Ancient Tombs of 19th-Century Warriors Unearthed in Lebanon

Archaeologists have unearthed two ancient tombs of Canaanite warriors, dating back to the 19th century BC, in Sidon, Lebanon.

The find was made by researchers affiliated with the British Museum working on new excavations at Sidon’s Frères archaeological site, according to Lebanon’s The Daily Star.

Skulls of two male, adult warriors were uncovered in a “well-preserved” grave, where daggers, a bronze belt, and the remains of animals were also found by the expedition.

The animal remains found included feet of sheep or goats that had been placed by the warriors’ feet, meant to accompany them in the afterworld, the Daily Star reported.

Archaeologists with the British Museum, under the supervision of Sidon’s Directorate General of Antiquities, have uncovered 171 burials on the Frères site over 21 years, according to the head of the British Museum’s delegation Claude Doumet-Serhal.

The discovery of these warriors’ tombs, however, is particularly significant as they are likely to provide information about the traditions of the ancient societies that lived along the Lebanese coast, Doumet-Serhal told the newspaper Thursday.

The daggers found in the tomb suggest that the warriors were of high status.

“The Canaanites did not bury in such a way unless the dead belonged to the aristocratic and elite class of the Canaanite society,” Doumet-Serhald said.

Excavations at the site take place at the Frères site for two months each summer. Discoveries are slated to be featured in Sidon’s historical museum, which began construction in 2014.

The planned museum aims to preserve and showcase ruins from the various civilizations that lived in the city of Sidon over a period of 6,000 years. There is still no opening date for the museum, which Doumet-Serhal said will feature the artifacts on its first floor, and will allow visitors to view the dig site on the ground floor.

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