This project focuses on collecting baseline marine geophysical data concerning the ancient bays, anchorages and harbors around Tel Dor and the Neve Yam region along Israel’s Mediterranean coast. A variety of geophysical tools will be deployed on a small craft to map the sea floor and its immediate substrate in high resolution to provide maps to contextualize excavation and paleoenvironmental data spanning the Holocene that have been recently collected by our team and other researchers in the past. Of immediate interest is the Bronze (ca. 3600 – 1200 BC) and Iron Ages (ca. 1200 – 500 BC) that witnessed the emergence and collapse of the first urban societies and civilizations in the southern Levant, to the rise and breakdown of the first local historic archaic state/kingdom level societies such as the Phoenician, Israelite, Edomite and other Iron Age polities.
The project contributes to the growing number of maritime archaeology projects that envision human settlement sites in both submerged and near-coastal settings as ideal palaeo-environmental and cultural archives for studying deep-time climate, environmental and cultural change. This is part of a joint Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology UC San Diego – University of Haifa collaboration.
During the summer of 2018, marine and near-coastal sediment cores were extracted in the South Bay of Dor and are now being studied for Holocene palaeo-environmental and sea level change data. The bathymetric maps to be produced thanks to the support of the Honor Frost Foundation, will help model environmental change in relation to the core data in very high resolution.
A University of Haifa marine geophysics team will work closely with the UC San Diego team to carry out the survey. This data will be linked with University of Haifa – UC San Diego maritime archaeology excavations and surveys using a newly developed digital archaeology workflow that includes digital data capture, curation, analyses and dissemination by traditional peer-reviewed publications, but also in 3D and online platforms.