Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Remains Of Minoan-style Painting Discovered During Excavations Of Canaanite Palace

Date:
December 7, 2009
Source:
University of Haifa
Summary:
The remains of a Minoan-style wall painting, recognizable by a blue background, the first of its kind to be found in Israel, was discovered in the course of the recent excavation season at Tel Kabri. This fresco joins others of Aegean style that have been uncovered during earlier seasons at the Canaanite palace in Kabri.

"Blue fresco remains": Remains of blue Minoan-style fresco discovered at Tel Kabri excavations.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Haifa

Tel Kabri is the only site in Israel where wall paintings similar in style to those found in the Aegean 3,600 years ago have been found; researchers say this was a conscious decision made by the city rulers to lean toward Mediterranean culture.

The remains of a Minoan-style wall painting, recognizable by a blue background, the first of its kind to be found in Israel, was discovered in the course of the recent excavation season at Tel Kabri. This fresco joins others of Aegean style that have been uncovered during earlier seasons at the Canaanite palace in Kabri. "It was, without doubt, a conscious decision made by the city's rulers who wished to associate with Mediterranean culture and not adopt Syrian and Mesopotamian styles of art like other cities in Canaan did. The Canaanites were living in the Levant and wanted to feel European," explains Dr. Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa, who directed the excavations.

The remains of a Canaanite city from the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 B.C.) have been exposed at Tel Kabri, next to Kibbutz Kabri near Nahariya. A palace for the city's rulers stands in the center of the city, which was the most important of the cities in the Western Galilee during that period. Excavations began at Tel Kabri in 1986, conducted by the late Prof. Aharon Kempinski, and were halted in 1993. Over the past years, excavations have been renewed by teams directed by Dr. Yasur-Landau of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa and Prof. Eric Cline of The George Washington University.

Tel Kabri is unique in that after the city was deserted, no other city was built over its remains. Therefore, this is the only Canaanite city that can be excavated in its entirety. The palace too, which has been measured with geophysical tools at 1 to 1.5 acres, is the only such palace of this period that can be excavated fully. "The city's preservation enables us to get a complete picture of political and social life in the Canaanite period. We can reveal whether or not it had a central government, whether taxes were levied, what sort of agriculture there was and how politics were conducted at the time," Dr. Yasur-Landau explains.

The recent excavation season has enabled researchers to conclude what the rulers' cultural preferences were. While excavations at Tel Hazor in the northern Galilee, the largest Canaanite city of that period, revealed numerous remains of sculpture works of Syrian and Mesopotamian style, no such evidence of this style of artwork were discovered at Tel Kabri. Until now the remains of a fresco in a style that had been common on the island of Santorini (Thera), discovered during previous seasons at the Tel Kabri site, might have been considered a solitary occurrence. However, the remains of additional works reinforce the conjecture that this was a city that not only had trade relations with Mediterranean kingdoms, but also preferred to be culturally associated with them. "Unlike Hazor, which held trading and cultural ties with Syria and Mesopotamia, the rulers of the city at Tel Kabri consciously chose the Mediterranean alternative, relating to Aegean cultures, which doubtlessly seemed more exotic to the local inhabitants," Dr. Yasur-Landau explains.

Additional findings during the past season illuminate other angles of day-to-day life in the Canaanite city. The researchers discovered that the rulers confiscated privately owned lands in order to build both the palace and a ceremonial path encircling the palace. The researchers also began digging a corridor that had been discovered last year and found tens of pottery vessels there, such as storage jars, shallow bowls, cups, and jugs. The corridor, which probably served as a storage area, was blocked off by the ancient inhabitants, and therefore remnants of the substances held in these pottery vessels still remains, as did many animal bones. "We sent the bones and substance remains to be examined, so we should soon be able to know more about the standard diet of that time and in this particular area," Dr. Yasur-Landau added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Haifa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Haifa. "Remains Of Minoan-style Painting Discovered During Excavations Of Canaanite Palace." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109121119.htm>.
University of Haifa. (2009, December 7). Remains Of Minoan-style Painting Discovered During Excavations Of Canaanite Palace. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109121119.htm
University of Haifa. "Remains Of Minoan-style Painting Discovered During Excavations Of Canaanite Palace." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109121119.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-Lift

Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-Lift

AP (July 24, 2014) The U.S. Mint has re-designed the John F. Kennedy half dollar coin to better match the former president's likeness. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

AP (July 22, 2014) Authorities say a 241-year-old church on the National Register of Historic Places has been ravaged by fire in Maryland. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins