Remnants of a Minoan fresco – the first of its kind ever discovered by archaeologists in Israel – were found at the Tel Kabri excavations this past excavation season. Minoan frescoes, or wall paintings, are typified by a blue background.
The fresco joins other Aegean-style paintings that were found in the ancient Canaanite palace in the tel. “Without a doubt, there was a conscious decision by the city's rulers to become a part of the Mediterranean culture and not to adopt a Syrian and Mesopotamian art style like other cities in Canaan did,” said Dr. Assaf Yasur Landau of Haifa University, who led the dig. “The Canaanites who were living in the Levant also wanted to feel like they were a part of Europe,” he added with a smile.
Tel Kabri, located near Kibbutz Kabri near Nahariya, contains the remains of a Canaanite city from the Middle Bronze Era (2000 - 1550 BCE). At its center stood the palace of the city's rulers. It was the most important city in the western Galilee in that era.
The excavations at the location began in the 1980s under Prof. Aharon Kempinsky and were halted in 1993. In recent years, more digging is being carried out by Prof. Landau and Prof. Eric Cline of George Washington University.
Tel Kabri is unique in that after it was abandoned, no other city was built on top of its ruins. This means that it is the only Canaanite city that can be excavated in its entirety. “The preservation of the city at Tel Kabri permits us to get a full picture of political and social life in the Canaanite era,” said Dr. Landau. “We will be able to know if the government was centralized or not, if taxes were collected, what kind of agriculture was practiced and how the politics of the era were carried out.”
Photos show remains of blue fresco, diggers exposing constructed path outside palace.