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When archaeologist Claude Serhal and her team began excavating the Sidon archaeological site thought to be the famed "pleasure garden of the Persians," her colleagues at the British Museum anticipated the dig would take two years.There is no trace of the Persian pleasure garden, but the discoveries at the Sidon site are altering long-held global views on the history of the Levant region.Located on land expropriated by Lebanon's Directorate General of Antiquities in the 1950s, the excavations in Sidon have uncovered traces of successive civilizations, from the third millennium B.C. through to the Crusader period.One of the archaeological finds uncovered by Serhal and her team.Sidon is the second urban dig to be conducted in Lebanon, after the Beirut Tal was excavated during the 1990s. Serhal is reluctant to give a firm date by which the museum will be finished, but says that the artifacts have already been selected and cataloged and are ready for display.Photos courtesy of Dr. Claude SerhalIn the meantime, excavations will continue until the museum is complete – which she hopes will be within the next three years. Serhal believes the sacrifice is worth it.
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