Last update:
October 30, 2009
Thu AlQe'da 11, 1430

History of Tripoli

Prehistory (Before the 7th Century BCE)

Tripoli > History > Prehistory

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Please send your comments, suggestions, or contributions to: Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri.

Major Events

1400-1200 BCE: Recent discovery of pottery fragments: evidence of late Bronze Age settlement. Historical written records mention the settlement of the Had'teen Tribe (Cana'anian) after migrating from Palestine (13th BCE); later on they were known as Tripolitans. Greeks named the Cana'anians 'the Phoeniciancs.'

14th-8th century BCE: Phoenician trading station. Later on, Phoenicians started sailing to shores of Northern Africa and South Europe and establishing cities in many Mediterranean localities.


Archeological Excavations

Tripoli has not been extensively excavated because the ancient site lies buried beneath the modern city of al-Mina. However, a few accidental finds are now in museums. Excavations in al-Mina revealed skeletal remains of ancient wolves, eels, and gazelles, part of the ancient southern port quay, grinding mills, different types of columns, wheels, Bows, and a necropolis from the end of the Hellenistic period. A sounding made in the Crusader castle uncovered Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, in addition to Roman, Byzantine, and Fatimid remains. At the Abou Halka area (at the southern entrance of Tripoli) refuges dating to the early (30,000 years old) and middle Stone Age were uncovered.


The Phoenician Presence in Tripoli

Many historians deny the presence of any Phoenician civilization in Tripoli before the 8th (or sometimes 4th) century BCE. However, a careful investigation of the sequence of Phoenician Port establishements in the Lebanese coast will realize a north to south gradient, thus, indicating an earlier age for the Phoenician Tripoli. Another evidence is supported by the idea that Phoenicians always preferred cities that have islands in front of them. Tripoli fullfils this criterion and in addition it has the Kadisha (Abou Ali) river that, for sure, helped in the establihement of a prosperous city. (Information kindly supplied by Prof. Omar Tadmori).

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