Akkar

Akkar Survey Project

  • Project name:

    Akkar Survey Project

  • Type of site:

    Different types of sites discovered during surveys: clusters of pottery, clusters of stone tools, Early Bronze Age megalithic structures, settlements, defensive structures.

    Location:

    Northern Lebanon
    Akkar province

    Dating:

    • Early Bronze Age (3600–2000 BC)
    • Roman period (1st–4th century AD)
    • Byzantine period (4th–7th century AD)
    • Crusader period (11th–13th century AD)
    • Ottoman period (16th–20th century AD)

Most interesting finds:

– Houses with apses and Early Bronze Age dolmens with rock carvings depicting snakes

History of research:

Investigated by the PCMA mission in:

2018

Type of research:

Field prospection

Director:

Zuzanna Wygnańska, Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw

Co-operating institutions:

– Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Direction Générale des Antiquités

Description of the site and research:

The Akkar province in northern Lebanon is one of the most important areas connecting Syria and Mesopotamia with the Mediterranean coast. Moreover, its natural conditions are very favorable for settlement and agriculture. To date, mainly the coastal lowland belt of the province has been explored; the aim of the PCMA project is to record traces of settlement in the area of the plateau. Very little is known about Akkar in the Early Bronze Age. It is, however, mentioned in Late Bronze Age written sources as an area of rivalry between Egypt and the Hittite Empire.

During the archaeological reconnaissance conducted in 2018, the PCMA mission discovered 29 sites, including several megalithic graves and two large buildings of the “broad-room” type with apses, dated to the Early Bronze Age I (second half of the 4th millennium BC). The most spectacular discovery was the association of these structures with boulders which have a snake motif carved into them. These carvings suggest a ritual function, perhaps related to a funerary cult. The PCMA mission also found defensive structures, a quarry, a sanctuary and remains of domestic architecture dating from the beginning of our era to the 18th century AD.

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