The Sarcophagus of King Ahiram

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Funeral rites were one of the major types of religious cultic activity among the Phoenicians. It appears that burial of an intact body was the preferred method for dealing with the dead, though some examples of cremation have also been found. The wealthiest Phoenicians and members of royal families received elaborately decorated stone sarcophagi, which were placed in tombs cut directly out of rock. The bodies were typically given objects from their lives to accompany them: coins, food, cosmetics, toiletries, figurines, and so forth. The inclusion of both ritual and practical objects is often cited as evidence of belief in some sort of afterlife, possibly one in which the deceased could make use of these objects. This may be a case where the funeral rites of Egypt influenced the religious beliefs of the Phoenicians as for a long time.

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Beirut’s Treasure House

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Located on the former Green Line, the National Museum of Beirut is an impressive building with a magnificently displayed collection of archaeological artifacts that offers a great overview of Lebanon’s history and the civilizations that made their home here. The National Museum is considered to be one of the most significant Near Eastern museums because of its rich collection.

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