The Frankish Castle of Dor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Castle of Dor occupied a strategically important location on the Carmel Coast in Israel. This little-known castle has been identified by modern scholarship with Crusader Merle. A new excavation, conducted in 2018, produced finds which shed light on the architecture and time of use of the castle. The excavation revealed an elaborate building, constructed in two building phases at the very least. The new finds, together with the historical accounts, indicate that the use of the excavated building may be dated to the 12th and 13th centuries. Comparing the historical sources with the results of the excavation, it is suggested that this building belonged to the Templar occupation of the site. It thus provides new information regarding the history of the Templars, as well as that of the medieval Carmel coast micro-region more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-235
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the financial support from the Ministry of Absorption and the University of Haifa (Scholarship for Research Students, Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, The Centre for Absorption and Science) that made Sara’s work possible. This research was also supported by the Leverhulme Trust, UK. We would like to warmly thank Ilan Sharon, Ayelet Gilboa and Becky Martin, co-directors of the Tel Dor project, for their support of the excavation of the Crusader castle. We also would like to thank the work of Mrs Haya Kaftori, Jonathan J. Gottlieb, Svetlana Matskevich and Anthony Tamberino for their help in the preparations of the drawings and photographs. Furthermore, our thanks are extended to Professor Denys Pringle for translating the three texts in the , Dr Nimrod Marom for providing analysis of the bone remains, Dr Zach Dunseth for the analysis of the ash deposit, Dr Tomasz Bowrowski for opening our eyes regarding the ‘pilgrims’s bills’ from Poland and Dr Vardit Shetten-Hallel for sharing information from a forthcoming article about ‘Atlit Castle chapel. And last but not least the National Parks Authority for allowing us to excavate in the site and the Zinman Institute of Archaeology for the financial support in the research and publication stage.

Publisher Copyright:
© Council for British Research in the Levant 2021.


  • Crusader archaeology
  • Knights Templar
  • Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
  • southern Levant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Frankish Castle of Dor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this