kilometers south of Sidon you reach the town of Adlun, the
southernmost city of Sidonian territory. The modern place name
Adlun derives from the Latin toponym, Mutatio ad Nonum,
mentioned in the Bordeaux Itinerary and said to be located 18
kilometers north of Tyre.
Like Sarafand, the ancient settlement lies
under the ruins of Tell Ras Abu Zayd on the seashore, while
the modern village is built on the neighboring hills.
The ancient name of Adlun remains a debated question. It may
be the Marubbu of the annals of Esarhaddon and this name
survives in the modern toponym of near-by al Maarib. In the
classical period, the site was called Ornithonpolis.
Prehistoric Caves of Adlun.
Adlun is one of the most famous prehistoric sites of Lebanon.
A rock shelter, a deposit, as well as two caves were
identified in Adlun as early as the 19th century.
The excavation of one of the caves, the so-called Mgharet al
Bzez, yielded remains of human occupation from the
Palaeolithic down to the Neolithic period. The cave entrance
is now closed with an iron gate to protect it and is not open
to the public.
A second cave yielded remains of the
Chalcolithic period. On the terraces overlooking the caves and
the modern village, a Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement
The Necropolis of Adlun
All western travellers have mentioned
the large number of rock-cut tombs on the hills opposite the
seashore. It is unfortunate that these cemeteries have
never been properly excavated and not even systematically
Most of them were robbed in antiquity. The
tombs date to the first millennium B.C., from the Iron Age to
the late Roman-Byzantine period. The oldest tombs have a shaft
while the later ones are simple rock cavities and share the
same plan: an entrance, a door leading to a square funerary
chamber with loculi on three of its walls.