The remains of a fortress dating back three and a half millennia were uncovered during an archaeological dig in the northern coastal town of Nahariya, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.
Fragments of clay pottery and weapons were also found at the site.
According to archaeologists Nimrod Getzov, Yair Amitsur and Ron Be’eri, the area near the fortress revealed “many artifacts, including human and animal statuettes, bronze weapons and imported pottery, indicating vast trade ties with Cyprus and the rest of the Mediterranean basin.”
Archaeologists at the site were assisted by young volunteers, including students at a Nahariya high school.
The dig was undertaken ahead of foundation work for the construction of a multi-story apartment building with an underground parking lot.
Seeking to preserve the remains of the fortress while allowing construction to proceed, the IAA and the contractor decided that the new building’s basement would display part of the remains, allowing tenants and visitors to view the finds.
Getzov told Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz that the dig took place over three months during the summer, and exposed the remains of four citadels from the 14th century BCE, one built on top of another.
The fortresses were constructed in the middle and late Canaanite period, in quick succession.
“It seems like the [fortresses’] lifespan was short, and each one was burned,” Getzov said.
A sand dune that covered the relics in the years since the fortresses were destroyed helped maintain them, even preserving remains of food for posterity, he said.