© Erich Lessing

WOOD WATERWAYS. Cedars of Lebanon were commonly transported by sea in antiquity. The Book of Ezra reports that timbers were hauled to the Phoenician coast and then sailed to Jaffa for transport to Jerusalem (Ezra 3:7). A much earlier delivery is recorded during the reign of Pharaoh Snefru (the father of Khufu/Cheops, c. 2600 B.C.E.); the Egyptian king acknowledges the arrival of 40 ships filled with cedar wood. The process of shipping wood was also prominently depicted on a series of bas-relief panels in the palace of the Assyrian king Sargon II at Khorsabad (in modern Iraq). The reliefs (now in the Louvre) show timbers loaded on a fleet of ships sailing from the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre to be delivered for the construction of the palace.