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Ancient Phoenician Beroth (Roman Berytus) [Modern Beirut]
City in west Lebanon on the Mediterranean Sea. An ancient Phoenician city it was a well known trading center as well after 1500 BC. It was an important city under the Seleucids and even more so from 64 BC under the Romans .....
The earliest traces of habitation date from the Stone Age when the area now known as Beirut was in fact two islands in the delta of the Beirut River. Later when the river silted up the area became one landmass. It seems likely that the area has been continuously occupied throughout prehistory. According to tradition the first city was founded by the people of Byblos. The first historical reference to Beirut dates from the 15th century BC when it is mentioned in a cuneiform tablet discovered in Egypt at Amarna.
Between Martyrs Square and the sea port a Canaanite section has been uncovered dating back to 1900 BC. This Bronze Age city has an entrance gate of dressed stone. Nearby are the remains of Phoenician canals with sloping sides. The Phoenicians had reused the Canaanite stones as well as smooth round stones brought from the Beirut River. New light on the obscure origins of this city may be shed by the excavations now underway in the Downtown district - the site of the original city ......
The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium