Excavations at Tel Dor, the major Iron Age port town along Israel's Carmel coast, have yielded an outstanding number of early Iron Age Egyptian jars and amphorae, most probably shipped by sea. Currently this is the largest such assemblage ever found outside Egypt and it requires an explanation. The basic premise in this paper is that ceramics carried on board ships - whether or not they constituted the main cargoes - are an important index for assessing the intensity of maritime contacts between specific regions. Understanding these contacts entails a consideration of the other commodities which may have been exchanged through the same route(s) and the context and rationale of these exchanges. This paper therefore presents an attempt to understand the role of the Carmel region vis-à-vis Egypt and vice versa in the early Iron Age. It shows that Dor's description in the Wenamun report - as a stop-over on the way to Lebanon - reveals only one facet of the site's importance and that Dor's main role for Egypt was as a supplier of a variety of commodities.
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© 2015 by Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien.
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