Temple of Eshmun, Lebanon


A Phoenician Temple, famous for its healing waters 

Expedition Overview
The Temple of Eshmun was documented as part of Project Anqa a collaboration between the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), CyArk and Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH). In January 2017, CyArk held a workshop at the UNESCO offices in Beirut, Lebanon to provide training in digital preservation techniques to local heritage professionals from Syria and Lebanon. As part of the training program, The Temple of Eshmun was documented using both terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry and LiDAR laser scanning by CyArk and the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in collaboration with the Lebanese Directorate of Antiquities. Support for this project was provided by the Arcadia Fund.

Project Anqa is a collaboration between ICOMOS, CyArk and Carleton University.

Introducing the Temple of Eshmun
The Temple of Eshmun was established sometime at the end of the 7th century BCE by Phoenicians who worshiped Eshmun, the god of healing. Phoenicians were sea faring peoples who lived in the Eastern Mediterranean Coast, largely controlling the trade routes in the Mediterranean. They were particularly famous for exporting cloth dyed in Tyrian purple, attained from processing a specific sea snails living in the Mediterranean sea. The Temple of Eshmun is located 2km north of Sidon, a major Phoenician town south of Beirut. The location of the temple was chosen due to its proximity to a water source that would be used in ceremonies. The site was damaged following a large earthquake in the 4th century BCE. However, later cultures continued to build around this important religious site. Today, the site contains a diverse range of structures from different eras.
Mosaics of Eshmun
After the destruction of the original temple in the fourth century, the site remained a place of pilgrimage for the devout and the cult of Eshmun. During the Roman period, several mosaics were installed including a series of mosaics on the principal stairway of the site. After Roman occupation, a Byzantine church was built on the site, with intricate mosaics portraying the four seasons on the floor.

Using the 3D data collected during the project, CyArk was able to produce 3D models of the eroding friezes as well as orthographic images of the mosaics for site managers to help inform ongoing conservation efforts.

Summary of Data Captured

This project resulted in the following data which is now freely available for non-commercial use.

Areas with LiDAR documentation are indicated in grey. Areas with photogrammetry are indicated in yellow.

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This project was made possible through the following partners:


Carleton University

Yale University

DGAM Syria

Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage Project

Lebanese Directorate of Antiquities

UNESCO Office in Beirut

Lebanese Directorate of Antiquities

Arcadia Fund

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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