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Open map of LebanonFlag of LebanonLebanon / Cities and Towns /
Byblos
Arabic: jubayl
Other name/spellings:Jbail, Jbeil, Jubayl, Jbayl





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Byblos

Byblos, Lebanon.
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Byblos, Lebanon. Photo: Rainer Puster.

Byblos, Lebanon.
Byblos, Lebanon.

Byblos, Lebanon.
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Photo: James Gallagher.

Byblos, Lebanon.
Byblos, Lebanon.

Byblos, Lebanon.
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Photo: Serge Melki.

Town and port in Lebanon with a few thousand inhabitants on the Mediterranean Sea, 30 km north of Beirut. Its modern name is Jbail.
Byblos is among the oldest continuous inhabited settlements in the world, although the continuation of its settlement through the last 800 years have been scant at times.
Byblos is also said to be the name giver to the Bible. Byblos was the port for papyrus export to the Aegean countries, and their name for papyrus was byblos. Yet, it is not certain whether 'byblos' is derived from the town or if the town was named after the product exported. Its most common ancient names were Gebal (Hebrew), Kubna (Ancient Egyptian) and Gubla (Akkadian), all close to its present name Jbail.
Byblos became an important and wealthy town as a chief harbour for the export of cedar and other valuable wood to Egypt. It would later develop into dealing with more sophisticated trade, often with re-exporting. It appears Byblos was never a great city in terms of inhabitants, perhaps with 10,000 inhabitants at the most.
Byblos today is rich in remains from most of its historical periods. The Temple of Balaat Gebal dates back to 2800 BCE, there are Egyptian monuments and inscriptions dating back to the 2nd millennium BCE, from the Phoenician era ramparts, 3 temples and a necropolis, from the Romans a colonnade and a small theatre, from the Christian Crusaders, ramparts and a gate.

History
5000 BCE: Neolithic settlement at the site of Byblos.
4th millennium: The settlement of Byblos grows into a major one.
11th century: Byblos becomes the major city of Phoenicia.
10th century BCE: Byblos loses its importance to the Sidonian kingdom.
636: Falls to the Muslim Arabs.
1103: Conquered by the Crusaders, and named Gibelet.
1189: Conquered by Saladin.
1921: Excavations are begun at Byblos by French archaologists.




By Tore Kjeilen