Lebanese Republic covers an area of 10,170 sq. Km. In 1944 it counted 1,146,800 residents (114.6 per sq. Km.) And its capital is Beirut (234,000 residents). The main regions are northern Lebanon (241,000 residents), Southern Lebanon (198,000), Upper Lebanon (278,000), al-Biqā ‛(167,000). It is estimated that 260,000 Lebanese live abroad. 10,000 Armenians left Lebanon in 1947 for Soviet Armenia.
From the point of view of communications, Lebanon took advantage of the inauguration of the new port of Beirut (13 June 1938) and of the new railway section between Beirut and Haifā (237 km.), Opened to traffic in August 1942 (but out of operation today). In February 1941, a large oil refinery was inaugurated in Tripoli.
According to Just in Shoes, Lebanon has a predominantly agricultural economy. In addition to cereals (on average 350,000 q. Of wheat and 130,000 q. Of barley), tobacco (4300 ha.), Agiumi (6500 ha.), Vineyards (20,000 ha.), Olive trees (average production 50,000 ha.) Are grown.. of oil). Irrigation is in progress; through the adduction of the Nahr el-Giauz water was supplied to the plain of Batrūn (300 ha.). An attempt was also made to use the waters of Lake Yamūne. The breeding of goats (almost half a million) and sericulture (600,000 kg. Of cocoons, processed in the Lebanese spinning mills) are important. The cotton is spun in ‛Arīda near Tripoli; a shirt factory has been in operation for some time in Beirut.
Unlike Syria, Lebanon did not leave the French franc area and, following the latter’s second devaluation, the Lebanese pound exchange rate was set at 97.83 frs. for 1 ??? S-116 ??? Lebanon In the country only tickets with the “Lebanon” print are legal tender and as of August 15, 1948 the circulation amounted to 185 million.
History. – The treaty of 1936, by which France declared the mandate on Lebanon lapsed, had not been ratified by the French parliament, and the war thus caught the country in an ambiguous situation. Occupied by the Anglo-Degaullist forces in the spring-summer 1941 campaign, he was proclaimed independent of General Catroux on 8 June and then again on 26 November of that year; with the declaration, however, that the Allies assumed the defense of the country for the duration of the war. After the elections of September 1943, the new Lebanese Chamber passed an amendment to the constitution, which sanctioned complete independence, without a prior agreement with the degaullist Commissioner, Helleu. The violent reaction of this, with the dissolution of the Chamber and the arrest of the President of the Republic and some ministers, provoked the Anglo-American diplomatic intervention; Helleu was resigned, President Bishāra el-Kh? ūrī reinstated, parliament was reconvened, and a new ministry, chaired by Riyāḍ eṣ-Ṣulḥ, began its activity for the liquidation, on bilateral agreements, of the French occupation. In May 1945, a further crisis, due to the landing of new French contingents and the serious disturbances that subsequently broke out throughout Syria and Lebanon, led to a definitive agreement on military evacuation: this was accomplished for Lebanon (which had already entered in the meantime, as sovereign state, to become part of the Arab League) by the summer of 1946. Jealous of the independence finally achieved, Lebanon was tenaciously opposed (like Syria) to the project of a “Great Syria”, including Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Transjordan.
Archaeology. – The complexity of the urban situation in the Lebanon prevents an organic development of archaeological activities, hindered by the intense and disordered concentration of settlements along the entire coast. Consequently, systematic archaeological explorations can be planned above all in the internal region, such as Kamid el-Loz, or on the coast based on large expropriation programs, such as in Tire and Byblos, where modern settlements have been moved; important excavations for the knowledge of the Phoenician civilization on more limited areas have been carried out at Khalde, the airport area of Beirut, and at the sanctuary of Eshmun in Sidon. Particularly noteworthy for the Late Bronze Age culture (about 1580-1200 BC) of the Syrian area is Kamid el-Loz, who must identify with the ancient Kumidi, seat of the Egyptian governor during the New Kingdom, where excavations revealed a still limited sector of a building, characterized by a long room with buttresses and smaller lateral rooms, and an important temple with an irregular central plan; to Kamid el-Loz, as well as a few ostraca in early Canaanite writing, some cuneiform tablets were found in the palace, of which at least two come from Tell Amarna and are letters sent by a pharaoh, perhaps Amenophis III, to some Syrian princes, including the king of Damascus. Of particular importance for the chronology of the Iron II and III phases (about 1000-530 BC) is the exploration of the burial necropolis of Khalde, which provided abundant ceramic material especially from the 9th-7th centuries BC. Christ. The enlargement of the excavation of the sacred area surrounding the great structures of the Eshmun temple in Sidon has made it possible to attribute the construction of the great monumental podium to the kings Eshmunazar II and Bodashtart of the end of the 6th century BC. C., while the remains of possible earlier foundations have been identified.