Nahariya findings

Female figurines dating to the Late Bronze Age found at the site. (Eran Gilvarg/courtesy of the IAA)

Time and again, the Land of Israel reveals its hidden treasures testifying to its rich history. This time, an ancient citadel with rare and extensive archaeological findings was found in Nahariya.

The remains of an ancient Canaanite Citadel were recently exposed by chance in the center of Nahariya in northern Israel during excavations for a construction project, Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Wednesday.

According to Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, “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 archaeological artifacts were discovered in the building’s rooms, including ceramic figurines in the 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 researchers explained.

The fortress was destroyed at least four times by intense blazes, 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.

Several archaeological sites have recently been discovered by chance during construction projects.

Given the extraordinary nature and quality of the finds, the IAA sought a solution that would allow the conservation of some of the remains for the benefit of the public.

The IAA and the construction company managing the site agreed that remains of the citadel will be integrated as part of the new building and part of the citadel will be preserved in the building’s basement level where it will be displayed for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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