By Culturekiosque Staff
BEIRUT, LEBANON, 14 FEBRUARY 2014 The American
Univerisity of Beirut Archaeological Museum opened a special
exhibition recently, showcasing a reconstruction of a Phoenician man,
whose 2500-year-old skeleton was discovered in Tunis, in 1994.
The reconstruction uses criminal investigation techniques and
dermoplasty, a procedure that relies on skin grafts to recreate molds, to
produce an impressive, life-like prototype of a Phoenician man, which was
accomplished by Elisabeth Daynes, a French dermoplastic sculptor and
Estimated to be between 19 and 24 years old at time of death, the young
man of Carthage was about 170 centimeters tall, and bore physical features
that have come to be associated with Phoenicians a broad forehead, high
orbits and long skull. The reconstruction is considered to be 95 percent
accurate, since the color of eyes, hair, and skin could not be verified
through criminal investigation techniques.
He was named Arish, or "the beloved one," according to Punic
As is often the case with archaeological finds, his skeleton was
discovered by mistake, when the curator of the Tunis National Museum,
Abedelmagid Ennable, was trying to plant a tree back in 1994, and while
digging, he uncovered a tomb, where Arish was buried.
The skeleton used to remodel the 2,500-year-old
man from Byrsa
AFP Photo/Joseph Eid
According to legend, Elissa the daughter of the king of Tyre, founded
Carthage around 814 B.C. With time Tyres colony became an important
economic and commercial power in the Mediterranean.
"When I found out about Arish during an international museum meeting in
Paris, I was thrilled and eager to invite him to the AUB museum and the
land of his ancestors," said Leila Badre, museum director. "This is the
first time we import an exhibition."
While the recreated man was brought to AUB, it was not possible to ship
his skeleton, due to the difficulty of transporting human bones across
countries. Instead, the museum decided to show one of the skeletons in its
Arish, along with some items discovered in the tomb, are on display at
the AUB Museum, in an exhibition entitled The Young Phoenician Man of
Carthage, organized by the Society of the Friends of the AUB Museum
in collaboration with the National Museum of Carthage. The
exhibition runs through 26 February 2014.
Headline Photo: Reconstructed
prototype of a young Phoenician man of Byrsa (Carthage), based on a
2500-year-old skeleton discovered in Tunis in 1994. Prototype is on loan
from the National Museum of Carthage.