added by archaeologs An ancient seaport on the Mediterranean coast just north of Beirut, Lebanon and one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world. Papyrus received its early Greek name (byblos, byblinos) from its being exported to the Aegean through Byblos. The English word Bible is derived from byblos as "the (papyrus) book." Excavations revealed that Byblos was occupied at least by the Neolithic period (c 8000-4000 BC) and that an extensive settlement developed during the 4th millennium BC. Byblos was the main harbor for exporting cedar and other valuable wood to Egypt from 3000 BC on. Egyptian monuments and inscriptions on the site describe to close relations with the Nile valley throughout the second half of the 2nd millennium. During Egypt's 12th dynasty (1938-1756 BC) Byblos became an Egyptian dependency and the chief goddess of the city Baalat with her well-known temple at Byblos was worshipped in Egypt. After the collapse of the Egyptian New Kingdom in the 11th century BC Byblos became the most important city of Phoenicia. Byblos has yielded almost all of the known early Phoenician inscriptions most of them dating from the 10th century BC. The crusaders captured the town in 1103 but they later lost it to the Ayyubids in 1189. The ruins today consist of the crusader ramparts and gate; a Roman colonnade and small theater; Phoenician ramparts three major temples and a necropolis.
added by archaeologs [Gebal, Gebail]. An important coastal settlement in Lebanon, north of Beirut, occupied for approximately 5000 years. The earliest settlement was a modest Neolithic village of the 6th millennium be with rectangular mud-brick houses with plastered floors. This settlement developed through several phases, throughout the 5th and into the 4th millennium be. It was then abandoned for a period of unknown length and when it was reoccupied before 3000 BC it was as a town with rectangular houses and paved streets. This town went through several phases of development in its turn, with later phases having houses of stone instead of mud-brick and a well-built city wall. The city was violently destroyed, perhaps by the Amorites, late in the 3rd millennium bc. It was rebuilt, however, and urban life continued. The importance of the site lay in its commercial role: its extensive contacts with Egypt (which imported the famous Lebanese timber mostly through Byblos) and trade with many areas of inland western Asia, including southern Mesopotamia. Byblos dominated eastern Mediterranean trade in the 3rd and early 2nd millennia, but its role declined later in the millennium and Ugarit, Sidon and Tyre became the great port sites of the later Bronze Age. The most famous monument of the city was the temple of the ‘Lady of Byblos’ (Ba‘alat Gebal), a local variant of Astarte or Ishtar, the Semitic goddess of love.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983