Ancient history

The earliest known settlements in Lebanon date back to earlier than 5000 BC. Archaeologists have discovered in Byblos, which is considered to be one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world, remnants of prehistoric huts with crushed limestone floors, primitive weapons, and burial jars which are evidence of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic fishing communities who lived on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea over 7,000 years ago.

Lebanon was the homeland of the Phoenicians, a seafaring people that spread across the Mediterranean before the rise of Cyrus the Great.After two centuries of Persian rule, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great attacked and burned Tyre, the most prominent Phoenician city. Throughout the subsequent centuries leading up to recent times, the country became part of numerous succeeding empires, among them Persian, Armenian, Assyrian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader, and Ottoman.