According to Michel Gras, Pierre Rouillard and Javier Teixidor, in "The Phoenician universe", Sidon was the first great Phoenician city. The town was associated with the cuneiform classifier "kur" which means country, while Tyre, Byblos, Arwad were qualified as “city”. A few centuries ago, the Phoenicians were often called "Sidonians" in memory of the preponderance of this city, which, now, is called Saïda in Lebanon. It is mentioned 38 times in the Old Testament.
The city is called Siduna in the Amarna letters, dated early in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. These letters describe many conflicts between the mayors of the cities of the Levant, probably related to the disinterest of Akhenaten for this region. The strong man of the city, Zimredda, has the title of "mayor". He is the subject of complaints by the Commissioner of Tyre, who declare himself besieged by Sidon. This latter intended to maintain the supremacy of the port city on the other ports of the Levant. This set of towns of the coast was already call Canaan, “Kinaha” in Akkadian.
In 2005, objects and buildings of the third millennia has been found on the college site of the ancient city by a Anglo-Lebanese team.
5 km from the center of the city of Sidon is the temple of Echmoun built on the south bank of the River Bostrenus, now called Al-Awali, a short distance from its mouth on the Mediterranean. This is the main Phoenician monument preserved to our days in Lebanon. It dates from the seventh century BC when Sidon was under Babylonian influence.
Given the recent history of the country, most of Sidon beautiful objects are in various museums outside Lebanon.