“And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the terebinth of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.” Genesis 12:6 (The Israel Bible™)
The remains of a 3,400-year-old Canaanite citadel, which was recently discovered during a construction project in the coastal city of Nahariya, will be incorporated into the planned high-rise apartment building, bringing together ancient and modern Israel in a brand-new and revolutionary way.
The citadel was uncovered when the Kochav Company broke ground on an underground parking complex for a future high-rise apartment building on Nahariya’s Balfour Street. Youth groups and local students joined the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in excavating the site, which the IAA said was used by Mediterranean sailors in the Bronze Age.
The dating of the citadel places it about four hundred years after the lifetime of the Biblical patriarch Abraham, who lived during the Canaanite period.
As for its purpose, IAA excavation directors Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri, reported, “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, they added. The excavators found numerous ancient and rare artifacts in the rooms of the citadel, including ceramic figurines of humans and animals, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels. These objects “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,” said the directors.
The excavation also revealed the the citadel had been burned down and rebuilt at least four times. Large amounts of cereal, legumes and grape seeds were found on the site, indicating that sailors would purchase provisions there.
On Wednesday, the IAA announced that an agreement had been reached with Danny Kochav, the director of the Kochav Company, to preserve and incorporate part of the ancient citadel into the apartment building which is still planned for the site.
Architect Alex Shpol from the Interior Ministry’s regional committee for planning and construction assisted the process of drawing up plans which would safely enable the Kochav Company to preserve the citadel on the basement level of the high-rise. The remains will be visible to visitors there in a museum-like display.