• Photographs from Jbeil
    1997-1999, Børre Ludvigsen
  • Fish Fossils of Lebanon
    "Catching a mermaid in Jbeil", an ariticle written by Lara Khouzami.
  • Dancers near the harbour.

    Jbeil (Byblos)

    Byblos (biblical Gebal, modern Jbeil) is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. According to Phoenician tradition it was founded by the god El who surrounded his city with a wall. The massive Early Bronze Age city walls (2800 B.C.) on the site reflect this early religious belief. Thus Byblos was considered, even by the ancient Phoenicans, to be a city of great antiquity.

    Yet Byblos was inhabited even earlier. About 7000 years ago a small fishing community settled here. Several monocellular huts with crushed limestone floors can be seen today on the site. Here a stone idol was brought to light, the first god of Byblos. Man was now aware of a force that controlled him and his environment.

    Today Byblos, on the coast 37 kilometers north of Beirut, is a prosperous place with glass fronted office buildings and crowded streets. But within the old town, medieval Arab and Crusader remains are continuous reminders of the past. Nearby are the extensive excavations that make Byblos one of the most important archaeological sites in the area.