Memory of time
Our story with Fossils started a long time ago, thanks to our grandfather George. One day, he accidentally discovered a fossil fish which led him to understand that his country and his mountains in particular were favored by destiny. Long before the Byzantines, the Romans and even the Phoenicians, Lebanon in general and the Byblos district in particular, were already a home to a marvel. A marvel not built by humans, but by nature. His area, almost unknown, was soon to be recognized. Later on, this small area gained not only kilometers, also reputation. After that, he began to climb the hills of his hometown Ehmej with elementary tools in search of fossils.
George's son, or our father Mikhaël, recalls finding fossils in the house since his early childhood and how his father used to show him the location of his discovery.
In turn, Michael endeavored to follow in his father's footsteps and gathered fossil pieces without, however attempting to comprehend or achieve any scientific purpose. To extract a fossil was, for him, a mere amateur pleasure and he wanted us, his sons, George, Joseph, Pierre and Albert to share his passion.
To realize his dream, we acquired a property rich with fossil fish. To research these fossils became, thus, an act of creation and our goal became to share our knowledge. Pascal Tassy, a founding member of the French society of systematic studies, says in his book entitled "the message of the fossils": "In fact, if we want to illustrate the history of life throughout time, we constantly need additional fossils. These additional fossils are a must to fill the gaps".
This is how we started to communicate with some universities, museums of natural history and specialists of international renown. Hence, "the memory of time" saw the light. Our establishment "Memory of Time" was founded with the purpose of a thorough exploring the world of fossils and improving the excavation and research techniques. Today, the know-how, expertise, experience, scientific information, and international relations, etc. are slowly but surely transferred to our sons and daughters; thereby humbly paving the way for a fourth generation to continue, advance and expand an amazing work that started almost 80 years ago.
In short, “memory of time” is a private establishment of 3 sections:
We attach a particular importance to the sites which are made of sedimentary layers that restitute a piece of history. The excavations we carry out are meticulous and scientific.
The workshop is well equipped. It gathers, on one hand state of the art tools, and on the other qualified staff with a solid training in Lebanon and abroad.
In our showroom, a large number of fossils from our private collection are exhibited. These are regularly replaced with others in order to allow our guests to admire all what has been recently excavated.
This room is open to the public throughout the week, for free. Visitors are entitled to all kinds of information related to the studied and exhibited pieces. As for the other pieces, studied for scientific purposes, they are reserved for specialists. The shop was opened in 1966 at the street of the rose-laurels next to the crusaders' citadel in Byblos and has succeeded in attracting faithful customers. It has always been inconceivable for us to sell specimens of unknown species. However in 1978, we decided to keep at least 10 fossil pieces, of various sizes, of each species and to authorize the sale of the rest.
With each purchased item, we deliver a certificate with the name and age of the fish, location and date of excavation and the characteristics of the fossil. The stone is also immediately scanned on the certificate and well covered to protect it against the hazards of the road.
Hence, the excavation of fossils achieves its purpose passing by successive steps from restoration to exhibition under the supervision and evaluation of specialists in our establishment and without the use of any other means.