[Prev] [Next]

This article reprinted from "BAAL -Volume 2, 1997", by permission from DGA

Bey 003 Preliminary Report

Excavations of the American University of Beirut Museum 1993-1996

Leila Badre, AUB Museum Curator


Location and Topography

The site of Bey 003 lies in the heart of the ancient tell of Beirut. To the north it overlooks the "Bassin I" of the modern harbor of Beirut. It is bordered by modern roads: to the south by rue Weygand and rue Cadmus, to the north by Rue de Trieste, to the east by rue Georges Haddad and to the west by rue Argentine. The contour plan of the tell shows very clearly in the topographic map of 1922. It has an elliptical shape, but unfortunately no grid lines show on the original plan to indicate the elevations. At the time of our excavations, the top of the tell which we called "the Acropolis", occupied by the Medieval Castle, was at the elevation of +14.00m., while the lower part of the modern city, levelled during the Ottoman Empire, is located at the general elevation of +12.00m. The site of the ancient tell was occupied by a cemetery until the end of the 19th century (Davie 1987: 152; Guide de Baedeker 1912: 520) and south of it was the "Place du Marché".

The Excavations

The American University of Beirut Museum team was one of the first three teams to launch the urban excavation program in the Beirut Town Center, along with the Lebanese University - I and the French Institute of Archaeology, in October 1993.

The project was placed under the high authority of the Department of Antiquities (DGA) and the auspices of UNESCO. Financing was made available by the DGA, the Hariri Foundation, UNDP and the Real Estate Company Solidère.

The Objectives

The choice of the site 003 by the author corresponds to her personal interest in locating the "Biruta" of the IInd millennium B.C. ancient texts, and more particularly to finding out if ancient Beirut still existed in the Phoenician Period. Why was it never mentioned in the texts along with the other major Phoenician cities of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos and Arwad ?

The Team

The excavation team consisted of graduates and students in Archaeology from both the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese University. The names of the staff are listed below in an alphabetical order. Next to each name, a Roman numeral indicates the working period of each participant. These working periods are distributed as follows:



Created by the Digital Documentation Center at AUB in collaboration with Al Mashriq of Høgskolen i Østfold, Norway.

9907 MH - Email: badre@aub.edu.lb