Upon the preliminary results of both, the auger coring and the bathymetry campaigns held in 2013-2014, the scientific research project “Byblos and the Sea” is submitting herewith a new mission to the Honor Frost Foundation.
The auger coring campaign results confirm the existence of a silted-in basin, laying inland under the so-called “Armenian Orphanage” lot in Byblos. The nature of the sediments in the 29 cores (still to be dated by C14 dating) showed, unanimously, a well protected basin, wide enough (ca. 10.000 -15.000 m2) and deep enough (ca.1.5-3.5m of depth) to accommodate a fleet of commercial boats, as stated in ancient Egyptian annals (the Ounamon story). Moreover, the underwater bathymetric survey has shown preliminary results in the Yasmine Bay, matching the inland auger coring results: the seabed of that Bay has proven to be quite deep, covered by a thick layer of loose sediments; this means that the entire Qassouba valley (in which lies the Armenian lot), bordering the archaeological site of Byblos, seems to have been deeper and suitable for mooring boats. Final reports will be shedding more light on the antique geomorphology of the area.
In the light of these outstanding results, “Byblos & the Sea” will hold a geophysical survey mission on the “Armenian Orphanage” lot from March 22nd till April 4th, 2015. The objective of this new survey is to define the areas outside the silted-in basin and to spot possible man-made structures around its shores.