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Amrit
 

Amrit was found in the Amorites period, 3rd millenium B.C. Amrit or Amurre is the ancient Canaanite name. In the time of Alexander the Great, Amrit was known by the Greek name: Marathus. It was one of the biggest cities in the East. The coins were coined by Marathus in the 2nd and 3rd century B.C, the thing which refers that Amrit played important and economical role. It was under Aradus Kingdom domination.

7 kilometers, south of Tartoos. Its temple is characterized by a pure Phoenician style.

 The following map clarifies the geographical distribution of Amrit. It also shows the civil habitation places, the temple, the stadium, and the mausoleums (tombs of Amrit and Aradus Kings), the port, the riverheads, and the holy rivers.
 

Amrit temple (Melkart god temple)
Amrit staduim
 
The mausoleums(the kingly tombs).
Martias ; the holy river near the Temple.
 

The temple:
The temple is carved in rocks. It overlooked Maritas River (Amrit River nowadays). The temple is surrounded by a holy water spring with a drain carved in rocks. People at that time were coming with pottery vessels to fill them with the holy water for recovery.
The holy cella was still standing in spite the passing of time, while the niche was for putting the statue of the temple god.
Many Phoenician writings were found near the site. The statue refers that it is Melkart god chair (who is able to cure various disease including diets).

The stadium:
It is older than the Olympic stadium. Many studies refer that the Phoenicians removed their sports to Greece.
This stadium was carved in the rock layers in this site.
The length of the stadium is 230 meters, and its width is 30 meters, seven steps surround it. Around its parts, we notice some tombs and traces of adjoining ancient constructions. The stadium was for great sport events, like running, jumping, throwing, wrestling


The Mausoleums "Magazel":

Inhabitants at that time called them the mausoleums "Magazel" because of the glory of their memorials. They are two kinds:

The first is pyramidal that consist of a cubic base which ends by a simple cornice which has stairs engraved in rocks and a door that leads to two rooms which are going back to the 5th century B.C.

The second is domical near the pyramidal one. Its parts are decorated by sculptures that represent profiling lions from the Persian style. It has stairs, and a small space including small halls.
Many archeological workshops are digging now in Amrit site and suffering from an excessive lack of equipments, staffs, and security.(especially section no.5 (the existing site of Amrit camp ) named by the Ministry of Tourism that we do not agree in naming it in this way because civilization should not be cut and fragmented into pieces- especially that, the site is for sale in touring investment.
From the moment of digging and exploration by the national excavation team, a lot of city features have appeared (houses which go back to the Hellenistic period and the Phoenician one under it. That was so clear through the stony walls and watercourses. All that shows the glory of that civilization) and the kiln in addition to a rich collection of findings like the painted and normal clay pots, the clay lanterns, some jewelry, and coins.
 

Familial Hypogeum of three layers (notice the entrance)
A side of familial hypogeum. The national excavation team is working in.
A side of a watercourse in a habitant place
 A kiln composed of clay walls beside a wall
 

     

Finally, it is noteworthy to say that the Phoenicians - who presented to the world their alphabets, worships, and civilization- deserve our deep interest in their ruins especially Amrit. This interest aims at showing Amrit as a Phoenician identity to the whole world and making our country important in the archeological world of tourism (which is known as cultural tourism). This interest is also taking important ,decisive steps and measures for protecting this historical site from robbery from one side and the touring projects from another in order not to bury Amrit under the Cement beast.

Tourism does not mean only hotels and restaurants that maybe found in any state of the world, but it means the ruins of great civilizations that are deeply rooted in our nation.

 
Translated by: Majd Kara