Sidon (Zidon, Saida, "fishery") is the third-largest city in Lebanon. Located 48 km south of Beirut, Sidon was one of the most famous cities of the ancient world but today it is one of the least well known - its archaeological relics have either been stolen and scattered or covered over by modern construction. There is evidence of human settlement at least as early as 4000 BCE and possibly going back to 6000 BCE.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Sidon was abandoned during the Middle Bronze Age and only repopulated during the Late Bronze Age. Much the same has been found at other Phoenician costal sites, like Tyre, but the reason for this is unknown. Also like other Phoenician costal cities, Sidon was frequently targeted by larger regional powers for both its trade wealth and its strategic location. It fell under the influence of Egyptian rulers starting in 1450 BCE, then under Assyrian domination around 900 BCE. After 539 BCE Persians had control of the region.
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