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Remains of the citadel, Nahariya, Israel.

3400-Year-Old Canaanite Citadel Will Be Basement of High Rise in Israeli City


The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced that part of the remains of a recently unearthed Bronze Age citadel will be preserved and become a mini-museum of a high rise building in Nahariya, Israel. They decided that this would be the best solution for both the public and for conservation, due to the “extraordinary nature and quality” of the site.

Some of the archaeological materials uncovered at the site include: ceramic figurines of humans and animals, bronze weapons, and imported pottery vessels. Analysis of the pottery is providing evidence for the “extensive commercial and cultural relations that existed at that time with Cyprus and the rest of the lands in the Mediterranean basin” Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitzur and Dr. Ron Be’eri, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA told Israel National News.

Female figurines dating to the Late Bronze Age.

Female figurines dating to the Late Bronze Age. (Eran Gilvarg/IAA)

Other important discoveries found amongst the ruins are plentiful remains of cereals, legumes and grape seeds “which are indicative of the provisions the sailors would purchase” according to the IAA archaeologists. This is consistent with their belief that the site was used as an administrative center that served Mediterranean mariners. Furthermore, the site was found to have been burnt to the ground four times and rebuilt each time. The IAA also believes that there was once a dock alongside the citadel.

The news agent Haaretz reports that the grapes may have been used to make a local wine instead. This hypothesis has come about with the discovery of clay vessels dating to 4,000 years ago in the cellar of a Canaanite palace nearby. Remains of red wine, “and a fine, aromatic vintage fit for a king at that” were said to have been found inside the vessels at the palace. The link between the grapes of the fort and those of the palace remains tentative, although it is well-documented that the Canaanites liked their wine.

The excavation of the citadel has been a long process completed by the IAA in conjunction with youth groups, in an attempt to involve the younger generations in local heritage. It was also carried out as a part of a project by the Kochav Company (which is building the high rise). The IAA said that the  architect Alex Shpol, planner for the Interior Ministry's regional committee, drew up the plans for construction in a way that will preserve part of the citadel in the basement level of the building, and the ruins as well as the artifacts found and the site will “be displayed for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors.”

Remains of a Canaanite citadel exposed in the Middle of Nahariya, Israel.

Part of the remains of the Canaanite citadel exposed in the Middle of Nahariya, Israel. (Eran Gilvarg, IAA)

The story of the Canaanites still has many gaps. It is known that Canaan was the name of a large and prosperous country which corresponds roughly to present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel. Canaan was sometimes a tributary nation to Egypt and at other times it was independent. The details of the Canaanite ruling system have remained elusive.

As Haaretz reports, it also remains unknown why “there have been no significant findings of alphabetic writing from the region during the Middle Bronze Age, though neighboring Egypt and Mesopotamia had advanced civilizations with highly advanced writing systems.”

Fragments of decorated pottery vessels imported from Cyprus and Greece 3,400 years ago.

Fragments of decorated pottery vessels imported from Cyprus and Greece 3,400 years ago and unearthed at the fort. (Guy Fitoussi/ IAA)

Details on what caused the series of destruction in Canaanite cities and the lack of development in the Canaanite culture around 1250-1200 BC also has evaded researchers. There is some indication however, that a catastrophic event, or series of events, may have been part of the problem.

Furthermore, there is evidence that Canaanite religion was based on agriculture and had pronounced fertility motifs. The most important gods of the Canaanites were called Baalim (Lords) and their consorts were Baalot (Ladies). Women were also thought to have had a relatively advanced status, and they served as priestesses, owned land, entered into contracts, and could initiate divorce.

The IAA told The Jerusalem Post that more of the excavation’s findings will be presented to the public at a joint conference of the Northern Region of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa on January 7.

Featured Image: Aerial view of the remains of the citadel, Nahariya, Israel. Source: Guy Fitoussi/IAA

By: Alicia McDermott



don't blame them . god told them to do it !

- - - none of the evil perpetrated today in whatever name is new.

Again and again and again, I am reminded that none of the evil perpetrated today in whatever name is not new.

Hundreds even thousands? of viable civilizations with possibly advanced ideologies have disappeared often it would appear without trace. Perhaps this is the inevitable legacy of the human condition - - - to eventually destroy itself from within?

Advance, learn, destroy that with which you disagree, then turn upon 'your own'?

Hey, Cannanite, Palestinian….who’s counting. When you’re ‘chosen’ you do what you want. It’s not genocide!  It’s God’s Word.


Sadly, Caananite tribes were ones ancient Israelites perpetrated genocide against. Worse, that genocide is enshrined in Old Testament scriptures, mass killings of every Cannanite man, woman, and child are depicted in the Bible as glorious sacred acts sanctioned and ordered by God.
The Book of Joshua tells the tale. Joshua was an ancient Israelite general/leader.

Joshua 10:40 [QUOTE]: "So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded."

-No wonder so little's known about Cannanites. Cannanites, their society, & culture all got wiped off the face of the Earth by genocidal Israelites. Caannite tribes aren't depicted in the Bible as having been perescuting Jews. It was the other way around, & appears to have been genocide conducted by Israelites to effect a straight land grab against inconveniently located "out group" Cannanite tribes.

Of course, of Moses'/God's Ten Commandments, the 6th, "Thou shalt not kill," had gaping loopholes one could drive a conquering army through, and it certainly didn't apply to those deemed to be criminals, or to out-groups like Caananites, who not only should (according to the Bible) be killed individually, but killed collectively, as in every man, woman, and child.

It's no wonder the Christian religion too has such a violent, intolerant history, despite Jesus' teachings to "love your enemy," etc. - since the genocidal Old Testament is part and parcel of the Christian Bible, and we know Christians and their churches have always loved hearkening back to it and its violence, while ignoring Jesus' teachings.

Alicia McDermott's picture


Alicia McDermott holds degrees in Anthropology, Psychology, and International Development Studies and has worked in various fields such as education, anthropology, and tourism. She is the Chief Editor of Ancient Origins Magazine. Traveling throughout Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, Alicia... Read More

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