Phoenician pottery found in Lebanon

A team of Lebanese and Spanish archaeologists have uncovered a large cache of earthenware jars dating to the Phoenician era.

They weren’t for commercial use, though. No Tyrean purple destined for royal garments in those jars.

“The big jars are like individual tombs. The smaller jars are left empty, but symbolically represent that a soul is stored in them,” Ali Badawi, the archaeologist in charge in Tire, told Reuters Wednesday. […]

“These discoveries help researchers who work on past Phoenician colonies in Spain, Italy and Tunisia, to pin down a large number of their habits and traditions,” said Maria Eugenia Aubet, who leads the Spanish team.

War has taken a harsh toll on Lebanon’s efforts to uncover its rich history. This site has only recently seen work start up again. The last excavation before this was in 2005, before the war between Israel and Hezbollah made southern Lebanon too hot to handle.