city center of Beirut was home to a number of civilizations over thousands of years and a
wealth of archeological monuments and relics are embedded in its soil. One of the concerns
of the development and reconstruction of the BCD is to bring to light this
archeological wealth and integrate it into the city center.
three phases, archeological excavations in the BCD began in the autumn of 1993 with
area surveys. The second phase, which consists of open-site excavations, started in the
last quarter of 1994, in the region between Martyrs' Square and the Place de l'Etoile.
The third phase, which consists of salvage excavations, began
in June 1994 in the Souks area with a team from the American University of Beirut and
British archeologists, and another team from the University of Amsterdam. These
excavations were to continue throughout 1994 and the two initial teams are to be joined by
teams from the University of Leyden and the Lebanese University.
The excavations are scheduled to last between 24 to 30 months
in the area between Martyrs' Square and Place de l'Etoile, the Maronite St. George Church
to the south and the Omari mosque to the north. If the excavations yield significant
finds, the area will be designated an archeological park. In other parts of the BCD,
archeological finds will be integrated into the architecture of new buildings or placed on
display in public gardens or the National Museum.