The ancient burial chambers found in Lattakia
The ancient burial chambers found in Lattakia governorate shed light on the history of Syria and its ancient civilizations, providing information about life in ancient times and the rituals and civilization
of ancient people.
Director of Lattakia Archeology Department Jamal Haidar said that modern digging and construction work helped uncover several antique burial chambers and finds in Lattakia, most important of which was the burial chamber complex found in Mar Tekla neighborhood in 2000 which contained hundreds of family crypts.
He said that other discoveries include two carved stone sarcophagi found in Sheikh Daher neighborhood. One of the sandstone sarcophagi bore carvings on the front and sides but not the back which was left blank, while the second bore carvings depicting semicircular coronets in the shape of roses, fruit, laurel and grapes along with embossed bull heads and busts of three bereaved women.
Other important burial chambers include the one found in al-Sejen neighborhood in 2005 which contains a family crypt carved in stone two meters beneath the earth. The chamber contained several artifacts including pottery, glassware, lanterns and metal objects of various shapes, sizes and uses.
Excavations in the mountains and villages of the Syrian coast uncovered many family crypts dating back to Classical, Roman and Byzantine ages of varied qualities, with some simply being located in caves while others belied the wealth and high rank of those buried in them as they were fitted with stone doors and locks.
Haidar said that crypts were often located near water springs because of the ancient belief that the spirit of the deceased will return to where it once lived and that the soul will return to the body at some point, which is why people were buried with all their possessions to find them when they return.
In turn, archeologist Ghassan al-Qayyem said that a burial chamber was uncovered in Mina al-Beda 12 kilometers north of Lattakia in 1997, saying that this site was an important harbor during the days of the Ugarit kingdom.
The burial chamber was built into the ground and closed with seven stone slabs, only one of which remains. 150 bronze and clay artifacts were found inside.