Byblos is one of the top contenders for the oldest continuously inhabited city award. Although its beginnings are lost in time, modern scholars say the site of Byblos goes back at least 7,000 years.
It was the Greeks, some time after 1200 B.C., who gave us the name "Phoenicia," referring to the coastal area. And they called the city "Byblos" because this commercial center was important in the papyrus trade.
Byblos, 37 kilometers north of Beirut, is a prosperous place with glass-fronted office buildings and crowded streets. But within the old town, medieval Arab and Crusader remains are continuous reminders of the past. Nearby are the extensive excavations that make Byblos one of the most important archaeological sites in the area.