This article is about the ancient cities and archaeological site. For other uses, see Dor (disambiguation).
PikiWiki Israel 3628 Tel Dors shoreline

Tel Dor from above

Tel Dor (Kh. al-Burj or Tantura), is an archeological site located on Israel's Mediterranean coast, about 30 km south of Haifa. Lying on a small headland at the north side of a protected inlet, it is identified with D-jr of Egyptian sources, Biblical Dor, and with Dor/Dora of Greek and Roman sources.[1] The documented history of the site begins in the Late Bronze Age (though the town itself was founded in the Middle Bronze Age, c. 2000 BCE), and ends in the Crusader period. The port dominated the fortunes of the town throughout its 3000-odd year history. Its primary role in all these diverse cultures was that of a commercial entrepot and a gateway between East and West. The remains of successor town, the village of Tantura, lies a few hundred meters south of the archaeological site as does the modern kibbutz and resort of Nahsholim.


1759 map Holy Land and 12 Tribes

1759 map of the Holy Land and 12 tribes, showing Dor as part of Manasseh

Dor (Hebrew: דוֹר, meaning "generation", "habitation"), was known as Dora to the Greeks and Romans. Dor was successively ruled by Canaanites, Sea Peoples, Israelites, Phoenicians, Persians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans.

Scholars who reconcile Bronze and Iron Age history in the Levant with biblical traditions write the following: Dor was an ancient royal city of the Canaanites, (Joshua 12:23) whose ruler was an ally of Jabin king of Hazor against Joshua, (Joshua 11:1,2). In the 1100s the town appears to have been taken by the Tjekker, and was ruled by them at least as late as the early 1000s BCE. It appears to have been within the territory of the tribe of Asher, though allotted to Manasseh, (Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27). It was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (Judges 1:27; 1 Kings 4:11). It has been placed in the ninth mile from Caesarea, on the way to Ptolemais. Just at the point indicated is the small village of Tantura, probably an Arab corruption of Dora.[2]

Many scholars doubt the historical accuracy of biblical texts relevant to times prior to the 800s BCE. They suggest that the biblical context for such places as early Dor is more mythology than history.[3]

The city was known as Dor even before the Greeks arrived or had contact with the peoples in Israel. When the Greeks came to the city and learned its name to be Dor, they ascribed it the identity Dora, the Hellenization of the name. The "a" is merely the noun ending to the word. The God/cult of Dor, where the term Doric, as in the column, comes from, was ascribed to the city. Hence, in Hebrew, Dor, in Greek/Latin, Dora.

Today in Israel a moshav is named "Dor" after the old city, situated south of Tel Dor.


Eolianite beach Dor Israel

Beach at Tel Dor

Tel Dor was first investigated in the 1920s, by John Garstang, on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. J. Leibowitz excavated in the lower town around the tell in the 1950s. From 1979 to 1983 Claudine Dauphin excavated a church east of the tell. Avner Raban excavated harbor installations and other constructions mainly south and west of the mound in 1979 - 1984. Underwater surveys around the site were carried out by Kurt Raveh, Shelley Wachsman and Saen Kingsley. Ephraim Stern, of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, directed twenty seasons of excavations at the site between 1980 and 2000, in cooperation with the Israel Exploration Society and several Israeli, American, South African and Canadian academic institutions, as well as a large group of German volunteers. With 100–200 staff, students and volunteers per season Dor was one of the largest and longest-sustained excavation projects in Israel. The eleven excavation areas opened have revealed a wealth of information about the Iron Age, Persian, Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.

Current excavations are being conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa in co-operation with the University of Washington, the Weizmann Institute of Science, UNISA (South Africa), and other institutions. It is a broad international consortium of scholars, jointly pursuing a wide number of different but complementary research objectives.[4]


Mizgaga Nahsholim Israel

Former glass factory at Nahsholim

The historic 'Glasshouse' museum building, located in kibbutz Nahsholim, some 500 m. south of the site itself, now houses the Center for Nautical and Regional Archaeology at Dor (CONRAD), consisting of the expedition workrooms and a museum displaying the finds from Tel Dor and its region. The house is an old glass-making factory from the 19th century (built by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild).[5]


Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Tel Dor. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

  1. Gibson, S., Kingsley, S. and J. Clarke. 1999. "Town and Country in the Southern Carmel: Report on the Landscape Archaeology Project at Dor," Levant 31:71-121.
  2. Stern, E. 1994. Dor — Ruler of the Seas. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.
  3. Finkelstein, Israel and Neil Asher Silberman. 2002. The Bible Unearthed:Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York: Touchstone.
  4. For an extensive bibliography of excavations at Dor, see
  5. history of bashan family

External links

Coordinates: 32°37′03″N 34°54′59″E / 32.6174277°N 34.9163642°E / 32.6174277; 34.9163642

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