The American University in Beirut


The AUB Museum, founded in 1868, is the third oldest Museum in the Near East. Begun with a donation from General Cesnola, the American Consul in Cyprus, the collection has steadily grown since then. Today the Museum exhibits a wide range of artifacts from Lebanon and neighboring countries tracing man's cultural progress in the Near East from the Early Stone Age to the Islamic period.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday

10:00 AM- 4:00 PM

Closed during official and AUB holidays.

Free admission.

Museum Shop

The shop sells a selection of postcards, books, T-shirts, jewelry, replicas and other souvenirs relating to the AUB Museum and to Lebanon's ancient history.

  Society of the Friends of the Museum

As a member of the Society, you will enjoy special privileges at the AUB Museum.

- Advance notice of all activities.

- Subscription to the Museum Newsletter.

Fees are as follows :

Student $10 Member : $50

Family : $120 Contributor : $200

Fellow : $300 or more


The Museum runs a full program of activities which are open to the public:

-Regular lectures throughout the year.

-Temporary exhibitions.

-Trips inside and outside the country.

-Children's programs, organized four times a year and held in the Museum itself or at an archaeological site. (A Children's Library is also available).

  Field Work

The AUB Museum has conducted three excavations: at Tell el-Ghassil (Bekaa), Beirut City-Center, and Tell Kazel (Syria).


The Society publishes a Newsletter twice a year, which gives an account of the Museum's activities. Other publications are the Museum Catalogue and the Coin Catalogue, both out of print.


The Museum is divided into two galleries.

  The first contains material belonging to the Stone Age (5000-4000 B.C.), the Chalcolithic Age (4000.-3000 B.C.) and the Bronze Age (3000 B.C.-1200 B.C.)

  Exhibits in the second gallery are from the Iron Age (1200-330 B.C.), Hellenistic (330-64 B.C.), Roman (64 B.C.-5th c. A.D.), Byzantine Period (5th-7th c. A.D.), and the Islamic period (7th - 13th. c. A.D.)


The Museum's wealth comes from the variety of categories its objects belong to. Besides the collection of pottery (the largest category), the following are represented: Prehistoric flint tools, bronze figurines, tools and weapons, gold jewelry, Phoenician and classical sculpture and bas-reliefs, Egyptian alabaster vases from Byblos, cippe from Tyre, lead deity figurines from Baalbeck, precious and semi-precious stones. intaglios, decorative bone items, hair pins and musical instruments.

  Cesnola Collection

This collection comprises pottery from Cyprus dating from the Bronze Age to the Roman period.


The Museum boasts a collection of about 10,000 coins covering all periods from the first appearance of coinage (5th c. B.C.) until the Islamic period.


The glass collection includes items from Phoenicia, Syria and Palestine, ranging in date from the Phoenician era (1200 - 330 BC) to the beginning of the Islamic period.

  Tell el-Ghassil Collection

Located in the Bekaa, this site was excavated by the Museum team between 1956 and 1974. Some of the material excavated, mainly from the Iron Age, is on display at the Museum. Of particular note is funerary material from a multiple burial tomb including a Tell el Yehadiyeh ware goblet with an incised decoration of birds and ducks attributed to the Hyksos period.

  Palmyrene Alcove

This section houses sculptured Palmyrene busts dating from the 1st c. B.C. to the 3rd c. A.D.

  Egyptian Collection

A collection composed of figurines representing various deities, amulets, inscriptions, a mummified hand and two mummified hawks.


A wide variety of inscriptions are exhibited including Sumerian administrative clay tablets, Egyptian carved scarabs, Syrian stamp seals, Phoenician stelae and Egyptian ostraca and inscriptions.

  Oil Lamps

The evolution of the oil lamp from the Early Bronze Age to the Persian Period is well illustrated.

  Terra-Cotta Figurines

Included in this group are fertility goddesses from the Bronze Age and the Phoenician period.