Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tel Dor: Archaeological Riches by the Sea

About 30 kilometers directly south of Haifa, Israel, lies a very large tel (an earth mound containing ancient architectural and artifact remains) that tells a story crossing at least eight civilizations. The story is largely a commercial one, as the ancient seaport city of Dor on the Mediterranean coast of present day Israel was host to the trading activities of a number of civilizations or cultures that ringed the Mediterranean world in ancient times. Once a Canaanite city, its history spans settlement or rule by "Sea Peoples", Phoenicians, the Solomonic monarchy, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Finally, in the thirteenth century A.D., a Crusader castle was built on the site. Few sites of the ancient world can boast a settlement history more varied and complex than this.

The 2011 Excavation Season

From June 28 to August 5, archaeology excavations will resume at Dor under the direction of Ilan Sharon (the Hebrew University) and Ayelet Gilboa (Haifa University). The areas under investigation consist of an elite Iron Age I section that includes a large complex (possibly a palace or administrative building); further evidence of early Iron Age destruction; the Hellenistic city and large Iron Age Phoenician public structures; and other Persian and Iron Age layers, which include remnants of an Assyrian fort. Work will include the analysis of finds and stratigraphy at the site museum. The season will afford students and volunteers the opportunity to participate in all facets of state-of-the-art field archaeology. This will include archaeology excavation, digital registration of architecture and artifacts using advanced graphics and database software, sampling and analysis of deposits, analysis of finds and stratigraphy, and site conservation. Participants may arrange for academic credit (formal field school instruction) through the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University. Students in this program will receive academic instruction in archaeological field methods and theory, the processing and analysis of material excavated each day, and afternoon lectures on archaeology, history, and specialized studies of the site and region.

There is no doubt that the Tel Dor excavation is considered to be one of the most exciting excavations in this part of the world, as history and archaeology at this location are exceptionally rich and the location boasts beautiful views of the bay and ocean!

Join The Team

Don't just read about history. Help make a difference -- feel it, discover it, and make it a part of you. You can learn more about the project and the application procedure by going to the website at

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For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

1 comment:

Eli and Yudit said...

We love this area and it is amazing to see how fast the excavations are taking place and what is just under the soil of what we have been walking over for the past year! Thanks for your labors! Great job! Exciting indeed!