Alexander the Great made the island of Tyre into a peninsula

The city of Tyre is in southern Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast. It is one of the oldest cities in the World. It used to be an island over 2,000 years ago. Now, it is a peninsula… a man-made peninsula. This was done with a bit of help from Alexander the Great and mother nature.

In ancient times, the island city of Tyre was heavily fortified (with defensive walls 150 feet (46 m) high) and the mainland settlement, originally called Ushu (later called Palaetyrus, meaning “Old Tyre,” by the Greeks) was actually more like a line of suburbs than any one city and was used primarily as a source of water and timber for the main island city.

Satellite image of modern Tyre

In 332 BC, the city was conquered by Alexander the Great, after a siege of seven months in which he built the causeway from the mainland to within a hundred meters of the island, where the sea floor sloped abruptly downwards. The presence of the causeway affected local sea currents causing sediment accumulation, which made the land connection permanent to this day and transformed the erstwhile Tyre island into a peninsula.

A sketch from the 1800s

Aerial view from 1934. Notice the sandy beach and build up of sediment

Aerial view from 1954. Large structures and roads have been built on the isthmus.

Is that some crazy and bizarre #*%& or what?

Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era.

In 315 BC, Alexander’s former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later.

In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence (from the Seleucids) and was allowed to keep much of its independence when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC.



Google Images