|25 November 1998
4,000 year old street found in Lebanon
We've found a street with mudbrick houses dating back to 2000BCE and 2500BC, said archaeologist Jean Paul Thalmann, who heads the excavations at Tal Arqa, a 40-metre-high hill 25km north of Tripoli, Lebanon.
Consecutive layers of settlements dating from 6000 BCE to 1400 AD have been discovered at the site, which is among the largest of its kind. Underneath the houses lay 20 clay pots which contained the skeletons of children. In those days people used to bury their children under the floor of the house, said Thalmann.
From the structure of the foundations Thalmann concluded that the houses were about five metres high. People lived on the top floor and used the bottom one for storage. Other spectacular finds from the same period were a pottery workshop and a warrior tomb. The excavations have gone through the mediaeval, Arab, Byzantine, Greek and Phoenician layers and have now reached the early Bronze age.
So far we've excavated only half of the Tal, he said. We know for sure that settlement dates back to 6000BCE. At the bottom of the hill we found a workshop for making stone tools and a large block of obsidian, a volcanic material similar to glass which was used to cut stone. The fact that obsidian is found only in eastern Turkey indicates that even then there was large-scale trade going on.
Source: The Daily Star
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