Byblos(Lebanon) a gift to world Heritage
FIJET Golden Apple Award to Byblos –Lebanon 5 to 9 May 2014
By Dr. Georges Younes
Lebanon the small land lying on the eastern Mediterranean shore, Develops eternal communication with the blue sky and horizon, throughout his reliefs, mountains, plains and air. Lebanon is predestined to embrace 8000 years of continuous and solid civilizations that sprouted an exceptional country with awesome values.
Lebanon is bordered by abrupt peaks of Mount Lebanon, Cedars in the north and Sannine above Beirut and Barouk above the shouf in the south, the Fertile Bekaa plain runs parallel to the coast and ends in the foothills of the Anti – Lebanon mountains at the limit of Syria
Frederic Ratzel stated “this region of the world has sustainable potent values all over the history”. This is the only country of 10452 sqKm, that encloses about 3100 touristic natural sites and disclosing more than 2000 Lebanese monuments and ruins in the museums.
The National museum holds more than 1326 archaeological relics, 5 items per 10 sqkm, and most were found in Byblos. Lebanon is considered the first country in terms of cultural, civilized and humanitarian patrimony.
The mild weather of Lebanon combined to a geostrategic location on the Mediterranean shore, influenced the main cities and continuously inhabited for more than 8000 years. Fedrico Mayor the UNESCO president wrote in “Archaeology International Magazine” about the Martyrs square in Beirut in 1995 as one of the biggest and unique civilized field of ruins in the world. “Le Monde” the French magazine placed Beirut discoveries under the title of the most important archaeological sites in the world owed to: the unearthing Canaanites wall dated back to the Bronze period, 6 meters deeper the Phoenician city defensive wall topped with the Persian bastion and the remnants of crusader palace.
In the east Precinct the ruins of Hellenistic Tower, ottoman cave, another one belongs to the Abbasids time, Mamluks remnants, Romanian Mosaic and Hellenistic tools.
All that Means that Beirut was occupied continuously since more than 5000 years, and witnessed a succession of different civilizations, besides the National Museum is the only Museum in the world that nestled the monuments of his own country.
Lebanon owed his cultural stature to the Phoenicians invention of the Alphabet Letters. During the first half of the 2nd century BC, appeared the alphabetic writing which is a standard set of letters based on decomposing the phonemes tones (basic significant sounds) into its simplest components and represent them by spelling letters, and to draw these limited tones in conventional intangible symbols. Ever since the Alphabet delivers the moral from the sensory and segregates between: the name and the named, the drawing and the one designed.
Byblos: a Unesco haritage
The origin of Byblos name is Phoenician Canaanite, called “KBN” in Egyptian in the Tell el- Amarna letters, and in the cuneiform text “Goubla” and “ Goubly” in Assyrian or ” Goubal” In Greek named “Byblos” for being the city through which the import of papers took place. The old Testament mentioned the name “Gebal” and its inhabitants “Gebaleiin “ , during the Crusades time was known “Gibelet”Finally the name is a composite of two syllabuses “Jb” means house and « El », the Supreme god of Byblos Pantheon which means the House of God. Byblos was reputed for the strong relation with Egypt, the construction of Phoenician ships built out of Cedars wood and the pottery production. Actually Close relationships were maintained with the Pharaonic dynasties right up until the New Kingd. Maritime trade was the city's primary source of income; merchants from Byblos traded as far as north Africa and even to parts of Europe. The Phoenicians were conquered first by the Assyrian empire, then the Persians. Alexander the Great brought Byblos under Hellenistic rule; the Greeks were followed by Rome, then a period of Moslem subjugation. The Crusaders made the city part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, after which the Ottoman Empire reigned. In the 20th century, the city was under French mandate, until in 1943 when Lebanon became a recognized state limestone and the remains of Roman structures, it is surrounded by Phoenician, Egyptian temples and Royal Necropolis in addition to the Roman amphitheatre, that tThe Castle: was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century from indigenous estify to the varied and rich history of the town of Byblos.
Ancient Phoenician Temples
Remains of three ancient Phoenician temples have been preserved and uncovered in Byblos: the Temple of Ba`alat Gebal, the Great Temple and the Temple of the Obelisks. Evidence of a fully formed, 22-letter alphabet has been found in the ruins, from which evolved the alphabet we still use today. Descriptions of Solomon's Temple in the Hebrew Scriptures suggest that it embodied several features recognizable from Phoenician temples. The links between Solomon's Temple and the architect Hiram Abiff make the Phoenician remains of particular interest to the senior orders of Freemasonry.
TheTemple of Ba`alat Gebal
The Temple was built around 2,700 B.C. and dedicated to Ba`alat Gebal, the Lady of Byblos known as the ancient city's primary goddess, she was seen by the ancient Egyptians as an aspect of Hathor, and as such was the recipient of devotions from Pharaohs of the second through sixth dynasties. The temple complex included a sacred pool, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea; the goddess was a patroness of ship captains, worshipped for fertility and protection during war. The temple was razed by invading Amorite armies around 2,150 B.C.
The Great Temple
The Great Temple is also thought to be constructed approximately 2,700 years Christ. It is alternately known as the "L"-Shaped Temple for the shape of its main building and was constructed to honor the Egyptian god Resheph, the god of war. This temple was also destroyed during the Amorite invasion
The Temple of the Obelisks
The Temple of the Obelisks is thought to have been built around 1,600 years B.C. and was dedicated to the god Reshef. It was originally located above the ruins of the Great Temple but was moved to facilitate the archaeological excavations there. The temple of the Obelisks is particularly interesting since it comprises a cella -- an inner sanctuary. Most of the antiquities recovered from the site have been moved to the National Museum in Beirut.Byblos is a model for the coexistence between different religions, while visiting the down town we can easily discover Archaeological Churches next to the Mosques: Churches: Saint John Marc, Lady of Deliverance, Sainte Takla, Lady of the Gate, and Nossa Senhora Da Penna Church.
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Fijet Golden Apple to POSTOJNA CAVE (Slovenia)
The final date for the ceremony of awarding Golden Apple to Postojna Cave, Slovenia will be 15 May 2014. The Golden Apple programme will be from May 14 to 18, 2014. Originally planned for March, the event had been postponed due to extremely severe weather conditions in the most area of Slovenia at the beginning of February. At that time, a huge ice storm reached Postojna. Fortunately,there was no damage in the Cave. The Cave was without electrical energy. Outside, in the brother aeria of Postojna power lines were cut but for safety reasons the Cave had to be closed for some days. The Postojna cave is meanwhile reopened for visitors and repairing of the effected infrastructure in the surroundings of Postojna Cave is in progress.Postojna Cave is the Slovenia’s most remarkable natural sight, the most visited cave in Europe and one of the most beautiful caves with richest cave formations in the world. The cave operator company Postonjska jama in recent years introduced the concept of sustainable tourism development for the cave as to preserve this outstanding tourist attraction to future generations in good or an even better shape than today. Marjan Batagelj, CEO of Postonjska jama notes that investments are not mainly aimed at massively increasing the number of visitors, but especially at giving the guests an extraordinary experience, showing them that the cave is truly unique.