Statuette of a child with a Phoenician inscription
This statuette was given by Baalshillem, son of king Banaa, king of the Sidonians, son of king Baalshillem, king of the Sidonians, to his lord Eshmun of the spring Yd[l]al. May he bless him
Marble, Sanctuary of Eshmun
Bustan esh Sheikh (near Sidon), 5th c. B.C.
This statuette was discovered in a sanctuary dedicated to the healing god Eshmun. This offering was dedicated to the god by the parents, to thank him for the healing of their child

Pendant, gold and agate
Magharet Tabloun (near Sidon), 5th century B.C

Crater decorated with ducks, terracotta
Khalde, 9th-7th century B.C.
Because of the Cypriot influence on its decoration, the Khalde crater attests clearly the existence of important trade relations between the Phoenician cities and the Mediterranean during the 1st millenium B.C.

Anthropo´d sarcophagus, marble
Ayn el Helwe (near Sidon), 5th century B.C.
This anthropo´d sarcophagus which developped from the Egyptian mummy case, has a head sculptured in the Greek style on its cover. It belongs to the Ford Collection which was discovered in 1901 in Sidon.

Necklace decorated with a gorgone's head, gold
Magharet Tabloun (near Sidon)
5th century B.C.
This jewellry was found in the tomb of a woman whose high social rank is attested by the good quality and the wealth of the objects buried with her.



The Iron Age co´ncides with the First Millenium B.C. and is divided into Iron Age I (XII-IX c.), II (IX-VII c.) and III (VI-IV c.).

During this period, and after an era of autonomy, the city-states of the area came under Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian hegemony. Under the latter, Phoenicia became part of the VIth satrapy (province) whose capital was Sidon. The Phoenician fleet was placed under the orders of the Great Persian King and participated in his military expeditions in the Mediterranean.

In Lebanon, the Iron Age co´ncides with the climax of the Phoenician civilization which culminated in its maritime expansion and the transmission of the alphabet which was attributed by the Greek legend to the Tyrian Cadmos.

The word Phoenician is a Greek designation meaning red or purple which referred to the people of the Levantine coast during that period. Tyre mastered the production of purple dye and her fame, wealth and power were immortalized by the prophet Ezekiel.

Rhyton depicting head of a pig, terracotta
Sheikh Zenad, 5th century B.C.
This type of pottery is a Greek import known as Attic ware because it comes from the region of Athens. Caracterized by its black glaze, it bears witness to the trade exchanges in the Mediterranean between the 6th and the 4th c. B.C.

Capital with bull protomes, marble
Sidon, 5th century B.C.
This capital belongs also to the Ford Collection and shows the strong influence of the Persian art of Susa and Persepolis in Sidon during the Late Iron Age.