Jableh is another Syrian seaside town, 28 km to the south of Latakia.
Jableh is a large seaside town, virtually in the middle of the Syrian coast. Although it was an ancient port there are no more ships to be seen at Jableh, apart from a few fishing vessels. However, the town does have several attractions like its various interesting buildings, which justify putting Jableh on the list of places worth visiting.
Of all the people who visited or occupied this coast, between the time of the Phoenicians and the departure of the Crusaders, the Romans were the only ones to leave a significant memento of their presence here: a theatre, built to accommodate between 7,000 and 8,000 spectators.
Despite unfortunate railings which mask the entrance, and the weeds which are already beginning to cover the stones that excavations revealed, only a few years ago, the building remains impressive. The site is completely flat, so that the cavea is entirely supported on a system of vaulting, each arch supporting a row of seats.
Not far from the theatre a minaret and a series of white domes indicate the presence of a mosque. This shrine contains the tomb of a major personality of Islam, Sultan Ibrahim, King of Afghanistan, who renounced his throne for a life of virtue and charity. He died at Jableh.
Two sandy coves on the coast, some 6 kilometers south of Jableh, mark the site of two basins of an ancient port.
Excavation of a nearby hill, known as Tall Souka, has produced a rich harvest of finds: a fragment of the scarab of the Pharaoh Amenophis III (1405-1370 B.C.), Myceaean figurines, Cypriot and Myceaean pottery, a Ugarit tablet, etc.
All these objects are on display in showcases in the room devoted to "Antiquities from the Coastal Areas", in the National Museum in Damascus. Others are preserved in the Cathedral-Museum at Tartous. There is little to interest the layman at the site itself.
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