Remains of 3,400-year-old Canaanite citadel unearthed in Nahariya

Rare antiquities to be incorporated into high-rise residential building in coastal city.

Remains of a Canaanite citadel exposed in the middle of Nahariya
The remains of a 3,400-year-old citadel recently uncovered in an archaeological excavation in the northern coastal city of Nahariya will be incorporated into a stateof- the art residential high-rise in the area, the Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday.
The large excavation – which the authority conducted with youth groups, including students from Nahariya’s Shchakim High School – was carried out as part of a project by the Kochav Company to build the high-rise, which will include an underground parking lot.
“Given the extraordinary nature and quality of the finds, the Israel Antiquities Authority sought a solution that would allow the conservation of some of the remains for the benefit of the public,” the IAA said in a statement.
Remains of a Canaanite Citadel Exposed in the Middle of Nahariya (photo credit: GUY FITOUSSI/ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY).
“Thus, with the assistance of architect Alex Shpol, planner for the Interior Ministry’s Regional Committee for Planning and Construction, it was decided that part of the citadel would be preserved in the building’s basement level, where it will be displayed for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors.”
According to Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri, the excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, the citadel once served the needs of mariners who frequented the ancient port city.
“It seems that the citadel that we uncovered was used as an administrative center that served the mariners who sailed along the Mediterranean coast 3,400 years ago,” the archeologists said in a joint statement. “There was probably a dock alongside the citadel.”
Moreover, they noted that numerous artifacts were discovered in the citadel’s rooms, including ceramic figurines in the form of humans and animals, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels, which 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.
“The fortress was destroyed at least four times by an intense conflagration, and each time it was rebuilt,” the archeologists said.
“An abundance of cereal, legumes and grape seeds were found in the burnt layers, which are indicative of the provisions the sailors would purchase.”
The IAA said the excavation’s findings will be presented to the public at a Thursday joint conference of the northern region of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa.
The relics will subsequently be integrated into a beachside residential tower that the Kochav Company is building on Balfour Street in Nahariya, in coordination with the contractor, the Kochav Company, Ltd., and the Israel Antiquities Authority, the IAA said.