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New finds in Jableh

The Syrian coast has been renowned for its eventful history and rich archaeological sites that refer to its time-old civilization and great contributions to humanity in all aspects of life.

Recent archaeological excavations conducted in Jableh’s Amphitheatre resulted in the discovery of seven layers, which date back to the Ottoman, Mamluk, Ayyubid, Abbasid, Umayyad, Byzantine and Roman periods.

Director of Jableh’s archaeological Department, Ibrahim Kheir Bek, said that the first layer, which dates back to the Ottoman period, includes a number of Islamic tombs, backbones, and some beads.

Kheir Bek added that excavations of the national archaeological team working in Nibal Peak site, 20 kilometres east of Jableh, unearthed a large structure, built using large carved stone pieces.The structure measures 26.5 m from north to south and is 13.15 m across, built with large stones and smaller, intricately-carved stones in the style of Roman temples. Remains of columns, pottery fragments, Roman and Islamic-era coins were  found there.

Excavation works have been ceaseless during the past few years at Nibal Peak site and other nearby sites, leading to important findings related to the socio-economic and political life in the city over various periods of history. The unearthed finds included a clay lantern adorned with a bird on a branch, glassware, bronze coins and utensils.

It is worth mentioning that the city of Jableh, about 325 kilometres from Damascus, houses important archaeological and religious sites including the tomb and the mosque of Sultan Ibrahim Bin Adham, a famous Sufi mystic who renounced his throne and devoted himself to prayers for the rest of his life.  The city is also the home town of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, a famous leader who fought against the French Colonization in Syria, and then moved to Palestine, where he led a revolution against the British mandate and the armed-to-teeth Zionist gangs. Al-Qassam has become an icon of the Palestinian liberation movements and an example to be followed by Arab fighters against occupation.

Historically speaking, Jableh was an important Roman city; one of the main remains of this period is its amphitheatre, with a seating capacity of about 7,000 spectators.  However, the city houses remains that date back to the Iron Age and to different periods of history including the Phoenician Era. Less than one kilometre off the city centre, the visitor can see Tel Twaini, a city that was inhabited from the third millennium BC. The excavations conducted on the site unveiled important facts about the crucial role played by this site at all levels.