The Iron Age Maritime Interface at the South Bay of Tel Dor: results from the 2016 and 2017 excavation seasons

Ehud Arkin Shalev, Assaf Yasur-Landau, Ayelet Gilboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the Tel Dor joint Sea and Land Project is to reassess and expand understanding of the maritime interface of Iron Age Dor. During 2016 and 2017 five features excavated under water provided new data about the development and chronology of this interface. The results support a revised dating and interpretation of previously excavated structures and the identification of several new stone-built coastal fortification and maritime features, dating to the Early Iron Age. A later phase of construction attributed to the 7th century BCE Assyrian period at Dor was also documented. The outcome of the excavation is the introduction of new aspects of the development of Dor in the Iron Age, including what is likely part of the Iron Age II city's harbour. This may encourage revisiting current views of harbour evolution in the eastern Mediterranean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-452
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Nautical Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This underwater field project for this research was carried out as part of the Tel Dor Joint Land and Sea Project, co-directed by Ilan Sharon of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Ayelet Gilboa of the University of Haifa, Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa and Rebecca S. Martin of Boston University. Excavations were conducted by student divers from the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa as well as by volunteer divers, for whose participation we are grateful. Underwater operations were conducted with the help of the maritime workshop of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa. All work was carried out by kind permission of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, via excavation permits number G-73/2016, G-2/2017, 018/16 and 011/17. We thank Jacob (Koby) Sharvit and Jon Seligman of the IAA, and Tzvika Tzuk of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority for their kind support and cooperation. We thank Kibbutz Nahsholim for their kind support and co-operation, and are grateful to the Mizgaga Museum of Nautical and Regional Archaeology at Kibbutz Nahsholim for their hospitality and assistance. Support for this project was provided through a grant from the Honor Frost Foundation. The processing of the finds was assisted by ISF 495/18 ?The Maritime Interface in the Bronze and Iron Ages: An Underwater Study of Tel Dor Anchorages and Harbor Infrastructure?. The land excavations were supported by the Goldhirsh-Yellin foundation (California) and by the Berman Foundation of Biblical Archaeology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology © 2019 The Nautical Archaeology Society.


  • Assyrian period
  • Coastal fortifications
  • Iron Age
  • Levantine harbours
  • Phoenicians
  • Tel Dor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Paleontology


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