El Kharayeb - Adloun, Lebanon - ongoing
Ida Oggiano, Wissam Khalil and the HFF Lebanon Team
The archaeological mission in the localities of Kharayeb and Adloun located on the South-Lebanon coast is a joint Lebanese and Italian multidisciplinary mission directed by both Ida Oggiano from the Institute for Ancient Mediterranean Studies – Italian National Research Council (Roma) and Wissam Khalil from the Department of Arts and Archaeology – Lebanese University (Sidon). This mission is funded by the Honor Frost Foundation, and implemented in close collaboration with the Directorate General of Antiquities, and with the support of the Municipality of Kharayeb.
The first mission was undertaken in 2017 and the survey area stretched from the Litani River in Kharayeb along the coast to the modern port of Adloun (under construction) in the north. To the east, it covered the agricultural plain stretching from the shores and stopped at the edge of the costal road. It aimed to study the coastal area using an interdisciplinary approach mixing geography, geomorphology, history and archaeology, environmental, social, and ethnography.
The survey of the near shore systematically covered all sites and features. As for the plains of Kharayeb and Adloun, the archaeologists surveying the zone couldn’t cover all the area because the majority of the land was fenced or cultivated by plants and trees that made the survey of more than 50 percent of this territory impossible.
The research and archaeological tasks of the 2018 mission are in continuity with the works carried out in 2017. The main aim in 2018 was to survey the coast and planes of Kharayeb, to do underwater surveys in Adloun and Kharayeb and to undertake new soundings on the newly discovered coastal tell located on the Mouth of the Litani River in Kharayeb.
In 2019 an underwater visual survey at the site of Kharayed-Jazira was directed by Dr Lucy Semaan from the HFF Lebanon team, the aim was to gather data in order to set the basis for a management plan of this possibly threatened site and its monitoring in the future. The 2019 terrestrial survey at Adloun consisted of a survey of the coastal landscape in an area of potential anchorages and coastal settlements.
The 2021 mission aims to continue the terrestrial survey in the territories of Kharayeb and Arzay along the course of the Litani River in order to identify potential riverine connectivity with the hinterland, and in Adloun to complete the previous survey works and in search of looted or destroyed archaeological features attested by travellers from the 19th century. In terms of processing of materials, the artefacts surveyed and recorded during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns will be studied and analyzed. These include: the study and typology of pottery, anchors, and tiles in order to better understand their uses and provenance.
Click the links below to download the summary reports….
The 2021 mission continued the terrestrial survey in the territories of Kharayeb and Arzay along the course of the Litani River aiming to identify potential riverine connectivity with the hinterland, no significant features were recorded in this regard.
On the other hand, the Adloun terrestrial survey led to inventorying the tombs and natural grottos in the escarpment stretch under the modern village. The Adloun sea side necropolis was hence documented counting 55 new rock cut tombs of different types. These are to be added to the ones documented during the 2017 and 2019 surveys, hence a total of 91 tombs noted so far in Adloun.
The team managed to locate the place of the famous Egyptian stele attested by travelers in the 19th century and scholars in the first half of the 20th century that was unfortunately looted and destroyed in obscure circumstances.
Likewise, the team located the site of the cave dedicated to the cult of Astarte (caverna pudendorum muliebrium), described by Ernest Renan in the second half of the 19th century. The two rock cut chambers were partially cleaned and documented, they are located in the Palestinian refugee camp of Wasta, a neighborhood of the locality of Kharayeb.
The artefacts resulting from the surveys of 2018 and 2019 campaigns were studied and analyzed in the 2021 season (study and typology of pottery, and tiles).