Ruins discovered under Saifi 477

It’s not been easy to post about Beirut with all the carnage happening in Gaza. But that doesn’t mean Lebanese developers have paused their activities. Here are some pictures I took a few weeks ago in Gemmayaze, where a new tower is coming up.

The ruins were discovered during the course of excavation works for the new tower, known as Saifi 477. The dig is on Pasteur street, just below the pubs on the Gourand street strip.

The 21 floor tower will offer apartments ranging from first floor one bedrooms in the $600,000’s to luxury split-level units at over $1.4 million according to the prices on offer at this sale site.

Of course, the developer walls block the excavation off almost entirely from public view and as usual, I got yelled at by site supervisors for trying to take pictures. So also as usual, I could only get a few quick snaps from a nearby building and a brief opening of the gate.

The site sits in the middle of an old neighbourhood, as seen by the red roof buildings nearby–meaning the foundations of previous structures were not very deep, so a lot of the ancient ruins could be preserved in the layers below.

Some suggest the site could be significant, maybe even pre-Roman or stretching back to earlier periods, but it’s impossible to speculate. 
I wonder what the ancient architects who once lived here would make of the $1.4 million homes now up for sale. It would have probably blown their ancient socks off! 

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