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
kilometers, south of Tartoos. Its temple is
characterized by a pure Phoenician style.
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.
(Melkart god temple)
mausoleums(the kingly tombs).
Martias ; the holy river
near 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).
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
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,
Inhabitants at that time called them the mausoleums
"Magazel" because of the glory of their memorials. They are two
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
Hypogeum of three layers (notice the entrance)
A side of
familial hypogeum. The national excavation team
is working in.
side of a watercourse in a habitant place
kiln composed of clay walls beside a wall
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.
by: Majd Kara