Jiyeh (Lebanon), 2012

Jiyeh (Porphyreon) (Lebanon)

Dates of work: 18 June – 27 July 2012

Director: Dr. Tomasz Waliszewski, archaeologist (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Field director: Mariusz Gwiazda, archaeologist, small finds specialist (PhD candidate, Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Centre, University of Warsaw)
Archaeologists: Jakub Brochocki (independent), Zofia Kowarska, Szymon Lenarczyk (both PhD candidates, Antiquity of Southeastern Europe Research Centre, University of Warsaw), Karol Ochnio, Karolina Pawlik (both independent), Dr. Dagmara Wielgosz-Rondolino (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw), Anna Zawadzińska (PhD candidate, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Ceramologists: Dr. Krzysztof Domżalski (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Numismatist: Dr. Piotr Jaworski (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)
Documentalists: Marek Puszkarski (PCMA UW), Magdalena Makowska (freelance), Angelika Dłuska (freelance)
Students: Rafał Bieńkowski, Ewa Biskupek, Justyna Dziubecka, Marcin Gostkowski, Jacek Hamburg, Piotr Makowski, Aleksandra Pawlikowska, Andrzej Romaniuk, Marcin Romaniuk, Izabela Sztuka, Martyna Tyczyńska (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw

(Joint description of seasons 2012 and 2013)

Archeological work in the 2012 and 2013 seasons in Jiyeh (Porphyreon), which lies on the Phoenician coast north of ancient Sidon, was focused on reconstructing the history of settlement on the site. At least three phases were identified and dated to the Iron Age II, the Persian–Hellenistic–Roman period and late antiquity. The early dating of the functioning of the Christian basilica to the 4th–5th century AD was also confirmed in trial pits. The complex and unusual sewage installation discharging rainwater from the roofs and streets of the 5th-century settlement contributed important data for studies of late antique domestic architecture in the region.

In 2013, research was undertaken to establish and document the architectural stratification of the residential quarter in Jiyeh (ancient Porphyreon). The research was started on a separate complex of 14 rooms. Three phases of building development in the late Roman and early Byzantine periods were distinguished. Evidence was found of the division of this complex into three houses.

In 2012, an initial reconnaissance was conducted of the area north of the Jiyeh (Porphyreon) site. This coastal region is heavily urbanized and progressing building investment is causing the destruction of archaeological remains, which until quite recently were relatively well preserved in places. Subsequent investments involved the expansion of the Jiyeh Marina Resort hotel complex into terrain lying to the north of the Polish excavation area. Earlier construction work connected to the hotel complex was carried out in an area originally occupied by a pottery workshop from the late Hellenistic and early Roman periods, as well as at the site of a Roman–late antique necropolis. Further construction work, conducted without archaeological supervision, revealed more ancient structures which were in all probability connected with wine production.

The Polish–Lebanese Archaeological Mission in Lebanon is a joint project of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, and the Directorate General of Antiquities of Lebanon. We are greatly indebted to Minister of Culture Gaby Layoun for permission to work, and to DGA Acting Director Dr. Asaad Seif and our inspector, Mrs. Myriam Ziadé from the DGA, for facilitating our work. Without the great effort of the Staff of the Directorate General of Antiquities, aiming at the protection of the site, it would certainly be lost to future research.

[Text: Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 24/1]

T. Waliszewski: twaliszewski@uw.edu.pl