Abstract

After centuries of archaeological debate, the harbors of Phoenicia's two most important city states, Tyre and Sidon, have been rediscovered, and including new geoarcheological results reveal how, where, and when they evolved after their Bronze Age foundations. The early ports lie beneath their present urban centers, and we have indentified four harbor phases. (1) During the Bronze Age, Tyre and Sidon were characterized by semi-open marine coves that served as protoharbors. (2) Biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic data indicate the presence of early artificial basins after the first millennium B.C. (3) The harbors reached their apogees during the Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods. (4) Silting up and coastal progradation led to burial of the medieval basins, lost until now.

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