Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Seleucid fortress found off coast of Dor

MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Fortress Discovered Off Israel's Northern Coast Solves a Seleucid Mystery. Dozens of meters wide, at least two stories high, 2,200 years after it was built, the Kingdom of Tryphon's first line of defense has been found underwater (Nir Hasson, Haaretz Premium).

Regarding the history:
Trying to follow the political and military developments in the waning days of the Hasmonean Kingdom in the second century B.C.E. is like trying to keep track of the plot of “Game of Thrones.”
Regarding the archaeology:
Until recently, scholars believed that the massive wall that surrounded Tel Dor and the city in the northern part of the bay was the line of defense for Tryphon and his troops. Arrowheads and slingshots from that battle were also discovered there. Some of the stones are etched with a lightning bolt, the symbol of Zeus, and others bear the inscription “victory over Tryphon.”

But three months ago, researchers discovered underwater, on the southern side of the port, an area where no structures from any period had been found, the remnants of a large fortification. Its similarity to another fortification on land and other artifacts led researchers to date this fortification to the Hellenistic Period. Now it appears that this fortification – situated in the sea – was likely Tryphon’s first line of defense, and the northern sea wall his second line of defense.

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