The Archaeological and Cultural Landscape of Anfeh - Blue House Conversations

Lucy Semaan, Nadine Panayot, and Naseem Raad

On June 26, 2023, the Honor Frost Foundation team in Lebanon organized a captivating public event at the newly inaugurated Blue House Beirut, titled ‘The Archaeological and Cultural Landscape of Anfeh’. This event served as a platform for an engaging dialogue with two eminent Lebanese archaeologists, recounting the tales of their experience while working at the coastal town of Anfeh, North Lebanon. The presenters were Dr Nadine Panayot, the Curator of the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut, and Dr Lucy Semaan, the Lead Maritime Archaeologist of the Honor Frost Foundation in Lebanon. Guiding the discourse was Dr Naseem Raad, the program coordinator for the Marine Sciences and Culture program at the American University of Beirut. 

Dr. Nadine Panayot has been the scientific director of the Anfeh Project since 2010, leading an interdisciplinary research effort to reconstruct the history of the site using archaeological information, literary evidence, and ethnographic information. Dr. Lucy Semaan focused on studying the maritime cultural landscape and seascape at the site during her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Balamand from 2015 to 2018. Since 2022, Dr. Panayot is sharing the directorship of the site with Dr. Patricia Antaki, who has succeeded her as the Director of the Department of Archaeology and Museology at the University of Balamand.

Amidst this exchange, the crowd was introduced to the significance of archaeological fieldwork and the methodologies employed to the understanding of archaeological landscapes. This event brought the public closer to their heritage through knowledge and experience sharing in an informal setting. Dr Panayot and Dr Semaan shared how they started their projects, faced challenges, and how their relationship with the local community developed as their work in Anfeh progressed.

This event was the first step towards transforming the Blue House into a hub for open conversations about archaeology and heritage. The HFF-Lebanon team extends an open invitation to all archaeologists, culture specialists, and heritage managers and practitioners to come and share their work with a wider audience at the welcoming space of the Blue House.

Please enjoy this video recording of the Anfeh talk at the Blue House

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