Photo Credit: Guy Fitoussi, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
An aerial photograph of the excavation

The remains of a 3,400 year old citadel that were recently uncovered in an archaeological excavation will be integrated in an apartment high-rise being built on Balfour Street in Nahariya, near the beach. The large excavation, which the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted together with Nahariya youth groups and high school students, was carried out as part of a project by the Kochav Company which was constructing a residential high-rise with underground parking at the site. 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, and so, 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 at the building’s basement level where it will be displayed for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

Fragments of decorated pottery vessels imported from Cyprus and Greece 3,400 years ago. Photo credit: Guy Fitoussi, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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 artifacts were discovered in its 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.”

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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.

The finds will be presented on Thursday at a joint archaeological conference of the Northern Region of the IAA and Haifa University.

The work being conducted at the site. Photo credit: Guy Fitoussi, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
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