A Mengez tomb with a boy walking nearby
A Mengez tomb.  ©

Laboratory of prehistoric archaeology and anthropology, University of Geneva

We are pleased to award the Scientific assistance for the valorisation of Mengez megalithic sites (Lebanon) project £84,183

This project will work on the preservation and optimisation of tourism of the megalithic dolmens of Mengez, in the Akkar region of Northern Lebanon. 

Raising awareness of exceptional cultural heritage

Akkar has a range of early Bronze Age dolmens in the village of Mengez; Roman temples, crusaders’ castles and churches are scattered across the suburbs there. However, this exceptional collection of cultural heritage is often inconvenient to the villagers’ agricultural crops and there is a lack of understanding of the historical significance of this heritage. The project aims to raise awareness amongst Mengez’s inhabitants of how exceptional the unstudied and unprotected megalithic sites are and will also develop tourism activity around the region, creating economic opportunity for locals.

Economic development for Mengez

The project will optimise 15 out of the 87 monuments for tourism, by clearing vegetation from the area, making multimedia recordings of the tombs including 3D images and film. During this process, access to the sites will be greatly improved. 

Local staff will be trained in documentation with the project’s researchers and in public mediation with the Belesta Museum. These staff will play viatl roles in the maintenance and archival work for the project, raising awareness of the sites and increasing access both locally and internationally. 


About the Laboratory of prehistoric archaeology and anthropology, University of Geneva

Research at the Laboratory of prehistoric archaeology and anthropology (LAP), directed by Prof. Marie Besse, focuses on the interactions between man and his environment during late Prehistory – more particularly the Neolithic and the Metal Ages – mainly in Europe, Asia and America. Our laboratory combines the use of standard research methods of prehistoric archaeology with disciplines such as palaeoanthropology, archaeobotany, and archaeozoology to approach the technical, economic, social and ideological functioning of past societies. 

Project partners

  • Municipality of Mengez. Akkar, Lebanon.
  • Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. Université Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth, Lebanon.
  • Chateau-Musée de Préhistoire. Bélesta, France
  • Directorate of General Antiquities. Beyrouth, Lebanon.