Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Canaanite Fortress Unearthed in Nahariya

Israeli archaeologists working in the northern coastal city of Nahariya have uncovered a Canaanite citadel dating to 1400 BC. From Haaretz:

The Bronze Age citadel apparently served as an administrative center serving Mediterranean mariners, stated the Israel Antiquities Authority. It had been destroyed at least four times by fire and was rebuilt each time, says the IAA.

Among the artifacts discovered in the ruined citadel's rooms are ceramic figurines with human and animal forms, bronze weapons, and pottery vessels that hadn't been made locally – they had been imported. That is further testimony to the extensive trading relations among the peoples around the Mediterranean Sea basin.

Among the burnt layers, the excavators found abundant remains of cereals, legumes and grape seeds, the IAA said. Whether the grape seeds prove that wine had been made in the area remains an open question, though analysis of clay vessels dating to 4,000 years ago, from the cellar of a Canaanite palace nearby, found remains of red wine, and a fine, aromatic vintage fit for a king at that.

The story is reported by Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and others. High-res images and video are available here.

The press release and news articles do not make the connection, but the date of this fortress is close to the time of the Israelites’ invasion of Canaan under Joshua. According to the account in Judges, the Israelites were unsuccessful in dislodging the Canaanites who lived on the plains, including the area of what is today Nahariya.

HT: Joseph Lauer

Nahariya coastline, tb122000819

Nahariya on the northern coast of Israel

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