eds. 1986).

Moreover, the jars, jugs and bowl of this collection are well known ceramic types which makes an exhaustive list of comparative examples unnecessary. Only properly excavated parallel pieces from the Phoenician homeland and possessing stratified or other reliable context information will be cited in this presentation. It would be useless to compare clandestinely excavated pots with others also lacking exact provenance descriptions. More complete ceramic information will have to await the results of scientific excavation at the Tyrian cemetery site.

The artifacts appear in the catalogue in order of function and size: from cineray urns to offering jugs, and finally small votive offerings. Two ceramic vessels, a bowl (no. TT 91.22, figs. 43-44) and a large storage jar (no. TT 91.23, figs. 45-46) predate the Iron Age and are therefore presented at the end of the series, although they have been reported to come from the tophet site as well. Like all other cinerary urns, the large storage jar also contained small quantities of splinters of organic matter mixed with sand and cemented to its inside walls. Despite its greater age we have no reason to believe that this jar was not of the same provenance. The bowl was probably used to cover one of the cinerary urns.

The vessel descriptions include: measurements in centimetres (Ht = height; D = diameter of rim or body max.; Th = wall thickness); firing hardness ( = H) of ware according to Mohs' scale; ware texture recording non material features (i.e.voids, pores, cracks) and visible grain inclusions (lime, sand, grog) as a relative percentage of all textural elements from 1 to 50%, measured according to the Wentworth-Lane classification system for 'sand' sizes: very small (1/16-1/8cm), small (1/8-1/4cm), medium (1/4-1/2cm), large (1/2-1cm), and very large (1-2cm); colour according to the Munsell Soil Color Charts (1975 ed.); surface ( = S) treatment and decoration; and present state of preservation ( = P). Information on associated finds is added wherever available.

 

The cinerary urns (figs. 1-18)

One jar (no.TT 91.1, figs. 1-2) was obtained directly from the site and hence still wet and full with its original contents, several others (nos.TT 91.2, 4, 6 & 7) were dry and partially filled, having been emptied by the men who dug them up. However, all urns contained remnants of a mixture of ash, small bone fragments and sand cemented to their inside walls, most thickly to their bases and shoulders. These were the contents most inconvenient to clean out and had hence been left in situ. Therefore all these jars had last been used as cinerary urns. They are all complete and practically intact, except for damage suffered during their excavation and subsequent handling. All vessels are brittle and their external surfaces badly worn due to their specific marine environmental context. Ceramic paints have badly faded or, in some cases, been completely eaten, so that the original colour can only be determined from minute flecks left in protected parts of the body, handle or neck. The red slip on other vessels (example no. TT 91.9, figs. 17-18) resisted much better and has preserved some of its original gloss.

Figs. 1 - 2: Cinerary urn 1 (TT 91.1).

1. This jar was retrieved directly from the site, still filled and wet. Samples of its bone fragment and ash deposit have been submitted for analysis (see below: 81ff).

Ht 34.4cm; D 21 (rim), 29.3 (body max.); Th 5-7mm. Ware: H 3; texture 10% small to medium lime, sand, grog inclusions and voids, extra large (6mm) lime particles on external body surface, some of the surface holes resulted from such lime grains exploding; colour reddish yellow (ware 5YR 6/6; surface outside 7.5YR 7/8, inside 5YR 7/6); S=surface badly worn, hence difficult to recognize whether pink to reddish yellow (7.5YR 8/4-6) slip covered more than lower part of vessel, from between two lowest painted bands down; 3 painted bands of light red (IOR 6/8), uppermost outlined by weak red (2.5YR 4/2) lines, light red colour traces also on top of rim and handle. P: environmental conditions all but destroyed all traces of burnishing together with most of the paint, and rendered clay brittle; inside surface covered with calcareous film incrusted on body; jar complete but badly cracked during removal; traces of fire blackening on, and just above, base.

Associated finds are probably jugs 11, 12 and bowl 22.

Parallel: Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV, jar 54, dated to the end of the 8th cent.B.C. (Doumet 1982:94, 133).

Figs. 3 - 4: Cinerary urn 2 (TT 91.2).

2.This jar had been incompletely emptied, fragments of small bones and ash are cemented to its bottom part, bigger bone splinters are stuck to shoulders.

Ht 38.8cm; D 17 (rim), 30 (body); Th 8mm. Ware: H 3; texture 1% very small to small lime and sand inclusions; colour pinkish white (7.5YR 8/2); S: now white (IOYR 8/2), covered by a patina-like film hiding bichrome painting; outer surface, handles and rim slipped pale yellow (5Y 8/3); bichrome brush-painted horizontal bands: two upper ones of reddish brown (2.5YR 4/4) outlined in dark gray (5YR 4/1), all other bands are pink (5YR 7/4). The dark gray colour is due to having painted on top of the reddish brown bands, the pinkish to reddish gray was painted over the yellow slip. 14 triple concentric circles with central dot decorate shoulder and neck: they are template-painted by brush; same-size template was used to draw circles on jar 3. P: handles and part of rim newly damaged and 'repaired' with rough cement by the diggers.

Parallels: Tyre Rachidieh burial urns dated to the 7th cent. B.C. (Culican 1982:68, 69 fig. 11b, 70); burial jar in the National Museum of Beirut (see below: 149, fig. 14 ).

Figs. 5 - 6: Cinerary urn 3 (TT 91.3).

3. This jar had been completely emptied but is heavily incrusted inside with a cemented bone ash and sand mixture.

Ht 37.8cm; D rim oval, external 17, internal 14 and 12.2 (slightly squashed between handles), 29.7 (body); Th 8mm (neck). Ware: H 3; texture 3% very small to med. lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: pink (7.5YR 8/4) slip on outside, including handles and base, and inside neck; bichrome painted decoration: red (1OR 5/8), an original brown (7.5YR 5/2), now appearing under incrustation film as dark reddish gray to pinkish gray (5YR 4-7/2, differences due to brush stroke and amount of paint on brush), and dark gray (7.5YR 4/0) produced by colour mixing when brown was painted over red; jar was warped and dimpled in the leather hard state, before painting, as brush followed bends of these irregularities; 18 triple concentric circles on neck and shoulder. P: backside completely covered with natural cement hiding colours.

For parallels see jar 2.

Figs. 7 - 8: Cinerary urn 4 (TT 91.4).

4. This jar had been left to dry out too much so that it became too difficult to remove its contents. It was therefore left filled solidly with bone ash+sand concrete harder than the pottery, making it all but impossible to remove ash or bone samples manually.

Ht 35.4cm; D 17-18 (rim); 30 (body); Th 11mm (neck), 5mm (thinnest part of base). Ware: H 3; texture 10% very small to large lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour pink (5YR 8/4); S: upper half of body pink (5YR 7/4), lower reddish yellow (5YR 6/6); bichrome painted decoration: red (1OR 5/6) and an original dark reddish gray (5YR 4/2) now in most parts paled by surface incrustation; 6 narrow, faint pinkish gray (5YR 7/2) lines between two bands around middle of body have now all but vanished.

P: Having cracked and partly broken up the jar, its heavy concrete contents now form an exact cast of its shape, the jar base is badly damaged.

Associated finds probably jugs 15 and 16.

Parallel: Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV no.49, dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Doumet 1982:94, 117, 133).

Figs. 9 - 10: Cinerary urn 5 (TT 91.5).

5. This jar had been completely emptied, but traces composed of marine sand, soil, bone ash and very small bone and shell fragments remained cemented to its bottom.

Ht 31.2cm; D 17.8 (rim), 31.2 (body); Th 6mm. Ware: H 3; texture 10% small to large lime, sand and grog inclusions, quite a number of lime explosion voids on the surface; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/8, surface inside 5YR 7/6); S: 3 painted bands of red (2.5YR 5/6), top band bordered by thin lines of dark reddish gray (10R 4/1) drawn by overlapping brush strokes while wheel was turning; less carefully executed than the earlier jars, no traces of paint on handles or rim. Altogether this storage jar is heavier and more domestic in appearance than the previous ones; despite its wide base ring it wabbles because of a protruding central omphalos. P: almost completely covered by incrusted film of lime and marine sand. Associated find possibly jug 18.

Parallels: Khaldeh cemetery south of Beirut, jar 7 from burial 3 of Level 111, dated by the excavator from the end of the 9th to end of 8th cent.B.C. (Saidah 1966:60-61, 83, 90 & pl. V 7); Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV, jars 54&62, dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Doumet 1982:94, 108, 133-34, pls.3&4); Sarafand storage jar, Area 11,X, (Pritchard 1988:136, 295 fig.43.12); Akhziv burial jar (Culican 1982:7 1, pl.7a, parallel of earliest kraters from Carthage tophet); Carthage sanctuary dated to the 8th cent.B.C., burial jar (Cintas 1970:pl.X fig.28:363).

Figs. 11 - 12: Cinerary urn 6 (TT 91.6).

6. This jar contained remnants of finest white bone ash with few minute bone splinters and two very small body sherds of fine ware; jar base pushed up and fragmented in antiquity.

Ht 32.6cm; D 16.6 (rim), 30 (body); Th 10mm (rim), 4mm (base). Ware: H 4; texture 10% small to large lime, sand and grog particles; colour pink (5YR 7/4); S: reddish yellow (5YR 7/8 out- & inside surface); 4 painted bands of red (2.5YR 5/6) on body and rim, and 5 brush-drawn spiral bands of dark reddish gray (5YR 4/2). Signs of clumsy wet-hand surface treatment during shaping, and lumps and ring of residue clay stuck around bottom of jar. P: badly discoloured and incrusted, cracks and missing handle due to recent rough handling; lopsided stance due to careless forming and damaged base.

Parallels: Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV, jar 124, dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Doumet 1982:94, 108, 133-4, pl.4).

Figs. 13 - 14: Cinerary urn 7 (TT 91.7).

7. This domestic storage jar had not been completely emptied by the excavators. Its bottom was still filled with a concretion of bone ash and fragments of apparently bigger and more porous, gray-coloured bones. The cementation with infiltrated marine sand had not been as complete as in the earlier urns, so that large chunks of the concretion with its bone fragments could be freed quite easily.

Ht 28.6cm; D 16 (rim), 26 (body), 10.4 (base); Th 7-10mm. Ware: H 3; texture 10% medium to extra large lime, sand and grog; colour reddish yellow (7.5YR 8/6); S: light red slip (2.5YR 6/6), and 2 painted bands (2.5YR 6/8), upper one bordered by darker, light gray lines (5YR 7/1); colours faded and very faint with only small traces of original value. Stance unstable because of protruding base omphalos. P: jar is complete but cracked; surface partially badly eroded, near neck and on one handle slip eaten and fabric below attacked.

Associated finds probably jugs 19 and 20.

Parallels: Sicily, Motya, archaic necropolis dated to the 7th cent.B.C., cinerary urn of tomb 14 (Bevilacqua et al.1972:48-49, 79, pls.36.1&XCIV.1); tophet of Carthage, Tanit I dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Cintas 1970:pl.XXX fig.65, jars 70&71).

Figs. 15 - 16: Cinerary urn 8 (TT 91.7).

8. This jar was emptied but still coated with remnants of bone ash from base to shoulder.

Ht 36cm; D 25.5 (rim), 28.8 (body); Th 7-20mm. Ware: H 3; texture 1% very small to small lime, sand and grog particles; colour very pale brown (10YR 8/4); S: bands of gray (5YR 511) on neck, body and handles; pinkish gray (5YR 7/2) film/slip (flaked off in parts) covers surface, painted bands and inside of rim. Despite fine ware texture, manufacture of jar was careless: bad cracks around bodyneck joint; many unsmoothed turning marks, bumps and irregularities. P: Vertical half of jar heavily incrusted, as if it had been buried lying on its side. Badly worn and cracked, new break at rim glued recently.

No close parallel of this widenecked krater-like storage jar has been located from excavated Phoenician sites. It is related to amphoras like the one found at Tambourit near Saida and dated to the 9th cent.B.C. (Saidah 1977: 141, 144&145, no.10).

Figs. 17 - 18: Cinerary urn 9 (TT 91.9).

9. This smallest and most elaborately finished burial jar had been carefully emptied, with the exception of several minute bone fragments still preserved in their bone ash+sand matrix and found adhering to the inside.

Ht 27.6cm; D 26.3; Th 4mm (neck), 10mm (base). Ware: H 2; texture 10% small to large sand, lime and basalt inclusions; colour light red (2.5YR 6/8); S: outside entirely red slipped (10R 4-5/8) and horizontally burnished; bichrome decoration applied on top, 6 concentric circles and bands on body, neck and handles drawn in pink (5YR 8/3), forming light base colour for secondary darker, weak red (10R 4/2) lines. P: environmental incrustation covers large parts of jar surface, excavators attempted to remove it, failed and then randomly applied some type of lacquer.

Associated finds possibly jugs 10 and 17.

No close parallels, form resemblance to jars from the Carthaginian tophet, Tanit I dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Cintas 1970:pl.XXXVI fig.120, jars 121&124).

The offering jugs and bowl (figs. 19-44)

The complete jugs which could be saved from the clandestine excavations at Tyre were found together with cinerary urns. Wherever a direct association has been established, this has been specified above as associated finds with the jars. The jugs are either trefoil- (nos. TT91.10, 12-15, 20) or mushroom-lipped (nos.TT91.11, 16-19), with the exception of one strainer- spouted drinking vessel (no.TT91.21). The first type of jug is clearly intended for pouring and hence drinking purposes, whereas the second one was made to be closed with a stopper and to collect any spilled contents from the wide lip or narrow neck. This suggests a more precious or perhaps less fluid liquid such as perfumed oil (cf. Anderson 1990). Since the diggers kept nothing but unbroken vessels, only one single bowl (no.TT91.22) is among the rescued collection. It has several exact parallels excavated by Roger Saidah (publ. in preparation) in burials of a Late Bronze Age necropolis at Saida-Dakerman. This bowl is therefore either an heirloom in this context or indicates an earlier use of the Tyrian burial ground (see also jar no.TT91.23 below).

Figs. 19 - 20: Offering jug 10 (TT91.10).

10. This jug is reported to have accompanied urn 9. Ht 23.5; D 12.5; Th 5mm. Ware: H 3; texture 10% very small to small lime, sand, grog and voids of same dimensions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: outside and inside of rim slipped red (2.5YR 4/8) and burnished, body, neck and handle vertically, shoulder and inside of neck horizontally; yellowish red (5YR 5/8) discoloration spots due to firing conditions on handle, neck and body; slip does not cover base and groove between double strands of handle. P: inside covered with concretions and outside incrusted, no manual removal without damaging slip.

Parallels: Khirbet Silm cemetery in foothills east of Tyre, fosse material, dated to 9th and 8th cent.B.C. (Culican 1982:64-65 fig.8a); Cyprus, Amathus, tomb 266/74-11, jar 360, dated to the 7th cent. B.C. (Bikai 1987:30 pls.XIV&XXVII).

Figs. 21 - 22: Offering jug 11 (TT 91.11).

11. Ht 22; D 14.5; Th 4-7mm. Ware: H 2; texture 1% fine lime, sand and grog inclusions, some 13mm large lime explosion holes on body; colour pink (5YR 8/4), with black core; S: turning with a smooth tool has left slight horizontal facetting which is both visible and felt when touched; red (10R 5/8) slip covers body and inside of rim; wheel-burnished, but vertical & by hand on lower rim and handle; several spots of discoloration (7.5YR 5/8) on and below handle, neck and body, produced during firing. P: vessel cracked during or after excavation, slip damaged by recent scratches and attempts at cleaning; concretions remaining inside jug render it heavy.

Parallels: Sarepta kiln area, jug (Pritchard 1975:figs.20.12&49.6; and see below, figs.46-47); Cyprus, Ayia Irini, Paleokastro, tomb 7/72, jug 324 (Bikai 1987:27&pl.XIII); Tyre sounding, stratum III dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Bikai 1978:67, pls.V.18&LXXX.3).

Figs. 23 - 24: Offering jug 12 (TT 91.12).

12. Ht 26.3; D 17.9; Th 5mm(rim). Ware: H 3; texture 1% very small to small lime, sand, basalt and grog inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: red (10R 4/8) slip covering whole body, base up to omphalos and inside part of trefoil rim; wheelburnished, but vertical & by hand on neck, rim and handle, flattened tool-marks clearly visible; ridge at shoulder-neck joint and 3 wheel-excised grooves around shoulder. P: thick incrustation on inside, base completely covered, outside largely covered with calcareous layer; jug partially cracked during excavation or emptying and repaired with rough granular cement. Dents in body due to potter's handling before firing.

Parallels: Khaldeh cemetery south of Beirut, burial 3 of Level 111, dated from the end of 9th to end of 8th cent.B.C., jug 9 is closely related in size and even slightly taller (Saidah 1966:60-61, 85, 90, pl.V 9); Sarepta, Area II,Y, stratum C, jug dated to the 8th-7th cent.B.C. (Anderson 1988:425, 632, 635 pl.37.1). Cyprus, Philia, Aeras-Vassilikou tomb 6/ 1, jug 393, dated to the later 8th cent.B.C. (Bikai 1987:32-34, 56, 68, pl.XV 393, and also jugs 394, 396 and 406).

Figs. 25 - 26: Offering jug 13 (TT 91.13).

13. Ht 18; D 11.8; Th 4mm. Ware: H 2; texture 3% lime, sand and grog inclusions, 1% medium oblong pores; colour light red (2.5YR 6/6); S: uniform red (1OR 4/8) slip painted on, carefully covering inside of trefoil rim but sparing groove of double-strand handle; yellowish red to reddish yellow (5YR 6-5/8) discoloration due to firing, to right of handle below grooves and on top of handle; wheelburnished, but vertical & by hand on neck, handle and rim (after pinching), and concentrically on base; ridge at shoulder-neck joint and 2 deep, wheel-excised grooves around shoulder. P: jug probably lay buried, as incrustation covers only front of body and inside part of rim. Parallels: Smaller version of 12; Khirbet Silm cemetery in foothills east of Tyre, jug 139, dated to the Middle Iron Age or 9th and 8th cent.B.C. (Chapman 1972:55-57, 130-132, fig.26.139, 180-181).

Figs. 27-28: Offering jug 14 (TT 91.14).

14. Ht 18.7; D 11.6; Th 5.2mm. Ware: H 2; texture 1% very small to small lime and sand inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 6/6); S: red (10YR 5/8) slip painted also on inside of rim; light red (2.5YR 6/6) to strong brown (7.5YR 5/8) discoloration on about half of body, from below handle to base, dark fire(?) blackening on outside of trefoil rim; wheel-burnished, but vertical & by hand on neck, double-strand handle and rim; ridge at shoulder-neck joint and 3 wheel-excised grooves around shoulder. P: jug cracked during retrieval; slip very well preserved; body, top of handle and inside of rim covered with incrustation. Parallels: Khaldeh burial 3, jug 9, similar but smaller (cf. 12); Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV, jugs 50 & 54bis, dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Doumet 1982:95-96, 134, pl.X 50, 54bis); Akhziv cemetery, jug type 726 dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Prausnitz 1982:42-43 fig.4:f, pl.3c right); and jug from Akhziv tomb 36 (Cullican 1982:66 fig.9a, 68, 75); Cyprus, Ayia Irini, Paleokastro tomb 46/3, jug 391, dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Bikai 1987:32, 56, pl.XVI 391).

Figs. 29-30: Offering jug 15 (TT 91.15).

15. Ht 21; D 12; Th medium 4mm. Ware: H 2; texture 3% very small to small lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour pink (5YR 8/4); S: red (1OR 4/ 8) slip painted, with traces of fire(?) blackening on handle, neck, body and base; continuous flattened tool-marks of wheel-burnishing, but vertical and by hand on neck, handle and rim; ridge at shoulder-neck joint and 2 to 3 (third discontinuous) wheelexcised grooves around shoulder. P: Handle broken off and damaged during retrieval, then glued on with rough granular cement; irregularly incrusted, not on blackened parts.

For parallels see jug 14.

Figs. 31-32: Offering jug 16 (TT 91.16).

16. The potter intentionally formed this jug with an eccentric base, so that it leans backward with a protruding belly as if pregnant; softly carinated shoulder. Ht 19.9; D 5-7 (rim), 11 (body); Th 5mm. Ware: H 2; texture 5% very small to medium lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6-8); S: red (10R 5/8) slip covering body and base; wheel-burnished, but vertical & by hand on neck and handle; top part of neck painted with 3 wider and 4 thin dusky red (1OR 4/2) lines between ridge and rim, edge of rim and possibly centre of omphalos base also painted; traces of fire blackening on neck, shoulder and body near handle. P: large parts of body and neck covered by incrustation obliterating surface treatment, inside partially still covered with cemented fill.

Parallels, all red slipped: Tyre sounding, Area 8, square IC-6 C, stratum II dated to the second half of the 8th cent.B.C. (Bikai 1978:68, pl. VI no.5, jug 5=A 136); Khaldeh cemetery south of Beirut, burial 1, jug 2 (20cm), belonging to Level III dated from the end of the 9th to end of 8th cent.B.C. (Saidah 1966:57-58 fig.2, 90); Qrayť east of Saida, jug 300 found with 42 other pots in tombs, dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Chapman 1972:55-57, 134 fig.27.300, 137, 180-182); Akhziv tomb 36, jug also slightly misshapen (Culican 1982:66 fig.9e, 68, 75); Cyprus, Larnaca, Ayios Georgios Kontos, Ploutonos Street tomb 35 (8th cent.), jug 298; Salamis tomb 50/126, jug 309, and tomb 47/28, jug 312, tombs dated to the 9th and 8th cent.B.C.; Ayia Irini, Paleokastro tomb 46/3 (8th cent.), jug 391; Amathus tomb 276/278 (8th cent.), jug 285 (Bikai 1987:24-26, 56, pls. XIII&XVIII 285&298 slipped and painted; see also Moscati et al. eds.1988:492-93 lifesize colour pl., and 737 no.906); Spain, archaic necropolis of Toscanos, jug fig.5 left (Del Olmo Lete & Aubet eds.1986:22 fig.5, 26).

Figs. 33-34: Offering jug 17 (TT 91.17).

17. This jug is reported to have accompanied urn 9. Ht 17.4; D 6.5 (rim), 10.5 (body); Th 6-7mm. Ware: H 3; texture 3% small to extra large sand, grog and lime inclusions, only hygroscopic lime particles extra large; colour pink (5-YR 8/4); S: internal reddish yellow (5YR 7/8); original slip probably light red (2.5YR 6/8) but difficult to determine due to deteriorated surface condition, rim on top and below red (1OR 5/8); top part of neck bichrome painted, first covered in very pale brown (10YR 8/3), on top narrow, very dark gray (5YR 3/ 1) lines bordered by wider ones, similar line also on edge of rim; horizontal wheelburnishing marks on lower part of body, possibly on fabric colour. P: jug completely filled with very heavy concretion; neck broke during retrieval and was glued with rough granular cement.

Parallels: Cyprus, Idalion, Iliouthkia tou Kouzourtou, tomb 1/6, jug 264; Ayia Irini, Paleokastro, tomb 7/2, jug 268, dated to the 8th cent. (Bikai 1987:23-24, pl.XII); Spain, Almuñecar, necropolis of Laurita, red slipped but unpainted jug from tomb 19, dated to the 7th cent. (Moscati et al. eds.1988:234-235, 737 no.906; see also in Del Olmo Lete & Aubet eds.1986:21 fig.4.9, 26); Trayamar tomb 1, red slipped jug, 7th cent.B.C. (Aubet 1987:270-71 fig.66:549).

Figs. 35-36: Offering jug 18 (TT 91.18).

18. This jug is reported to have accompanied urn 5. Ht 16.5; D 6.8 (rim), 11.5 (body); Th 5mm. Ware: H 3; texture 5% small to medium lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: largely concealed by calcareous overlay, traces of pink (5YR 8/4) slip; faint bichrome painting on neck and rim, original colours still observable in preserved specks: rim top red (1OR 4/8), rim edge to top of neck weak red (1OR 5/2), series of weak red (1OR 4/2) bands down to neck ridge, with space between lowest two painted in red (1OR 4/6). P: inside partially incrusted and containing heavy cemented fill.

Parallels: Khirbet Silm cemetery east of Saida (jugs 33, 40), and Joya cemetery east of Tyre (jugs 178, 185), dated to the 9th and 8th cent.B.C. (Chapman 1972:55-57, 75 fig.6 nos.33, 40, 178, 185, 76-78, 180-82); Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV (jugs 55, 58, 70), dated to the 8th cent.B.C. (Doumet 1982:96, 133-34, pl.XIII); Spain, Malaga, Morro de Mezquetilla and Carambolo, archaic red slipped but unpainted jugs, 8th cent.B.C. (Del Olmo Lete & Aubet eds.1986:26 fig.9; also 70 fig.5g, Schubart).

Figs. 37-38: Offering jug 19 (TT 91.19).

19. This jug is said to have accompanied urn 7. Ht 16.1; D 5.8-9 (rim), 10.3 (body); Th 5.5-6mm; Ware: H 3; texture 10% small to extra large lime, grog and sand inclusions, few large to extra large voids (lime explosions'.); colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: slipped pink (5YR 8/4) and wheelburnished, marks showing on clean surface areas; neck and rim bichrome painted: rim top red (2.5YR 4/6), edge dusky red (2.5YR 3/2) to dark brown (7.5YR 4/4), on neck dusky red (2.5YR 3/2) bands alternate with reddish (2.5YR 5/6) ones, handle also painted in red and dusky red; inconsistent traces of painted bands on body. P: top and half of body surface badly discoloured, damaged or concealed by environmental agents.

Parallels: Tyre sounding, stratum 1111 dated to the later 8th cent.B.C., 3 examples of jug type 4 (Bikai 1978:68, pl.5 nos.15-17, pl.LXXXIII.2); Khirbet Silm cemetery (jug 41, and cf. preceding jug) (Chapman 1972:74 fig.6 no.41, 77); cf. examples from Cyprus tombs (Bikai 1987:pls.XI & XII).

Figs. 39-40: Domestic offering jug 20 (TT 91.20).

20. This jug is reported to have accompanied urn 7. Unlike all previous offering jugs, it is clearly domestic, irregularly formed and repaired before firing with clay lumps and pieces added near base and surrounded by holes and finger-marks; wobbly stance on protruding omphalos base. Ht 15.8; D 4.7 (rim & handle), 11.1 (body); Th 7mm (rim). Ware: H 3; texture 10% large lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: minute spots of light red (2.5YR 6/8) and reddish yellow (7.5YR 8/6) on neck, handle and body, possibly traces of painted bands on shoulder and neck; marks of wheel-shaving and burnishing. P: inside heavy with cemented fill.

Parallels: Khirbet Silm cemetery east of Tyre, dated from the 9th-8th cent.B.C., bichrome painted pitcher, 22cm (Chapman 1972:55-57, 86-87 fig.10 no.18, 180-81); Cyprus, Kouklia (Palaepaphos), Skales tomb 69/1, jug 123 (Bikai 1987:14, pl.XXV 123); Sardinia, Motya necropolis (Whitaker) tomb 20 dug in 1970 and dated to the end of the 7th cent.B.C., black slipped, trefoil jug (V. Tusa in Bevilacqua et al. 1972:65, pl.XLVI 2 right); Spain, Almuñecar, necropolis of Laurita, tomb 19 B dated to the 7th cent., red slipped, trefoil jug (Moscati et al. eds.1988:234-35, 510 almost life- size colour ill., 737 no.907).

Figs. 41-42: Strainer- spouted bichrome drinking jug 21 (TT 91.21).

21. The strainer is made of 15 holes. Ht 29; D 10 (rim), 16.8 (body); Th 4mm(neck), 7mm(spout and body). Ware: H 2; texture 3% very small to medium lime, sand inclusions and voids; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/6); S: badly preserved, very pale brown (1OYR 8/3) slip base under faded and faint bichrome painting in weak red (1OYR 4/2) and dark gray (5YR 4/ 1), shoulder divided into 4 metopes, 2 with vertical snake-like bands, bands on and below handle. P: jug heavy and half filled with cemented concretion, outside covered by milky-white, calcareous overlay; excavators repaired hole on shoulder with rough granular cement.

Parallels: Khaldeh cemetery south of Beirut, burials 166 and 167, Level IV dated from the 10th to the end of the 9th cent.B.C., jugs 49 and 57 (Saidah 1966:76, 79 fig.49, 80-81 fig.57, 90, & pl.VI); Khirbet Silm cemetery east of Saida, jugs 4, 6 & 7 dated to the Early Iron Age (Chapman 1972:55-57, 63, 64 fig.2, 65, 148-50, 180); Tyre sounding, stratum XI dated from the 10th to 9th cent.B.C., jug type 11 (Bikai 1978:68, pl.XXIX.3); Tyre Rachidieh tomb IV, strainer jugs 8&28 (Doumet 1982:96- 97, photos 8&9, pl.XIV); Cyprus, Amathus tomb331/18, jug 115 (Bikai 1987:13, pls.VIII&XXIV).

Figs. 43-44: Bowl 22 (TT 91.22)

22. This wishbone handled carinated bowl of the Late Bronze Age, said to have covered one of the urns, fits jar 9 barely and jar 23 well. Two Phoenician letters are incised inside the bowl base but have been cleaned (or redrawn?) with a pin by the excavators. Ht 6, 7.7 (with handle); D 14 (rim); Th 3.5mm. Ware: H 1; texture 3% very small to medium lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour reddish yellow (5YR 7/8); S: colours faint due to bad incrustation, outside and inside red (1OR 5/6) to reddish brown (1OYR 5/3) painted or slipped, base part inside very dark gray (10-YR 3/ 1); colour changes on inside probably occurred during firing. P: badly chipped and churned, paint/slip shaved off all edges, many fresh scratches.

Parallels: Saida-Dakerman, cemetery of the Late Bronze Age, bowls 44, 58 & 67 from tombs 9, 12 & 14, dated to the 14th cent. B.C.; bowl 44 found covering large pitcher (Saidah ms, in preparation: 47- 48, 54-55, 58-59, pl. 32:67); Sarepta, Area 11, X, bowls 27&28 (Kohl 1985:36, 75, figs. 2 & 14); and Area 11, Y, stratum H dated to the 14th cent. B.C., bowl base (Anderson 1988: 422, 603, 605 pl. 25: 22); Tyre sounding, stratum XV dated from the 14th to the end of 13th cent., bowl "import 8"; and Tyre grave 1, bowl "import 9" (Bikai 1978:68, pl. XLII.3; and pl. LII A.6, photo pl. LXXX VII.6).

Figs. 45-46: Canaanite jar 23.

23. This storage jar is reported to have been found in the same clandestine excavation area. It had been well cleaned and contained only small quantities of very coarse to fine marine sand mixed with organic matter (shell and bone) stuck to its inside walls and base. This mixture is similar to that found in the cinerary urns. This is the second Late Bronze Age vessel among these finds. If bowl 22 was used to close a jar, it would fit this one perfectly. Some warping of the body was caused by handling in the leather hard state.

H 57.5; D 12.5 (rim), 49 (with handles); Th 1-2mm. Ware: H 2; texture 10% very small to medium lime, sand and grog inclusions; colour light red (1OR 6/8); S: pink (5YR 8/3) slip, partly worn off, partly discoloured during burial. P: cracked in recent handling and covered with granular cement.

Parallels: Tyre sounding, grave 3, dated from the 16th to 15th cent.B.C. (Bikai 1978:68, pl.LIIA.4); Saida-Dakerman, cemetery of the Late Bronze Age, burial 16, dated to the 14th cent. (Saidah ms, in preparation:62, 64, figs.35-36).

Fig. 46-47: Jug from Sarafand (cf. jug 11 above)

Ware: H 2; texture 5% very small to medium sand, lime and basalt particles; colour red (2.5YR 5/8); S: light red (2.5YR 6/8) and wheel- and hand-burnished up to neck ridge, above and to inside of rim painted in dark reddish gray (10R 3/ 1) and red (1OR 4/ 8) bands. P: body crack, neck broken (Pritchard 1975: figs.20:12 & 49:6; 1988:138, 233, 298 fig.46:9).

Fig. 48: Bone hand (TT 91.33)

Fig. 49: Bone amulets (TT 91.34)

Fig. 50: Bone amulets (TT 91.35)

Fig. 51: Bone amulets (TT 91.36)

Votive gifts: amulets and beads (figs. 48-59)

The cinerary urns also contained small objects in the form of scarabs (see below: 89-99), amulets and beads of bone, metal and stone. It was reported that a gold earring had been found inside one jar, and the number of such charms handed over by the excavators to become part of this collection is relatively small. In view of the great quantity of cinerary urns discovered (see above, p.52), it may be assumed that far more such objects came from this context, but that those of precious material were kept, others were lost in careless digging, breakage and hasty emptying of the jars. The amulets and beads presented below are of bone (figs. 48-51), copper or bronze (figs. 52-53), and stone (figs. 54, 56- 58). Two objects (figs. 55&59) are not pierced for suspension and may therefore either be unfinished or have entered the jars for other reasons than to serve as talisman. Blue beads, green stones and seals or symbols have been used as amulets from antiquity to this day, and are commonly found with buried infants and on babies, especially in peasant and pastoral environments, where gold is rare. They are protective charms. There is no reason to think that similar objects in the Tyrian funerary context had not been meant to serve the same purpose.

Fig. 48 H 3.1cm; colour pinkish gray to light brown (7.5YR 6/2-4), highly polished (partly from wear) and well preserved. Back of hand is the front of amulet, perforated for hanging. Holding up the fist with the thumb squeezed between the first and second finger may have symbolized a wish for good luck, protection or even fertility. Parallels: Several hands and other amulets and beads from a cinerary urn found at Villaricos, Spain (Moscati et al. eds. 1988:397, 738 no.910).

Figs. 49-51 H 2, 1.9 & 1.5cm; colour light reddish brown (5YR 6/4); drilled perforations, highly polished; hands broken off in antiquity. 34 & 35 show tool-marks on both ends as if carved after hand had broken off; 34 also broken vertically.

Fig. 52: Metal pendants - bronze scorpion (TT 91.31)

Fig. 53: Metal pendants - copper beads (TT 91.32.1&2)

Fig. 54a: (TT 91.28)

Fig. 54b: Stone beads (TT 91.29)

Fig. 55: Stone disk (TT 91.30)

Fig. 56: Green soapstone amulet (TT 91.21).

Fig. 57: Blue frit amulet (TT 91.26).

Fig. 58: Light green amulet or seal (TT 91.24).

Fig. 59: Small calcite or chalc cone (TT 91.37.12).

Fig. 52: Scorpion amulet. H 2.7cm; ventral side flat, dorsal moulded in the round; probably cast in a single mould and tail turned around, forming suspension loop. By stinging itself the animal is rendered harmless, thus representing a protecting charm.

Fig. 53a & b: Two identical globular copper (or bronze) beads. H 1.4cm; D 0.9cm; hollow cast with flat open neck and provided with round, double-strand loop fastened inside neck. Surface corroded green, inside copper red; very thin walls, one bead is broken.

Parallels: Two electrum beads from Carthage, dated to the 7th cent.B.C. (Moscati et al. eds. 1988: 624 no.239).

Figs. 54a & b: Stone beads (TT 91.28&29). - a. D 9mm; globular bead of red (1OR 5/8) and pink marbled, semiprecious stone (rose quartz.) with regularly drilled perforation; finely polished but partially incrusted. b. D 9mm; black flint bead with hourglass perforation; pink (7.5YR 8/4), fine powdery sand/bone ash mixture filling perforation and cracks.

Fig.55: Stone disk (TT 91.30). D 1.5cm; dark to light gray-greenish pellet of serpentine(?); top and part of edge polished, bottom rough due to erosion.

Fig. 56: Green soapstone amulet (TT 91.21). H 1.7cm; pendant, regularly cut and polished with slightly eccentric perforation.

Fig. 57: Blue frit amulet (TT 91.26). H 2.1cm; mould-shaped and porous surface and perforation filled with very pale brown (1OYR 8/4) bone ash and soil. To this day light blue is believed to protect against evil.

Fig. 58: Light green amulet or seal (TT 91.24). D 2.3cm; olive gray to light olive gray (5Y 5-6/2), soft soapstone with large, perfectly regular perforation for suspension or wire loop. Obverse bears design of winged(?) animal made of three bore-holes and eight carved lines; reverse shows some indistinct lines but no design.

Fig. 59: Small calcite or chalc cone (TT 91.37.12). H 1.3cm; facetted by use or cut to resemble tooth(?), knife-marks visible on facets.

The remaining small objects from the cinerary urns which have been rescued together with the jars described above, consist of ten scarabs, one scaraboid and an eye of Horus amulet made of different materials (see below, Ward:89-99). Like most of the miniature charms presented above, the scarabs and amulet described below are perforated to be worn as pendants. Some were mounted on a metal ring or swivel with a loop for attachment to avoid losing them. A ring or swivel would allow to imprint the mirror image of the message, design or symbol engraved on the amulet on a soft surface such as wax or leather hard clay. One scarab (see Ward:89-90 figs. 1-2) has minute spots of green corroded bronze or copper stuck between its hind legs, close to the perforation. This is evidence that at least one scarab of this collection was mounted on a metal ring or swivel. Examples of scarabs and amulets complete with their mounts, often in precious materials, are well known from Phoenician contexts. As such they would have been preserved in tombs or burials belonging to individuals who had been important and well-to-do in their lives (see Moscati et al. eds. 1988:372, 693 no. 647 for an eye of Horus amulet turning on a finger-ring, both of gold, found in Cagliari, Sardinia, and dated from the 7th to 6th cent. B.C.; and a carnelian scarab turning on a much larger and elaborate swivel handle of gold; also 687- 702 for many other examples of mounted and unmounted amulets of lesser or greater material and artistic value).

Depending on the social and economic status of the deceased, the accompanying grave goods would vary from precious art work fashioned by master craftsmen to very simple, even plain pendants or beads shaped from common raw materials. Judging by extant Phoenician grave goods of this type, and similar elements found in burials of many other periods, as well as by present-day customs of offering and wearing amulets for good luck or protection, it seems unlikely that these small personal objects had merely a decorative function in the past. An amulet accompanying the dead into a cinerary urn had possibly been significant in life and was believed to remain so beyond death. The amulets and scarabs presented here had every perforation, cavity, engraved design and break filled with a fine mixture of sand, white bone ash and minute bone and shell splinters. This mixture is made up of the very finest particles of the contents of the cinerary urns. In some cases the fill had already dried and set making removal risky.

Fig. 61: Pebbles found on the top of and within layers of sand fill in urn 1

Fig. 62: Pebbles found on the top of and within layers of sand fill in urn 1

Fig. 63: Smallest pebbles in sand just above ashes

Fig. 64: Pumice pebbles placed in urn 1

Fig. 65: Mollusks from urn 1

Fig. 66: Urn 1

Fig. 67: Urn 2

Fig. 68: Urn 6

Fig. 69: Urn 2

Comments on the contents of cinerary urns 1, 2, 6 (figs. 66-69) and 7

The jars were found filled with a mixture composed of beach sand, bone ash, bone and other organic materials like small land-snails and sea-shells (for examples, see fig. 65). Once dried out in its compact state, this mixture sets into concrete which can no longer be removed without breaking the container. This fact was the main reason why the clandestine excavators were obliged to empty the jars before they dried. Whatever was not removed while still humid, remained stuck to the inside of bases, shoulders and walls of the vessels (see figs. 4 and 68 ). Having been emptied hastily, several urns (nos. 2, 6 and 7) are still partially filled with this bone ash cement rendering them quite heavy (see below, p. 81).

Only one cinerary urn (no. 1) could be obtained directly from the excavators while they had just begun emptying it. The still humid pottery is very brittle and can be broken noiselessly like soft biscuit. Already cracked during handling, a large rim sherd had been lifted off by the handle in order to facilitate the removal of the contents. A small one-litre casserole had already been filled with pinkish white to pink (5YR 8/2-3), wet sandy material containing a few sea-worn pebbles from the very top of the fill, which originally reached the jar's rim. After hand-sorting this portion of the contents, the sherd was put back in its place and the heavy jar taken to the American University of Beirut. Sorting out larger sandy concretions, a few pebbles and organic materials which could be picked by hand, the contents were then removed horizontally and spread out in 2mm-mesh sifters and air dried, a process which took several days. This was the only way to prevent the contents from forming concrete and observe their deposition and composition.

Practically all pebbles were found in the upper half of the fill, the largest ones at the top (fig. 61), smaller ones lower down (fig. 62), and very small ones towards the middle of the fill (fig. 63). According to observations on urn contents from the tophet of Tharros in Sardinia, a shell, an occasional potsherd and sea-worn pebbles were included in some of these jars. The pebbles are reported to have apparently been "put prior to the sealing near the bottom of the urn," and several sorts of rituals are believed to have been associated with the burial, since the inclusion of pebbles as observed in these cases does not seem to be natural or casual (Fedele 1983:643). In the Tyrian cineray urn described here, the pebbles were all found within the upper half of the fill which was to a large part composed of marine sand, some of which remained in the coarser (2mm-mesh) sifters, whereas the smaller sandy matter with a portion of white powdery ash passed into finer (1mm-mesh) sifters which retained most sand particles. It is therefore quite clear that at least the larger pebbles in the Tyrian urn had been placed deliberately on top, perhaps to weigh down the ashes below. These pebbles appear to have been introduced together with and on top of a sand layer, perhaps to fill the urn after the deposition of the cremated remains.

The jar contained no amulets or other personal objects. However, two small sea-born pumice pebbles (fig. 64) had been placed in the jar, close together and on top of the ashes, that means after the latter had been deposited in the urn.

Although the presence of the larger pebbles on and in the upper sandy fill of cinerary urn 1 indicates human action prior to closing the jar, environmental factors subsequently altered the contents in the buried urn. The burial place is situated within the coastal sands of Tyre (see above: 41-2 and fig. 17 ). Wind-blown sediments, silting, soil-forming and weathering phenomena affected the cemetery as well as the burial jars. Humic substances, plant roots and micro-molluscs penetrated the urns and modified the composition of their contents (Fedele 1983:641-42). The molluscs present in the Tyrian cinerary urn 1 (see fig. 65) may be identified to genus level and are being studied. The bivalves were probably imported with the sand. Terrestrial and microgastropods occur in the urns from the Tharros tophet located in a similar coastal environment (Fedele 1983:641; and 1979). The snails are evidence of the presence of plant life in, or its infiltration into the burial place. No post-burial plant remains could be detected in urn 1.

The cremated remains in the same urn did not contain any visible plant remnants either. However, the ashes have not been investigated yet to determine whether any information can be extracted on the possible fuel used for the high temperatures reached during cremation (see below, p.85). Olive, Pistacia lentiscus and some oak have been found in charcoal samples from urns of the tophet at Tharros (Fedele 1983:641).

The actual burial deposit of Tyrian urn 1 consisted of a surprisingly small quantity of highly fragmented, very badly preserved and extremely brittle bone remains (see Conheeny and Pipe:83-85, Sample TT 91.40) weighing altogether less than 200 grams. Once the somewhat coarser sandy fill with its pebbles and few small rock particles at the top of the fill had been separated by sorting and subsequent sifting, it amounted to approximately three kilos of weight. Over half of the urn had been filled with almost seven kilos of powdery white bone ash with very rare dark bluish specks due to the fact that not all parts of the bones had burnt to a pure white (see also p.86). This urn alone was retrieved intact with its contents.

Three other cinerary urns still contained considerable portions of their burial deposit cemented to their bases, walls and shoulders, places which would have been neglected in impatient despoiling procedures. The few bone fragments (see below, p.83 Samples TT 91.41 & 42) removed from urn 2 (figs. 3-4, 67 and 68) are completely white. However, it is impossible to manually remove all the bone and bone ash cemented inside the jar.

Cinerary urn 6 (figs. 11-12 and 69) was very heavy, its base, walls and shoulder still being thickly cemented with pure white and powdery ash enclosing some extremely brittle bone fragments (figs. 72- 73 and p. 85 Sample TT 91.44). This jar had the inside part of its ring-base broken and squeezed into the ash fill at the bottom. The full urn must have been extremely heavy, and the damage probably occurred in antiquity, perhaps when the filled urn was deposited in its burial place, for several of the broken base sherds had been pushed into the ash fill and were completely coated by bone ash incrustation formed since antiquity.

The domestic jar used as cinerary urn 7 (figs. 13-14) contained a smaller amount of bone and bone ash mixed with sandy particles cemented to its base and shoulders, and the few bone fragments show dark gray bluish cores.

The other five cinerary urns of the collection presented here also contained ash and small bone fragments stuck to the less accessible parts of their inside walls. No particular observations could be extracted from them because the ash remains are negligible and the bone fragments too pulverized.

By far the greatest handicap of this collection of cinerary urns from Tyre is that they were clandestinely excavated, carelessly handled and most of them emptied by those who found them without realizing what they had discovered. The examination of the very few, badly preserved and undiagnostic bone samples which could be extracted from the urns after such treatment, indicate that the intact urn 1, and urns 2 and 6 may have contained adult cremation burials (see Conheeney and Pipe, below). Nothing can be added about the burials for which the remaining six urns had served.

These urns were accompanied by other important finds, consisting of red slip and bichrome painted jugs, and bowls, as well as Phoenician stelae (see Sader, below:101-126; and 1992). The many urns and stelae which we were unable to rescue together with this small collection, add to the urgency of further and proper archaeological investigation at this Tyrian burial ground. We can only express our hope that such investigation will become possible in the very near future.

 

Fig. 70: Bone fragments (Sample TT 91.40) from urn 1

Fig. 71: Sample TT 91.41 from urn 2

Fig. 72: Sample TT 91.44 from urn 6.

Fig. 73: Sample TT 91.44 from urn 6.

Several small samples of cremated bone were submitted to the Museum of London Archaeology Service, for possible identification in the belief that all the fragments present were from animals. A colleague specialising in animal bones (AP) and myself (JC), specialising in human bone, examined them and found that there was probable human bone present and that only one fragment could be identified as possible animal.

The identified human fragments were:

SAMPLE TT 91.40 (fig. 70), from cinerary urn 1 (see above, figs. 1-2 and 66)

Tip of spinous process from cervical vertebra. Thoracic vertebral left superior facet.

Two hand phalanges with no proximal ends and therefore impossible to age.

Despite the absence of firm ageing data for this sample, none of the fragments were of a size which could suggest the presence of a small infant.

SAMPLE TT 91.41 (fig. 71), from cinerary urn 2 (see above, figs. 3-4 and 67-68)

Pisiform, probably left, and an unsideable hand phalange.

SAMPLE TT 91.42, from cinerary urn 2 (see above, figs. 3-4 and 67-68)

Fragment of head of right first metacarpal of which head is fused to shaft. In the absence of any information on sex, the best age estimate that can be made is over 14 years (Steele and Bramblett 1988).

Scrap of cranial suture, probably human. Metatarsal base fragment, possibly second, probably third, probably human.

Scrap of condyle probably femural medial condyle possibly the right.

Scrap of metatarsal or metacarpal head.

SAMPLE TT 91.44, from cinerary urn 6 (figs. 11-12 and 69; the state of bone material from this jar is illustrated on figs. 72 and 73).

Right distal fibula end, again it has lost the part that would show if it was fused.

Scrap of humeral or femural head, cow or human size.

Scrap of an articular surface, either like an acetabulum or glenoid fossa.

The only fragment which could be animal was a possible sheep size scapula fragment posterior midshaft edge not possible to side.

All the bones from TT 91.41, which had been removed from where they were stuck underneath the shoulder of cinerary urn 2 (see fig. 68, for remnant bones cemented to the base of the urn), were very white which suggests that they were exposed to a high temperature (probably over 800 degrees C) for a prolonged period (Ubelaker 1984). This would indicate that they were cremated very efficiently as it is difficult to maintain such a high temperature for a long time. The rest of the samples tended to be mottled blue and white mixed in with the white which suggests that a high temperature was reached during cremation but was not maintained. The bone was very poorly preserved and friable so nothing could be learnt from the fracture pattern.

The remaining fragments which mainly consisted of pieces of shaft bone of a few millimetres of diameter probably contained both human and animal elements. This was impossible to confirm without histological analysis which was not in the scope of this brief examination. On the whole, although there was little firm ageing data available from the bone fragments, their size was not consistent with them being the remains of small infants. It proved extremely useful to have an animal and a human specialist working together as one or the other could rule out their own field when possible identifications were being proposed.

It must be borne in mind that all comments have to be quite tentative because of the poor nature of the material.

 

 

References


* The Rifbank, Beirut, and its Director, Dr. Willy Rellecke, offered the major contributions. The President of Beirut International College, Mr. Edmund Tohme, Helen Sader and Helga Seeden joined in to raise the funds needed to complete the rescue action. Back

**Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS), Environmental Section. Back


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