In the week before Christmas I went to see my last exhibition of 2022. I went to Leiden, with my parents to visit the Rijkmuseum voor Oudheden, or the National museum for Antiquities. There is an exhibition about Byblos.
This is a city in Lebanon, and it was already inhabited in 6500 BC when it was a town for fishermen. The pharaohs of Egypt wanted the precious cederwood and traded exclusively with Byblos, because the goddess that was revered there was for the Egyptians the same as their goddess Hathor. It did not stop there and around 3000 BC Byblos was the largest international sea-port in the world.
Byblos was also a large centre of the trade in papyrus and because of this the Greek called the papyrus Biblion. This became the word for book and later also for bible and for example bibliotheek (library).
It was amazing to see so many artifacts that were so old, some thousands of years. So here are a few examples.
|model of an Egyptian boat for the dead|
|Lid with a small cow on top|
|Little jar in the form of a dove (probably)|
|The lady of Byblos, the Goddess who was revered here|
The exhibition can still be seen until March 2023.