The hidden treasures of the Lebanese mountains
Winner of the 2022 Prix Media Newcomer of the Swiss Academy of Sciences
Tamara El Hossny, a PhD student in paleontology, introduces us to the site of Haqel, an exceptional fossiliferous deposit located a few kilometres away from Beirut. Among the fossils discovered at this site are Cretaceous fish that Tamara studies in detail at the Natural History Museum in Geneva (Switzerland). She explains to us why this site is important to understand the evolution of life but also for the study of past climates. Pierre, from the Abi-Saad family, fossil hunters for 3 generations and owner of the Haqel site, shares his excavation work with us as well as the family museum in Byblos where more incredible specimens are on display. Dr. Lionel Cavin, paleontologist at the Museum of Natural History in Geneva, explains the history of the collaboration between Switzerland and Lebanon concerning the study of Lebanese fossils, which notably began with the work of the famous Geneva naturalists Aloïs Humbert and François-Jules Pictet De La Rive in the 19th century.