Justly defined as the “museum of treasure trove”, The National Museum of Beirut hosts a prestigious collection of Lebanese funerary objects from Pre-history to the Islamic Conquest and artefacts from the Mamluk period.
It also boasts the largest collection in the world of anthropoid sarcophagi, dating from the Phoenician period, 6th to 4th century BCE, which were discovered in 1901, in Sidon, on the site where the refugee camp of Ayn El Helweh is currently located. The sarcophagi, each unique, are sculpted in white marble from Paros, in Egyptian style, though the faces are recognisably Greek. This mixture of styles is a typical feature of Phoenician art. The sarcophagi are on display to great effect in the basement of the museum with its softer lighting, lower ceiling and subtle use of mirrors.
Other splendid exhibits include the Roman frescoes from the Tomb discovered at Tiro and restored by the Development Cooperation of Italy and three of the eight 13th century mummies from the Kadisha Valley in Northern Lebanon. No photography is allowed so you will just have to go and see for yourself!!