Other Archaeological Sites / The Neolithic of the Levant (500 Page Book Online)
Ancient Tyre (Sour)
Important Phoenician settlement on the coast of Lebanon south of Beirut. Continuous settlement has restricted excavation to the Byzantine and Roman levels and information about the Phoenician town comes only from documentary sources. It was situated on an offshore island and had a double harbour linked by a canal which allowed sheltered anchorage and a safe outlet whatever the wind direction. It appears in ancient documents as a powerful and important trading centre famous especially for the purple dye made from murex shells which was known as Tyrian Purple after this site. It was the parent city of Carthage which inherited the leadership of the western Phoenician (Punic) cities after Tyre fell to the Neo-Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 572 BC. On this occasion the city withstood a 13 year siege before it fell; in 332 BC there was another remarkable siege by Alexander the Great who finally succeeded by building a causeway to the island from the mainland ...