Jabal Moussa: Archaeology and heritage in the Lebanese mountains

02 December 2020

A projecting western spur of Mount Lebanon adjacent to the Ibrahim or Adonis river, the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve possesses a rich natural and cultural heritage. Given its relative inaccessibility and difficult terrain, what is perhaps most remarkable is the long continuity of human adaptation and occupation of this mountain landscape. 

This talk presents the results of an ongoing collaborative project (2018-onwards) between the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa (APJM), a Lebanese non-governmental and non-profit organisation, and a team of landscape archaeologists, who have come together to explore the archaeology and heritage of this region, from prehistory to the present day.

The discussions will cover some of the main archaeological findings from the past few years of survey and highlight the ways in which these stories and narratives can be integrated with ongoing conservation, heritage protection and promotion efforts in Lebanon.

About the speakers:

Pierre Doumet is a founding member and currently the president of APJM. Although a volunteer position, Pierre dedicates more time and effort in managing APJM than he does on managing three other companies which he directs. Renowned for his pioneer work in the private sector, Pierre brought the professionalism and focus of the private sector to the not-for-profit domain of APJM. Under his management, Jabal Moussa, designated a Biosphere Reserve in 2009, became one of the most important ecotourism destinations in Lebanon, receiving an exponentially growing number of visitors every year.

Joelle Barakat is Conservation Manager at AJPM. Born and raised in Yahchouch, one of the villages of the Biosphere Reserve, Joelle has been working for APJM for 8 years, competently overseeing projects pertaining to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage as well as sustainable development and local outreach.

Jennie Bradbury is an Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College, USA. A former CBRL committee member, her main research interests focus on social complexity; the role of ‘non-optimal’ zones; burial traditions and mortuary practices; landscape archaeology, GIS and archaeological survey techniques; and cultural heritage. An active field archaeologist, she has worked in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Syria, and since 2018 has been working in collaboration with the APJM on an archaeological and heritage field survey.

Stephen McPhillips is a landscape archaeologist whose research interests focus on rural society and hydro-agricultural and ceramic technologies of medieval and Ottoman periods. He has worked on projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and the Arabian Gulf and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen, a fellow at the University of Bonn, and an independent consultant. He has been working as a consultant in collaboration with the APJM on an archaeological and heritage field survey since 2018.

Webinar recordings

Watch the webinar on our YouTube channel or listen to the podcast.