Tell el-Ghassil is an archaeological site located on the AUB farm in the Bekaa, 16 km south-west of Baalbeck. Twelve excavation campaigns were conducted at this site, between 1956 and 1974, by the AUB Museum team. Eleven archaeological levels ranging from 1800 to 600 BC, indicate that Tell el Ghassil was a rural agrarian site.
The excavation revealed four temples from the Iron Age (9th – 8th c. BC), domestic settlements from the 8th c. B.C., and seven tombs from the Middle Bronze Age (1800 – 1650 BC). Several types of burials were found: Three infant jar burials, three ground burials for children and adults and one multiple burial for adults. It included four or five persons: one complete body with arms folded across the chest and the others dismembered. The funerary material buried with the bodies includes 3 plates, 4 bowls, 2 juglets, 4 beads and one bronze needle.
At the AUB Museum, a showcase displays several objects that were discovered on the site, several cultic objects such as tripod incense burners, jugs and juglets, beads and other small objects. Another showcase features the reconstruction of the multiple burials tomb with one complete skeleton found in it. It is in a fetal position which represents the belief in rebirth at that time. The vessels used in daily life were placed next to the dead, for use in the afterlife.
A rare juglet (Inv.# 08.1286) known as Tell Yehudiyeh Ware decorated with birds and a palm tree dates the latter cemetery to the Middle Bronze age (ca. 1730 BC). It is a juglet (Ht.:10.5; Diam. of Body:7.2 cm) with button base, pyriform body, tall narrow neck, everted slightly rolled rim, and a single grooved loop handle from shoulder to rim.
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Infant jar burial
Tell el Ghassil Tomb
|Juglet (Inv.# 08.1286- TGh 73.43); |
Ht.:10.5; Diam. of Body:7.2 cm; (ca. 1730 BC)
Tell el Ghassil Tomb (sketch)
Objects from Tell el Ghassil displayed at the AUB Museum
Reconstructed tomb at the AUB Museum