3400-Year-Old Canaanite Citadel Will Be Basement of High Rise in Israeli City

3400-Year-Old Canaanite Citadel Will Be Basement of High Rise in Israeli City

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The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced that part of the remains of a recently unearthed Bronze Age citadel will be preserved and become a mini-museum of a high rise building in Nahariya, Israel. They decided that this would be the best solution for both the public and for conservation, due to the “extraordinary nature and quality” of the site.

Some of the archaeological materials uncovered at the site include: ceramic figurines of humans and animals, bronze weapons, and imported pottery vessels. Analysis of the pottery is providing evidence for the “extensive commercial and cultural relations that existed at that time with Cyprus and the rest of the lands in the Mediterranean basin” Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA told Israel National News .

Female figurines dating to the Late Bronze Age. ( Eran Gilvarg/IAA )

Other important discoveries found amongst the ruins are plentiful remains of cereals, legumes and grape seeds “which are indicative of the provisions the sailors would purchase” according to the IAA archaeologists. This is consistent with their belief that the site was used as an administrative center that served Mediterranean mariners. Furthermore, the site was found to have been burnt to the ground four times and rebuilt each time. The IAA also believes that there was once a dock alongside the citadel.

The news agent Haaretz reports that the grapes may have been used to make a local wine instead. This hypothesis has come about with the discovery of clay vessels dating to 4,000 years ago in the cellar of a Canaanite palace nearby. Remains of red wine, “and a fine, aromatic vintage fit for a king at that” were said to have been found inside the vessels at the palace. The link between the grapes of the fort and those of the palace remains tentative, although it is well-documented that the Canaanites liked their wine.

  • A royal find of ancient grapes and wine residue may help resurrect Canaanite vinting
  • Trove of Ancient Wine Found in Bronze Age Canaanite Palace Could Fight Cancer
  • Unknown Canaanite City found in Israel
  • Name from Davidic era found inscribed on 3,000-year-old vessel

The excavation of the citadel has been a long process completed by the IAA in conjunction with youth groups, in an attempt to involve the younger generations in local heritage. It was also carried out as a part of a project by the Kochav Company (which is building the high rise). The IAA said that the architect Alex Shpol , planner for the Interior Ministry's regional committee, drew up the plans for construction in a way that will preserve part of the citadel in the basement level of the building, and the ruins as well as the artifacts found and the site will “be displayed for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors.”

Part of the remains of the Canaanite citadel exposed in the Middle of Nahariya, Israel. ( Eran Gilvarg, IAA )

The story of the Canaanites still has many gaps. It is known that Canaan was the name of a large and prosperous country which corresponds roughly to present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel. Canaan was sometimes a tributary nation to Egypt and at other times it was independent. The details of the Canaanite ruling system have remained elusive.

As Haaretz reports, it also remains unknown why “there have been no significant findings of alphabetic writing from the region during the Middle Bronze Age, though neighboring Egypt and Mesopotamia had advanced civilizations with highly advanced writing systems.”

Fragments of decorated pottery vessels imported from Cyprus and Greece 3,400 years ago and unearthed at the fort. (Guy Fitoussi/ IAA )

Details on what caused the series of destruction in Canaanite cities and the lack of development in the Canaanite culture around 1250-1200 BC also has evaded researchers. There is some indication however, that a catastrophic event, or series of events, may have been part of the problem.

Furthermore, there is evidence that Canaanite religion was based on agriculture and had pronounced fertility motifs. The most important gods of the Canaanites were called Baalim (Lords) and their consorts were Baalot (Ladies). Women were also thought to have had a relatively advanced status, and they served as priestesses, owned land, entered into contracts, and could initiate divorce.

The IAA told The Jerusalem Post that more of the excavation’s findings will be presented to the public at a joint conference of the Northern Region of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa on January 7.

Featured Image: Aerial view of the remains of the citadel, Nahariya, Israel. Source: Guy Fitoussi/IAA

By: Alicia McDermott

3,400-year-old citadel will be incorporated into high-rise apartment

Both archaeologists and architects are excited about this discovery.

/> />Photo: Guy Fitoussi / Israel Antiquities Authority

So, this is a real thing that's happening.

Archaeologists recently discovered and excavated a Bronze Age (between 3300 and 1200 BCE) citadel in northern Israel.

Inside it, they discovered various ancient artifacts, such as "bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels that attest to the extensive commercial and cultural relations that existed at that time with Cyprus and the rest of the lands in the Mediterranean basin," the excavation directors said.

/>The site of the excavation. (Photo: Eran Gilvarg/Israel Antiquities Authority)

They also found grains and cereals that ancient sailors may have bought when they stopped by the citadel to trade.

/>Female figurines discovered in the Bronze Age citadel. (Photo: Eran Gilvarg/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Once the discoveries were documented, the folks involved decided to hire architects to design a building to enclose the citadel, which will reside in the basement. Why waste space, right?

/>An arrowhead made of bronze, one of the artifacts found in the citadel. (Photo: Eran Gilvarg/Israel Antiquities Authority)

This is just the latest remarkable discovery by Israeli archaeologists recently. Several other big discoveries found over the last few months were the unearthing of a fort in Jerusalem, the discovery of a 5,000-year-old beer keg and, most recently, the discovery of a 6,000-year-old wand-like object.

/>Pieces of decorated pottery vessels from Cyprus and Greece. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

Want to see more amazing photos? Check out FTGV's Featured Photo collection.

Ilana Strauss writes about social sciences and the environment because she is a person on a planet.

Ancient Canaanite Citadel to Become Part of Israeli High-Rise

JERUSALEM, Israel -- A 3,400-year-old Canaanite citadel is set to become part of a brand new high-rise apartment complex with underground parking in northern Israel.

Archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority uncovered the ancient citadel in the seaside city of Nahariya recently as part of the building project by the Kochav Company.

Many building projects in Israel start with archaeological digs, known as salvage excavations. Most of the time they're re-covered or moved, but because of the nature and quality of the find this one will have a different outcome.

The IAA together with the builders agreed to preserve part of the citadel so it could be put on display in the basement of the building for residents and visitors.

According to the archaeologists, the citadel was likely an administrative center that served mariners who sailed the Mediterranean coast more than 3,000 years ago.

They said there was probably a dock alongside the citadel. They discovered many artifacts like ceramic figurines, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels, they said attested to the extensive commercial and cultural activity of the time.

The fortress was destroyed at least four times and rebuilt. Now it will become part of a modern apartment building. It's one more sign that Israel is a unique blend of the ancient and modern.

Did you know?

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Upper Tel Hazor

The acropolis of Tel Hazor or the Upper city of Hazor, Tell el-Qedah (تل القضاه‎) is an archaeological site featuring an upper tell of 30 acres dating as far back as Canaanite times. Tel Hazor's Upper township is about 40 meters higher than the lower Hazor, making up about 1/8 of total archaeological site of Hazor.


Cite this article

Upper Tel Hazor (n.d.). Retrieved on June 18, 2021, from https://madainproject.com/upper_tel_hazor

Upper Tel Hazor. Madain Project, madainproject.com/upper_tel_hazor.

Upper Tel Hazor. Madain Project, n.d. https://madainproject.com/upper_tel_hazor.

Note: Always review your references and make any necessary corrections before using. Pay attention to names, capitalization, and dates.


During the Canaanite period Hazor was the largest city in the kingdom. it included the upper city and the lower city, and reached some 800 dunams in size. Its inhabitants numbered approximately 15,000 and it was called "the head of all those kingdoms" (Joshua 11:10).

The site of Hazor is around 200 acres (0.81 km2) in area, with an upper city making up about 1/8 of that. The upper mound has a height of about 40 meters. Initial soundings were carried out by John Garstang in 1926. Major excavations were conducted for 4 seasons from 1955 to 1958 by a Hebrew University team led by Yigael Yadin. Findings from the dig are housed in a museum at Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar. In 2008, some artifacts in the museum were damaged in an earthquake.

Notable Structures

Basalt Staircase
Sometime during the Canaanite period, a basalt staircase was built to connect the lower city with the upper city. Some other new installations were added in the late Canaanite period, including a cultic high place (bamah) and standing stones (matseboth). Four holes were drilled into one of the slabs of stone in order to support a throne (11 Kings 23:8).

Large Cistern
Constructed during the reign of King Ahab (9th century BCE), the cistern (peek inside) was designed to supply the inhabitants of the city of Hazor with water in times of siege. A vertical shaft was dug through the earlier occupation layers, at the bottom of which a sloping tunnel was hewn, reaching ground-water at the depth of approximately 40 meters. Before this time, the city inhabitants had to go outside the walls of the city to the Hazor Ravine in order to collect water from the springs.

Six Chambered Gate
Dated to the tenth century BCE, near the late bronze age palace, this gate (illustration) has six chambers and two towers. Similar gates have been uncovered at Megiddo, Lachish and Gezer. A summary of King Solomon's activities indicates that the king built Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.

Cultic Stele
In the second chamber of the southern wing of the Gateway of Solomon, a late bronze age temple and cultic stele was discovered. While probing into the middle chamber of the southern part of the gate, archaeologists uncovered this late bronze age temple. Next to the temple's doorway, they uncovered a cultic stele. Strikingly, Solomon had built his gate directly upon these remains.

Royal Palace
The palace, which server the kings of Hazor during the 14th-13th centuries BCE, is of a ceremonial nature (the administrative palace is to be saught elsewhere on the site). The plan, consisting of a courtyard and a throne room, and contructional elements of the building - combining stone, mud-brick and woord - show a distinct influence from northern Canaan (present day Syria). The floor of the throne room was originally made of wood, and large quantities of wood was also incorporated in to the walls, and roof of the building.

Southern Temple
The southern temple was in use from the middle bronze age until the late bronze age (17th-14th centuries BCE). The temple was originally a prominent structure, with wide, well-constructed wall, and its three strata of stone pavements attest to its continous existence. A niche in the western wall, directly opposite the entrance, probably held the divine statue (which was not preserved). A deep, stone-lined, favissa (inspect), located in the center of the temple contained many clay vessels, including ritual ones, and numerous bones of animals.

This building, typical of the Israelite period, is divided in to three long halls by two rows of pillars. This arrangement made it possible to construct a basillica-like structure with the central portion of the roof raised above the side portions. This two-level roof allowed ventilation and admitted light to the structure, which probably had no windows. Most structures of this type served as a public storehouse those uncovered at Hazor were utilized for grain storage.

Eastern Citadel
This is probably the lastest structure to be built in Israelite Hazor. It was designed to protect the western flanks of the city from the Assyrian invasion. In the year 732 BCE Hazor, together with the entire Galilee, was conquered by the Assyrians "In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Jonoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee, the entire region of Naphtali and he deported the inhabitants to Assyria" (II Kings 15:29), an event which heralded the beginning of the end of the independence of the Kingdom of Israel.

Four-Room House and Olive Press
The four-room house at Hazor has a second-stage olive press (illustration). The olives were first crushed in a basalt crushing basin, placed on the left (inspect). The crushed olives were then placed in woven reed baskets and set atop the press bed. Pressure exerted on the crushed olives by the beam, from the end of which stone weights were suspended, extracted the oil. The oil then collected in the jar embedded in the courtyard floor. Several similar oil presses have been discovered so far, most of them in the north of the country. In the central part and in Judea oil presses of a slightly different kind were used during this period.

Canaanite Cultic High Place
In the courtyard of the Canaanite palace, a large cultic high place (bamah) was excavated. In the 1997 excavation season, two wedding rings (perhaps cultic offerings) and a bronze snake were found at the base of the high place.

See Also


  • William G. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and when Did They Know It? 2002 p.43
  • 2 Kings 15:29
  • Negev, Avraham/Gibson, Shimon, Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, New York/London 2001, p.220, ISBN 0-8264-1316-1 (English)
  • A 3,400-year-old mystery: Who burned the palace of Canaanite Hatzor, Haaretz
  • "The Hazor Excavations Project". unixware.mscc.huji.ac.il. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  • Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed
  • Jewish Encyclopedia, Jabin
  • Jewish Encyclopedia, Book of Joshua, Book of Judges
  • Peake's commentary on the Bible
  • Abraham Malamat, "Silver, Gold, and Precious Stones from Hazor" in a New Mari Document, The Biblical Archaeologist, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 169-174, (Summer, 1983)
  • "Scorched Wheat May Provide Answers on the Destruction of Canaanite Tel Hazor - Biblical Archaeology Society". biblicalarchaeology.org. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  • P. James, "The Alleged 'Anchor Point' of 732 BC for the Destruction of Hazor V", AntOr 6 (2008).
  • John Garstang, History in the Bible, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, vol. 3, no. 3, Essays in Memory of Franz Oppenheimer 1864–1943, pp. 371-385, 1944
  • Yigal Yadin, The Third Season of Excavation at Hazor 1957, The Biblical Archaeologist, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 30-47, 1958
  • Yigael Yadin, Further Light on Biblical Hazor: Results of the Second Season, 1956, The Biblical Archaeologist, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 33-47, 1957
  • Yigal Yadin, Excavations at Hazor, The Biblical Archaeologist, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 2-11, 1956
  • Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, "The Mysterious Statue at Hazor: The “Allah” of the Muslims?, in Bismika Allahuma, October 15, 2005
  • Reply To Robert Morey's Moon-God Allah Myth: A Look At The Archaeological Evidence, in mquran.org, 22 November 2006
  • 'Hammurabi-like' cuneiform discovered at Tel Hazor, Haaretz


Pictured, the face of King Tut today. Since it was discovered 98 years ago, his tomb has captivated attention but despite being an enormous historical figure in ancient Egypt herself, the burial chamber of Nefertiti has never been found

This photo reveals the mummified face of the famous Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 18. A large room has been found in the bedrock a few feet to the east of his tomb at the same depth as his chamber. This may belong to Nefertiti, experts claim


Queen Nefertiti was famed for her beauty as depicted in the famous bust now in Berlin (pictured)

Queen Nefertit was one of ancient Egypt's most influential Queens, ruling during the empire's prosperous 18th Dynasty.

Nefertiti, who ruled Egypt 3,300 years ago from 1353 to 1336 BC, was either the mother or stepmother of the boy-pharaoh King Tutankhamun.

Her full name, Neferneferuaten Nefertiti, means 'Beautiful are the Beauties of Aten, the Beautiful One has come'.

Her power and charms in 14th-century BC Egypt were so great that she collected many nicknames, too – from Lady Of All Women, to Great Of Praises, to Sweet Of Love.

Nefertiti lived during the richest period in ancient Egypt's history – from around 1370BC to 1330BC.

As well as marrying a king - Pharaoh Akhenaten - she was probably born the daughter of another pharaoh, and possibly ruled alongside Tutankhamun.

There is even a suggestion that she ruled Egypt alone after her husband's death, meaning she ruled Egypt from cradle to grave.

Nefertiti and Akhenaten had six daughters, although it is thought that Tutankhamun was not her son.

DNA analysis has indicated that Akhenaten fathered Tutankhamun with one of his own sisters – making Nefertiti his step mother.

Her beauty and power were depicted in a number of temple images.

Sometimes she is shown walking behind her husband, but is also often shown on her own, in positions of pharaoh-like power.

Her own death is shrouded in mystery. She is thought to have died about six years after her husband, possibly from the plague that struck Egypt at that time.

In 1331BC, Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun and moved the Egyptian capital to Thebes, where he died in 1323BC.

Tut's tomb was discovered in 1922 by English archaeologist Howard Carter. Theories around the tomb and links to the enigmatic Nefertiti have swirled in the intervening 98 years.

Ray Johnson, an Egyptologist at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute in Luxor, Egypt, who wasn't involved in the research, said the radar images are an exciting development.

'Clearly there is something on the other side of the north wall of the burial chamber,' he told Nature.

The idea has been investigated by researchers before - including with radar.

In 2017 Francesco Porcelli from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy carried out a GPR survey inside the tomb and ruled out any hidden rooms.

Zahi Hawass, a former Egyptian antiquities minister says geophysics doesn't work in Egypt and has never proved correct - he said it regularly raises false hopes.

He excavated the area north of Tut's tomb to look for signs of another chamber and 'found nothing' - he says GPR shouldn't be used on Egyptian tombs.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves spent a large part of his career working in the Valley of the Kings - he says the hidden chamber isn't where he would expect.

Reeves assumed it would continue north of Tutankhamun's tomb rather than turn to the right as the findings suggest - but still believes Nefertiti is inside the tomb.

He told Nature that if Nefertiti was buried as a pharaoh it could be the biggest archaeological discovery of all time.

Sarcophagus containing the gold coffin of the pharaoh Tutankhamun who ruled from 1333 to 1323 were found in 1922. Researchers have been using radar surveys to uncover further secrets hidden within his ancient tomb

Israel in the News May/Jun 2016

Your Tax Dollars at Work: Islam in America’s Schools
La Plata High School, a public school in Charles County, Maryland, is being sued in federal court for allegedly making students profess the Muslim statement of faith and memorize the Five Pillars of Islam, while a charter-school empire owned by a Turkish civilizational jihadist is collecting millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money.

The Thomas More Law Center has filed a lawsuit against La Plata High School on behalf of John and Melissa Wood who said their daughter was forced “to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the Shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader,” Thomas More’s President Richard Thompson said, as Todd Starnes of Fox News reported.

In an article “Lawsuit: Public school forced my child to convert to Islam,” Starnes said the suit also claims the school teaches that a Muslim’s faith is stronger than that of average Christians. “And when Mr. Wood complained – the school banned him from campus,” Starnes reported. “The Shahada,” wrote Starnes, “is the Islamic Creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’”

Starnes said the suit alleges students spent only one day studying Christianity and two weeks studying Islam, which they were told is a religion of peace. In addition, Starnes said, “Students were also allegedly instructed that ‘the Islamic religion is a fact while Christianity and Judaism are just beliefs.’”

Meanwhile, WND.com’s Leo Hohmann has reported that Muhammad Fethullah Gülen is directing “his cult-like Islamic movement from a guarded compound in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania,” raking in “tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars every year” for his charter schools.

Hohmann called Gülen “a Turkish Islamist, writer and preacher with a secret plan for bringing Shariah law to America” and “Turkey’s most influential spiritual leader for the past 50 years.”

The schools, “which have innocent-sounding names like the Horizon Science Academies in Illinois, Harmony Schools of Excellence in Texas, Dove Science Academies in Oklahoma and Magnolia Science Academies in California—have long been the subject of investigations into alleged corruption scandals involving influence peddling and visa abuse,” Hohmann wrote.

“Most of the parents of students who attend Gülen charter schools have no idea about Gülen’s background as a Turkish Islamist and believer in civilizational jihad—which is a form of nonviolent jihad focused on infiltrating and overcoming Western nations over time through immigration and exploitation of the civil liberties available in those nations,” Hohmann reported.

Anti-Sharia activist Pamela Geller told WND.com, “It has been widely reported for years that he wants ultimately to restore the Islamic caliphate in Turkey. That alone should make his charter schools in the U.S. a subject of law enforcement scrutiny, but it largely hasn’t.”

A complete list of Gülen’s schools is available at tinyurl.com/7uxruyr. Starnes’s article is available at tinyurl.com/zhulgfx, and Hohmann’s article at tinyurl.com/jtpjtza.

Israel Makes Medical Breakthroughs
Israeli researchers have made three recent medical breakthroughs: a new treatment for leukemia, a blood test to screen and diagnose Alzheimer’s, and a new anti-radiation cell therapy.

JNS.org reported that researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center have used the research of professor Zelig Eshhar of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science to genetically modify the T-cells of 29 leukemia patients, which resulted in the remission or cure of cancer in 27 of them.

“I’m not surprised to hear about the results,” Eshhar said. “In our lab, we cured many rats and mice of cancer. I have been saying for years that we could do this in people.”

Gil Ronen of Arutz-7 reported on another new discovery concerning Alzheimer’s. Professor Illana Gozes of Tel Aviv University is leading the research on a new process of screening and diagnosing the disease. The study proposes a new biomarker—activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP)—for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease. “This study,” Gozes stated, “has provided the basis to detect this biomarker in routine, non-invasive blood tests….Early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients.”

The Jerusalem Post reported an Israeli biotech company, Pluristem Therapeutics, has developed an anti-radiation therapy that the U.S. government will likely begin stocking next year. The placenta-based cell therapy consists of injecting patients who have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation. Clinical trials have yielded a near 100 percent recovery rate for animals.

Changes at the Wall
The Israeli cabinet has voted to allow non-Orthodox Jewish prayer in a specially designated place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with plans to build a new plaza where both men and women can pray together.

The decision is a “dramatic, unprecedented and critical acknowledgement” by Israel, said a statement by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

“Though much work regarding the implementation of this decision still remains,…we are measurably closer today to the ultimate symbol of that reality—one wall for one people,” the statement said.

UNHRC ‘Blacklists’ Jewish State
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is calling for a database of businesses “involved in activities” in Judea and Samaria and wants to be informed of the “human rights and international law violations involved in the production of settlement goods.”

Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the UN, called the database a “blacklist” and said the UNHRC is acting “obsessively” on the issue of Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the UNHRC an “anti-Israel circus,” and said it “attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria, and North Korea.”

The measure’s passage comes in the wake of the UNHRC’s appointment of Canadian legal expert Michael Lynk, who has expressed anti-Israel views in the past, as special rapporteur on human rights issues affecting the Palestinians.

IDF Develops New Fog Technology
The Israel Defense Forces have developed a new system for locating and identifying terrorists in fog and haze.

Based on the drone system, it is an advanced, specified spy package, containing all of the regular equipment but including an option for seeing through fog. The specialized camera, called Savir, allows one to see and photograph people and moving objects in high resolution through fog or cloudy conditions from more than a mile away.

Finally! Egyptian Ambassador in Israel
After more than three years with no Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Egypt’s new Ambassador Hazem Ahdy Khairat presented his credentials in Israel and said he hopes Israel and Egypt’s “constructive” relationship will bring peace to the region, according to Raphael Ahren from The Times of Israel.

Ahren said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told reporters, “He [Khairat] told me that he is very happy and very proud to be in Israel and that he hopes that his presence here will bring about a situation in which the friendship between the Jewish people and the Arab people…will be such that we can live in peace,” the Times reported.

Boy finds ancient Canaanite figurine
A 7-year-old Israeli boy discovered a 3,400-year-old Canaanite figurine while hiking with his father and friends in the archaeological park Tel Rehov. The family reported the finding to the Israel Antiquities Authority, and a representative awarded the boy with a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship.

The ceramic statuette is of a nude woman, which was made by pressing soft clay into the mold. Amichai Mazar, professor emeritus at Hebrew University, who led a delegation of archaeological excavation representatives in the area, inspected the statuette and noted, “It is typical of the Canaanite culture of 15th to 13th centuries BC. Some researchers believe the figure represents a woman of flesh and blood, and others see it as Astarte, goddess of fertility, known from Canaanite [history] and the Bible.”

Canaanite citadel exposed in Nahariya

Announcement was made this week of the discovery of a Canaanite citadel in the middle of the Israeli northern coastal town of Nahariya. The Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa announced an agreement that would allow construction on a high-rise apartment building to continue with the inclusion of the Canaanite ruins to remain in the basement.

An aerial photograph of the excavation. Photographic credit: Guy Fitoussi, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The IAA announcement reads,

In an agreement reached between the director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Mr. Israel Hasson, and the director of the Kochav Company, Ltd., Mr. Danny Kochav, remains of a 3,400 year old citadel that were recently uncovered in an archaeological excavation will be integrated in an apartment high-rise that the Kochav Company is building on Balfour Street in Nahariya, close to the beach.

The large excavation, which the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted together with youth groups, including students from the Shchakim High School in Nahariya, was carried out as part of a project by the Kochav Company to build a residential high-rise with underground parking. Given the extraordinary nature and quality of the finds, the Israel Antiquities Authority sought a solution that would allow the conservation of some of the remains for the benefit of the public. Thus, with the assistance of Architect Alex Shpol, planner for the Interior Ministry’s regional committee for planning and construction, it was decided that part of the citadel would be preserved in the building’s basement level where it will be displayed for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors.

According to Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “It seems that the citadel which we uncovered was used as an administrative center that served the mariners who sailed along the Mediterranean coast 3,400 years ago. There was probably a dock alongside the citadel. Numerous artifacts were discovered in its rooms, including ceramic figurines in form of humans and animals, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels that attest to the extensive commercial and cultural relations that existed at that time with Cyprus and the rest of the lands in the Mediterranean basin”.

The fortress was destroyed at least four times by an intense conflagration, and each time it was rebuilt. An abundance of cereal, legumes and grape seeds were found in the burnt layers, which are indicative of the provisions the sailors would purchase.

Nahariya is not mentioned in the Bible by name. The city is located along the Mediterranean coast of the Plain of Acco about 5 or 6 miles north of Acco (Acre). This territory was allotted to the Israelite tribe of Asher, but they were not able to maintain control over the Canaanites in the region.

Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob, (Judges 1:31 ESV)

The book of Judges describes the territory of Asher as being along the seashore.

Asher remained on the seacoast, he stayed by his harbors. (Judges 5:17 NET)

Aerial view of the plain of Acco, territory of the Biblical tribe of Asher ran from Haifa (Mount Carmel) north. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In the far north of this photo you will see a small horizontal white line extending into the sea. That is known as the Ladder of Tyre. The cluster of buildings between Acco and the Ladder of Tyre is Nahariya.

During earlier excavations at Nahariya a Cannanite temple with a mold for making images of the goddess Asherah had been uncovered. Beginning with Ahab, numerous kings of Israel were responsible for worshiping Asherah. I suggest you use a Bible concordance to locate all the reference to Asherah, Asherim, Asheroth, and Ashtoreth.

Solomon also worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians in Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:5 2 Kings 23:13).

Female figurines dating to the Late Bronze Age. Photographic credit: Eran Gilvarg, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

The IAA news release simply says that the recent discoveries at Nahariya date to 3400 years ago, i.e., about 1400 B.C. This period is known as the Late Bronze Age (about 1550 to 1200 B.C.). Bible students will recognize this as the period of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. The bronze arrowhead is a good reminder of the conflict in the land at that time.

An arrowhead made of bronze. Photographic credit: Eran Gilvarg, courtesy of the IAA.

I find these photos so fascinating that I want to share more of them with you.

Photograph of the work being conducted at the site. Photo: IAA.

Imported pottery from Cyprus and Greece was found at the site.

Fragments of decorated pottery vessels imported from Cyprus and Greece 3,400 years ago. Photo: IAA.

3400-Year-Old Canaanite Citadel Will Be Basement of High Rise in Israeli City - History

Posted on 05/21/2020 7:06:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

Microscopic signatures of malting could help reveal which prehistoric people had a taste for beer.

Ancient beer is difficult to trace, because many of beer’s chemical ingredients, like alcohol, don’t preserve well (SN: 9/28/04). But a new analysis of modern and ancient malted grain indicates that malting’s effects on grain cell structure can last millennia. This microscopic evidence could help fill in the archaeological record of beer consumption, providing insight into the social, ritual and dietary roles this drink played in prehistoric cultures, researchers report online May 7 in PLOS ONE.

Malting, the first step in brewing beer, erodes cell walls in an outer layer of a grain seed, called its aleurone layer. To find out whether that cell wall thinning would still be visible in grains malted thousands of years ago, Andreas Heiss, an archaeobotanist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, and colleagues simulated archaeological preservation by baking malted barley in a furnace. Using a scanning electron microscope, the researchers observed thinned aleurone cell walls in the resulting malt residue. Heiss’s team found a similar pattern of thinning in residues from 5,000- to 6,000-year-old containers at two Egyptian breweries.

The researchers then inspected grain-based remains from similarly aged settlements in Germany and in Switzerland. These sites didn’t contain any tools specifically associated with beer-making. But grain-based residues from inside containers at the settlements did show thin aleurone cell walls, like those in the Egyptian remains — offering the oldest evidence of malting in central Europe, the researchers say.

Remains of 3,400-year-old fortress found in Nahariya

The remains of a fortress dating back three and a half millennia were uncovered during an archaeological dig in the northern coastal town of Nahariya, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

Fragments of clay pottery and weapons were also found at the site.

According to archaeologists Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitsur and Ron Be’eri, the area near the fortress revealed “many artifacts, including human and animal statuettes, bronze weapons and imported pottery, indicating vast trade ties with Cyprus and the rest of the Mediterranean basin.”

Archaeologists at the site were assisted by young volunteers, including students at a Nahariya high school.

The dig was undertaken ahead of foundation work for the construction of a multi-story apartment building with an underground parking lot.

Seeking to preserve the remains of the fortress while allowing construction to proceed, the IAA and the contractor decided that the new building’s basement would display part of the remains, allowing tenants and visitors to view the finds.

Getzov told Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz that the dig took place over three months during the summer, and exposed the remains of four citadels from the 14th century BCE, one built on top of another.

The fortresses were constructed in the middle and late Canaanite period, in quick succession.

“It seems like the [fortresses’] lifespan was short, and each one was burned,” Getzov said.

A sand dune that covered the relics in the years since the fortresses were destroyed helped maintain them, even preserving remains of food for posterity, he said.

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Boy finds ancient figurine during Beit She’an outing

A 7-year-old boy uncovered a 3,400-year-old figurine during a hiking trip to the Beit She’an Valley in northern Israel.

Uri Grinhot was climbing in the area with his friends and parents when he stumbled across the statue at the Tel Rehov archaeological site, apparently after accidentally kicking it as lay in the ground. The rare clay figurine is of a naked woman and was most probably prepared by pressing the soft clay material into a mold.

The boy and his family handed the figurine over to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which awarded him a certificate for good citizenship, the Walla news website reported Thursday.

“Uri came home with the impressive statuette, and we were extremely excited,” said his mother Moriah. “We explained to him that it was an antique and that the Antiquities Authority looks after such findings for the general public.”

Amihai Mazar, professor emeritus at Hebrew University and head of archaeological excavations at Tel Rehov, examined the statue, saying that it is “typical of Canaanite culture from the 15th to 13th centuries BCE.”

He said: “Some researchers believe that the figure depicted here is a flesh and blood woman, while others see it as Astarte, goddess of fertility, known from Canaanite and the Bible. There is a high probability that when the term ‘idol’ is mentioned in the Bible, it in fact refers to figurines such as this.”

IAA officials visited Uri at his school in Sde Eliyahu to present him with his award and to discuss the statue he had found, Channel 2 television said.

“Archaeologists came into the classroom during a Torah class, just as we had learned that [Biblical matriarch] Rachel had stolen the idols of her father Lavan,” teacher Esther Ladelle told the TV station.

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