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Tombs of Achaemenids unearthed in south Lebanon, more finds likely

Beirut, Aug 4, IRNA -- Archaeologists said in Beirut on Wednesday that they have unearthed 10 giant stone tombs belonging to the era of Achaemenid rule over Lebanon near the southern city of Saida.

As'ad Seif, an archaeologist, told IRNA that the tombs dated back to 500 BC. He added that the tombs had been located inside a cave, and that each five of them had been covered by two round stone plates.

Seif also said several pieces of bones had been discovered in the graves.

He further stressed that Saida Archaeology Department believes that more indications of the Persian rule could be excavated in the area, adding that the department has accordingly stepped up efforts to that outcome.

The discovery of tombs in Saida follows a similar incident east of the city weeks ago when several stone tombs belonging to the Achaemenids dynasty were unearthed.

Archaeologists say the newly discovered tombs are different from previous cases, adding that this has made Lebanese research institutions to call for increasing excavation activities to find more signs of the Persian reign over eastern Mediterranean.

The Achaemenids ruled over Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine from 530 BC to 330 BC.

Archaeologists have discovered a stone column and a capital in the shape of a cow, similar to those in Iran's ancient Persepolis stone complex, in excavations that have been so far carried out in central Beirut, Saida and Jubail in northern Lebanon. The column and the capital are believed to belong to the era of the Achaemenids.

... Payvand News - 8/5/04 ... --

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