Byblos. The World’s Most Ancient Port

David Kertai with contributions by Jona Lendering | Forthcoming

Byblos. The World’s Most Ancient Port

David Kertai with contributions by Jona Lendering | Forthcoming


Paperback ISBN: 9789464261493 | Imprint: Sidestone Press | Format: 210x280mm | 152 pp. | Language: Dutch | 14 illus. (bw) | 148 illus. (fc) | Keywords: Byblos; Lebanon; history of the Levant; archaeology; Fenicia | download cover

Publication date: 14-10-2021

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  • Bookinfo

    Paperback ISBN: 9789464261493 | Imprint: Sidestone Press | Format: 210x280mm | 152 pp. | Language: Dutch | 14 illus. (bw) | 148 illus. (fc) | Keywords: Byblos; Lebanon; history of the Levant; archaeology; Fenicia | download cover

    Publication date: 14-10-2021

We will plant a tree for each order containing a paperback or hardback book via OneTreePlanted.org.

Byblos tells the fascinating tale of a Lebanese port. This epic, which started over 8,500 years ago, is about sailors and merchants, kings and pharaohs, heroes and fortune-seekers. Their stories are all intrinsically linked to the legendary cedars that grow in the Lebanon Mountains, just behind Byblos.

The Lebanese cedar acquired a mythical status from Egypt to Mesopotamia. The tree reaches a height of up to 40 meters. The wood is fairly light and hardly shrinks, is highly resistant to decay, and can easily be used for ships, roof beams, and coffins. The hills east of Byblos, that reach between 2,500 and 3,000 meters, belong to the southernmost region in which the large cedars grow.

From 3200 years BC to nearly 2000 years later, Byblos is the most prominent port in the Mediterranean. The city owes its reputation to the unique relation it establishes with the Egyptian pharaohs. Byblos gives them access to the riches of the cedar woods and acts as a gateway between the Middle-East and Egypt. The search for wood alters the history of Byblos and in turn the history of the Mediterranean. The sea becomes a place where merchants and other travellers exchange goods and ideas.

This book combines these stories about the beginning of seafaring, trade, religion, and diplomacy. The book ends with the Roman era during which Byblos is transformed into a place of worship and pilgrimage. In the centuries that followed, the old myths lost their power and new religions and stories arose.


This book is also available in Dutch


About the authors

David Kertai is curator of the Ancient Near East at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden. He studied architecture, ancient history, and archaeology and worked as a researcher and lecturer at University College London, New York University and the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2005 he has been active as an archaeologist in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

Jona Lendering is a historian, journalist, and lecturer. He created the website Livius.org and maintains a daily blog on ancient history, MainzerBeobachter.com (in Dutch). He is also the author of several books, including Edge of Empire. Rome’s Frontier on the Lower Rhine.


Exhibition in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities

Byblos is a major exhibition about the world’s most ancient port in Lebanon, with five hundred objects, including masterpieces from the National Museum of Beirut, the Louvre and the British Museum. The exhibition is on display from October 14 2022 until March 12 2023. Click here for more information.

Foreword Sarkis El Khoury & Wim Weijland
Introduction Finding Our Bearings, and a Puzzle

Chapter 1 The Beginning
Chapter 2 The ‘Byblos Ships’ Set Sail
Chapter 3 Byblos Becomes a City
Chapter 4 Byblos and Egypt
Chapter 5 Byblos and Mesopotamia
Chapter 6 The Lady of Byblos and Her Country
Chapter 7 Prosperity and Diplomacy
Chapter 8 The King and the Elite
Chapter 9 Archaeology of a Forgotten Religion
Chapter 10 Between two Superpowers
Chapter 11 Bronze and Iron
Chapter 12 The First Empires
Chapter 13 A New, Old City

Epilogue The World’s Most Ancient Port

Timeline of Byblos
Find Out More
Sources and Acknowledgements
Lenders to the Exhibition
Photo Credits

Abstract:

Byblos tells the fascinating tale of a Lebanese port. This epic, which started over 8,500 years ago, is about sailors and merchants, kings and pharaohs, heroes and fortune-seekers. Their stories are all intrinsically linked to the legendary cedars that grow in the Lebanon Mountains, just behind Byblos.

The Lebanese cedar acquired a mythical status from Egypt to Mesopotamia. The tree reaches a height of up to 40 meters. The wood is fairly light and hardly shrinks, is highly resistant to decay, and can easily be used for ships, roof beams, and coffins. The hills east of Byblos, that reach between 2,500 and 3,000 meters, belong to the southernmost region in which the large cedars grow.

From 3200 years BC to nearly 2000 years later, Byblos is the most prominent port in the Mediterranean. The city owes its reputation to the unique relation it establishes with the Egyptian pharaohs. Byblos gives them access to the riches of the cedar woods and acts as a gateway between the Middle-East and Egypt. The search for wood alters the history of Byblos and in turn the history of the Mediterranean. The sea becomes a place where merchants and other travellers exchange goods and ideas.

This book combines these stories about the beginning of seafaring, trade, religion, and diplomacy. The book ends with the Roman era during which Byblos is transformed into a place of worship and pilgrimage. In the centuries that followed, the old myths lost their power and new religions and stories arose.


This book is also available in Dutch


About the authors

David Kertai is curator of the Ancient Near East at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden. He studied architecture, ancient history, and archaeology and worked as a researcher and lecturer at University College London, New York University and the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2005 he has been active as an archaeologist in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

Jona Lendering is a historian, journalist, and lecturer. He created the website Livius.org and maintains a daily blog on ancient history, MainzerBeobachter.com (in Dutch). He is also the author of several books, including Edge of Empire. Rome’s Frontier on the Lower Rhine.


Exhibition in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities

Byblos is a major exhibition about the world’s most ancient port in Lebanon, with five hundred objects, including masterpieces from the National Museum of Beirut, the Louvre and the British Museum. The exhibition is on display from October 14 2022 until March 12 2023. Click here for more information.

Contents

Foreword Sarkis El Khoury & Wim Weijland
Introduction Finding Our Bearings, and a Puzzle

Chapter 1 The Beginning
Chapter 2 The ‘Byblos Ships’ Set Sail
Chapter 3 Byblos Becomes a City
Chapter 4 Byblos and Egypt
Chapter 5 Byblos and Mesopotamia
Chapter 6 The Lady of Byblos and Her Country
Chapter 7 Prosperity and Diplomacy
Chapter 8 The King and the Elite
Chapter 9 Archaeology of a Forgotten Religion
Chapter 10 Between two Superpowers
Chapter 11 Bronze and Iron
Chapter 12 The First Empires
Chapter 13 A New, Old City

Epilogue The World’s Most Ancient Port

Timeline of Byblos
Find Out More
Sources and Acknowledgements
Lenders to the Exhibition
Photo Credits










We will plant a tree for each order containing a paperback or hardback book via OneTreePlanted.org.

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