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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A couple found love letters from World War I in their attic. They were able to deliver them to relatives of the writer of those letters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) Explicit Chinese art works dating back centuries go on display in Hong Kong, revealing China's ancient relationship with sex. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

AFP (Apr. 15, 2014) Parisians and local historians are fighting to save one of the French capital's iconic buildings, the La Samaritaine department store. Duration: 01:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bee Fossils Provide Insight Into Ice Age Environment

Bee Fossils Provide Insight Into Ice Age Environment

Newsy (Apr. 12, 2014) Archeologists have found many fossils in the La Brea Tar Pits, including those of saber-tooth tigers and mammoths. Video provided by Newsy
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