Jabal ‘Amelat By Dr. Youssef el-Hourani
Wherever we go in South Lebanon, we find ourselves surrounded by traces and footprints of ancient civilizations. If we are interested in studying history through language, with whoever we talk of the inhabitants of that area, we find still alive something to remind us of those who once lived there. Man’s story in Jabal ‘Amelat in South Lebanon, began long before History. The natural shelters, like those picturesque caves in the “Zahrani” river valley, testify to man’s existence by means of his implements and primitive elaborations, notwithstanding the fact that archeologists have not yet reached all the historically important sites there.
The mountains, hills, valleys, meadows, slopes, springs, fountains, rivers, natural shelters, and everything in that neighborhood, were attractive to a man looking for a land fit to be his home, and afford him protection, not only against foes, but also against the hardiness of nature found in other lands. Here everything and every event is moderate, and invites man to start a social life by building hamlets, villages and sanctuaries which he could bequeath to his successors.
That the nature of the land supported a social life in a continuous manner since thousands of years, is witnessed by the continuous use of very ancient names for the ruins and localities, small valleys and petty springs…
Convinced as we are of the existence of a very early and sustained social life in Southern Lebanon, we were able to appreciate the importance of eponyms designating villages or localities as clues for the study of the civilizations and cultures of the area.
When we use names that we consider well-known eponyms, we do not bother, as some scholars do, to give linguistic explanations. That is because our aim is not to investigate every name found on the map, but to choose only the names that are unequivocal and supported by evidences from historical texts, traditions or other data; such as the presence elsewhere in the area of names belonging to the same culture. Therefore, we refer to many cultures by means of the names of localities they once occupied. Continue reading Jabal ‘Amelat The History Through Eponyms in South Lebanon B.C.