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National Museum of Beirut

The Phoenician collection in the National Museum of Beirut comes from archaeological excavations in Lebanon and from the antiquities market.
 
In the early 20th century archaeological excavations, mainly those of Byblos, started yielding important Phoenician inscriptions.
The collection thus gathered consists of 52 inscribed objects twenty-two of which are still unpublished. The overwhelming majority of these inscriptions consist of graffiti or are very short inscriptions restricted to either a personal or a divine name.
The only texts of some substance are the funerary or dedicatory inscriptions from Byblos, Ahiram, Batnoam, Shipitbaal and Yehimilk inscriptions, and Sidon, Bodashtart and Baalshillem, often written by the kings of these states, and engraved on statues or sarcophagi.
This collection includes artefacts such as sarcophagi, stelae, cinerary urns, statues, vessels and arrowheads.
 
Those latter have been catalogued thanks to a joint project of the Italian Research Council, the American University of Beirut and the Directorate General of Antiquities of Lebanon. Photos are courtesy of the National Museum of Beirut.

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