In a large-scale project, the IAA worked with the Kochav Company, Ltd.—which will build the apartments—as well as students from a local high school to excavate the multi-room fortress.
“It seems that the citadel … 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,” said excavation directors Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri in an IAA press release.The excavators found within the rooms of the Late Bronze Age fortress human and animal ceramic figurines, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels, which indicate that the Canaanite residents were in contact with Cyprus and other cultures around the Mediterranean.
The fortress evidently suffered through four major fires and was rebuilt after each conflagration. Discovered in burnt layers were cereal, legume and grape seeds—representative of the rations that the sailors could buy at the fortress.
According to the IAA press release, part of the fortress will be conserved and exhibited in the basement of the new high-rise apartment building.