HILDUA + QARTIMME
We arrive at the fifth name in the list of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (676 BC) of the towns of the
= hi-il-du-u-a. I
mentioned the place earlier (oktober 2013) in relation with Qartimme in the
IMPOSSIBLE. At that time I had more questions than solutions. Now I have found
more facts. So a revision is possible and necessary because it will become
clear that we are dealing here with a conglomerate of towns and necropolis at a
short distance of each other. MISSION
Lipinski states in his book Itineraria : “Here is a general agreement in identifying Hi-il-du-u-a with the mutation Heldua of the
Bordeaux Itinerary and with present-day Halde,
known in earlier literature as Han al-Hulde, 12 km south of
and 17 km south of the ancient city limits. The XII Roman miles indicated by
the Bordeaux Itinerary as the distance from Berut to Halde are thus correct,
but the VIII miles given as the distance from Halde to Porphyreon should be
emended into VIIII (IX!?), since the
actual distance by the ancient road amounted to 14.5 km. The Han al-Hulde
occupied the site of the ancient city, as shown by the remains of the
Roman-Byzantine town uncovered in 1967-1975 near the highway from Beirut Beirut to .
They comprise private houses and churches with pavements in mosaics, datable
from the mid-5th through the 8th century AD. Close to
this place, two other churches have been unearthed in 1959.” Sidon
Lipinski is right, that Han al-Hulde (south of Halde or Khaldé) is the Roman-Byzantine town, but what is lying underneath it? Was that Hildua from the 7th century BC, or just bare grounds? In any case, it is only sure, that Han al-Hulde is at the first place a Roman-Byzantine town out of the late Roman period, although there are some objects found out of the Persian and Hellenistic period.
Because in Han al-Hulde or in the vicinity are found graves and inscriptions:
RES 1916: inscription with ink on an amphora founded in 1897. Text: ‘d’g‘lt. Meaning:?
RES 611: inscription on a block of sandstone in the necropolis along the road from
Beirut to .
Text: dbr ‘bd ---- , hkhn’ ------. Meaning: it has something to do with a
priest. The last inscription is from the 2nd half of the 2nd
There is still no proof, that Han al-Hulde is also Hildua, because nothing out of the 7th century has been found. Only the name of (k)Halde shows a great similarity to the ancient name, which Esarhaddon in 676 BC used: hi-ul-du-u-a!
Lipinski continues: “More to the north, on the slopes of the hill of Qabbat aš-šwayfet, a large Phoenician cemetery was discovered in 1961-1962 with 422 registered tombs. The 178 tombs excavated then by R.Saidah can be dated from the 10th through the end of the 8th century BC. They certainly confirm the existence of an important Phoenician town, which must be the Hildua of Esarhaddon’s inscriptions.”
There can be no doubt that this was a Phoenician necropolis, but was it accompanied at that spot by the town of
That is not sure. Hildua
In this very old cemetery the buried objects were urns for the cremation with a bichrome painting and so-called Red Slip jars with a round mouth or a threefold mouth and also Egyptian scarabs. Pilgrim-bottles and beer-bottles are found especially in the oldest graves.
There is even found a small Phoenician inscription= gtty. We don’t know what that word stands for. We only know gṭy as a personal name.
Maybe the name Hildua was used for both places:
Hildua-the-town = Khaldé / Han al Hulde (no great cemetery found yet)(only from 5th century BC)
Hildua-the-necropolis = Aš-šwayfet (no town found yet)(from the 7th century BC)
To make things much more complicated: E.Forrer proposed Bet-Supuri at ‘Ayin Sawfar in: “Die Provinzeinteilung des Assyrischen Reiches,
, 1920, p.65”. Is by the way Aš šwayfet
the same as ‘Ayin Sawfar? If not, this location must much more in the interior. Leipzig
Somewhere close to
we find the sixth town, which Esarhaddon mentioned in his list from 676 BC. The
exact location has not been found so far. It can be at the mouth of the Wadi al
Ghadir or at Gneh or Al Awrai? Beirut
Lipinski in Itineraria
“The next city is called Qar-ti-im-me,
which means in Phoenician: City at the Sea, in Phoenician letters: qrt-ym. The
Byzantine chronicler John Malalas, born in Phoenicia Antioch,
mentions a small town Khartima, which he locates in Maritime Phoenicia, at the border of Tyrian and Sidonian
territories, and considers as the birthplace of Elissa-Dido, the reputed
founder of .
The same tradition is recorded in a Ge’ez chronicle, which suggested to Carthage Ch. Clermont-Ganneau identifying this with the
village of Hartum, near the source of the Nahr Abu al-Aswad (in the vicinity of
Tyrus). The place name is the same as Esarhaddon’s Qartimme, but its location
does not favour the identification of the two towns. At any rate, the name
suggests a location at the sea, possible as a marina deserving an inland city. One
may refer to the Elkardie of the crusaders, which seems to contain the element
el-Qart-, and the present-day hamlet of al-Qarteḥ, near aš-šwayfet, between
Halde and .
Qartimme might have occupied a site near the mouth of the Nahr al-Gadir,
northwest of aš-šwayfet, or, further to the north, the stretch of land, between
the beaches of al-Gneh and al-Awza’i, where rich ‘villae urbanae’ from the 6th
century AD have been discovered by M.Chébab. Beirut
Conclusion: We have two towns at the coast, which use a large cemetery in the interior. Those towns are probable named hi-il-du-u-a and qar-ti-im-me in the 7th century BC, although there are some doubts, especially on the exact locations. The name of the cemetery also out of the 7th century BC is not known for sure, but the location is certain.
- Edward Lipinski. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta nr 127. Studia Phoenicia XVIII. Uitgeverij Peeters en Departement Oosterse Studies. Leuven – Paris – Dudley, MA 2004.
- R.Saidah. Khan Khaldé. Dossiers de l’Archéologie 12 (1974) p.50-59.
- M.Chébab. Mosaïques du Liban (BMB 14-15, 1958-59.
- Nicolas Carayon. Les ports Phéniciens et Puniques. Strassbourg 2008.