Maritime Activity in the Ancient Southern Levant – The Case of Late Antique Dor

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Scholarship relating to the maritime nature of the Southern Levant depicts slow-paced activity. Indeed,the meagre volume of this scholarship alone suggests as much, a fact which may explain the scarcity ofreferences to the area in general Mediterranean literature. Several elements joined together to create sucha picture, which is arguably inaccurate. Excessive attention has been awarded to the seamanship of theJews, focusing mostly on written sources which are reticent on the issue. Concerning the materialevidence available, particularism has dictated the tone in the approach of Israeli Archaeology towards theinterpretation of coastal (and, indeed, dry-land) sites; little has been done by way of a synthesizedanalysis, one that would supply finds with a wide, long-term historical context.Owing to the accumulating produce of local maritime and coastal archaeology, such biases andlacunae are now more readily remediable. In particular, excavations conducted in shallow waters alongthe coast of Israel have recently been able to produce a critical mass of evidence, possibly sufficient foranswering various general questions of historical nature. In Dor alone some twenty-five sites of interesthave been identified, more than a third of which have been excavated and established to consist ofshipwrecks from the period of Late Antiquity. It is the intention of the paper abstracted here to approachlate antique Dor through the scope of maritime activity, and to supply it with a historiographicalcontextualisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
StatePublished - 2015


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