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Syrian Archaeologists: Discovery of Cemetery Building Casts Light on Phoenician Religious Traditions
Global Arab Network - - Talal Abdullah
Syria (Tartous) - A religious cemetery building with carvings dating back to the 6th and 5th centuries BC was unearthed in the Phoenician city of Amrit in Tartous, say Syrian Archaeologists.

Director of Archaeological Excavations and Studies Michel Maqdisi said the building consists of a façade that has two entrances engraved on a 2 meter high huge stone surface.

The façade to the eastern side is skillfully carved with symbolic decorations similar to what we find on the Phoenician tombstones or those dated to 1000 BC, he added.

"The symbolically carved decorations and the nature of architectural formation of the building, as well as its location in an area of archaeological cemeteries makes it such an extraordinary religious cemetery building found in the Phoenician region," Maqdisi said.

He added that the architectural and archaeological studies due to be conducted on the building, which was partly mentioned by the Orientalist Ernest Renan in his book "The Phoenician Mission" in 1860, will directly contribute to understanding plenty of the Phoenician religious and funeral rituals and traditions.

Meanwhile, archaeological excavations at al-Ghariya village located 20 km to the east of Daraa, southern Syria, resulted in the discovery of eight cemeteries dating back to the Middle Bronze Age and other findings of 4000 years old.

Archaeologist Mohammad al-Ishat highlighted the importance of the cemeteries discovered as they chronicle ancient historical stages and introduce tangible evidence that Horan region in southern Syria has long been inhabited.

He pointed out that some of the cemeteries discovered are 10 meters high, 185 cm thick, and 2 m wide, which were used as collective cemeteries.

Daraa Archaeology Department official Kassem Mohammad said the other archeological findings included pottery and bronze tools, ornaments, weapons and spears, jewelry, and bronze arrows.

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