Publications

Below is a catalog of publications emerging from the renewed excavations at Tel Kabri (2005–present). Some include links or files to access the publication.

 

"The Wine Storage Complexes at the Middle Bronze II Palace of Tel Kabri: Results of the 2013 and 2015 Seasons"
—Assaf Yasur-Landau, Eric H. Cline, Andrew J. Koh, Alexandra Ratzlaff, Nurith Goshen, Matthew Susnow, Paula Waiman-Barak, and Alison M. Crandall

2018

This report presents the architecture of the storage rooms found during the 2013 and 2015 excavations within the Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace at Tel Kabri in present-day Israel, as well as the ceramic finds within them, and the initial results of the petrographic and organic residue analyses. We hope that this detailed preliminary report can supply some insights into a few of the activities conducted within this Canaanite palace during the early second millennium B.C.E.

"Patterns of Pottery Usage in Middle Bronze Age Canaanite Palaces
—Inbal Samet and Assaf Yasur-Landau

2016

The article explores patterns of pottery usage in Middle Bronze Age palaces in Israel, examining mainly aspects of feasting and storage. Middle Bronze palatial assemblages are typologically similar to assemblages from contemporaneous domestic contexts. Prestige vessels are rare and can usually be associated with banqueting. Vessel-type ratios in assemblages from MB I palaces exhibit a balance between storage and food preparation and consumption. However, the assemblages in the MB II palaces vary considerably. While some were geared toward serving food and drink, others reflect a stronger emphasis on storage. Feasting activities in Canaanite palaces, as reflected by the ceramics, was on a significantly smaller scale than it was in palaces in the Aegean or other Near Eastern regions. Storage spaces in Middle Bronze Canaanite palaces were also on a smaller scale and not intended for public purposes. Finally, the usage of imported or specialized (ceremonial or oversized) vessels was limited in Canaanite palaces.

"Characterizing a Middle Bronze Palatial Wine Cellar from Tel Kabri, Israel"
—Andrew Koh, Assaf Yasur-Landau, and Eric H. Cline

2014

Scholars have for generations recognized the importance of wine production, distribution, and consumption in relation to second millennium BC palatial complexes in the Mediterranean and Near East. However, direct archaeological evidence has rarely been offered, despite the prominence of ancient viticulture in administrative clay tablets, visual media, and various forms of documentation. Tartaric and syringic acids, along with evidence for resination, have been identified in ancient ceramics, but until now the archaeological contexts behind these sporadic discoveries had been uneven and vague, precluding definitive conclusions about the nature of ancient viticulture. The situation has now changed. During the 2013 excavation season of the Kabri Archaeological Project, a rare opportunity materialized when forty large storage vessels were found in situ in an enclosed room located to the west of the central courtyard within the Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace. A comprehensive program of organic residue analysis has now revealed that all of the relatively uniform jars contain evidence for wine. Furthermore, the enclosed context inherent to a singular intact wine cellar presented an unprecedented opportunity for a scientifically intensive study, allowing for the detection of subtle differences in the ingredients or additives within similar wine jars of apparently the same vintage. Additives seem to have included honey, storax resin, terebinth resin, cedar oil, cyperus, juniper, and perhaps even mint, myrtle, or cinnamon, all or most of which are attested in the 18th century BC Mari texts from Mesopotamia and the 15th century BC Ebers Papyrus from Egypt. These additives suggest a sophisticated understanding of the botanical landscape and the pharmacopeic skills necessary to produce a complex beverage that balanced preservation, palatability, and psychoactivity. This new study has resulted in insights unachievable in the past, which contribute to a greater understanding not only of ancient viticulture but also of Canaanite palatial economy.This is a citation of your published piece. Write a brief description to give a snapshot of your work. Make sure to specify the medium for publishing, such as an academic journal, book, essay or magazine. If your work only appears on certain pages, include that information so it’s easier for your readers to find.

"Aegeans in Israel: Minoan Frescoes at Tel Kabri"
—Eric H. Cline and Assaf Yasur-Landau

2013

More than 3,500 years ago, the aegean
civilizations that produced the gorgeous frescoes of Minoan Crete and Santorini impacted Canaanite civilization in what is now northern Israel. We are presently excavating the palace in western Galilee that makes the connection—at a site called Tel Kabri.

"An MB II Orthostat Building at Tel Kabri, Israel"
—Assaf Yasur-Landau, Eric H. Cline, Nurith Goshen, and Nimrod Marom

2012

During the summer of 2011, a two-room monumental structure was found at the site of Tel Kabri in Israel. Designated as the “Orthostat Building” because of its extensive use of orthostats and paving slabs found still in situ, the location, plan, and architectural fea- tures of this building raise questions about its function and relation to the palace of Kabri and its chronological phasing within the palace’s history. The use of orthostats and ashlar paving stones, which is otherwise rather rare in Middle Bronze Age structures in Canaan, calls for a reevaluation of the impact of Syrian and Aegean architecture on the Kabri pal- ace, in view of the already established Aegean influence on the site. The building, with its elaborate interior design and features, was erected at the same time that other great ar- chitectural changes took place in the palace of Kabri, including a thickening of the palace walls. These changes, although possibly simply functional, are also suggestive of deliberate choices by the palace elite to exemplify their power to the local population while at the same time attempting to follow the greater Mediterranean trends of their time.

"New Fragments of Aegean-Style Painted Plaster from Tel Kabri, Israel"
—Eric H. Cline, Assaf Yasur-Landau, and Nurith Goshen

2011

During the 2008 and 2009 excavations at tel Kabri, more than 100 new fragments of wall and floor plaster were uncovered. Approximately 60 are painted, probably belonging to a second Aegean-style wall fresco with figural representations and a second Aegean-style painted floor. A date within the Middle Bronze ii period, probably in the 17th century B.C.e., may be suggested for the Kabri frescoes, which makes them significantly earlier than the tell el-dab’a and Qatna frescoes and roughly contempo- rary with the Alalakh Minoan-style frescoes. that there are at least four Aegean-style frescoes found to date at Kabri (two painted floors and two wall paintings) may hint that either the palace was decorated with a single Aegean picto- rial plan in mind—an ambitious undertaking by a unique Canaanite ruler—or that different paintings were com- missioned in different episodes and executed by different Aegean (or Aegean-trained) artisans. Whichever the case, the close resemblance of the Kabri miniature fresco found by Kempinski and Niemeier to that in the West House at Akrotiri on Santorini, and the resemblance of the new figu- rative fresco to various Aegean paintings, provides hints as to the origin of the artisans (or single worker) at Kabri, who may have been an itinerant recruited in the Cyclades through Cypriot middlemen trading with Kabri.

"Our Cups Overfloweth: 'Kabri Goblets' and Canaanite Feasts in the Middle Bronze Age Levant"
—Assaf Yasur-Landau, Eric H. Cline, and Inbal Samet

2011

Excavations at Tel Kabri in Israel have uncovered a goblet type—the so-called “Kabri Goblet”—which is without clear parallels in the Middle Bronze Age ceramic repertoire of the southern Levant. Dozens of complete and frag- mentary examples found in middle and late MB II phases (17th and early 16th centuries B.C.e.) indicate that this was a com- mon drinking ware in both palatial and domestic contexts. Its decoration, as well as its shape, however, may be deliberate ar- chaisms. The form has its origin in goblet types used in the region of the Western Galilee already in the Intermediate Bronze Age. This conservatism stands in stark contrast to the willingness of the Kabri elite to consume imported Cypriot pottery (or rather the goods shipped within such pottery) and to commission Aegean art as painted decoration within the palace.

"Middle Bronze Age Settlement Patterns in the Western Galilee, Israel"
—Assaf Yasur-Landau, Eric H. Cline, and George A. Pierce

2008

During the Middle Bronze Age (MB) II period (ca. 1750-1600 B.C.), Tel Kabri, located in the western Galilee, Israel, was the center of a thriving polity with economic and cultural connections to Egypt, Cyprus, and the Aegean. While Kabri and some neighboring sites have been partially excavated, the rise and fall of the polity has not been clearly understood. We present evidence from the Kabri Archaeological Project (KAP) to reconstruct shifting settlement patterns, demography, and aspects of trade in the Kabri hinterland from MB I to Late Bronze Age (LB) I. We argue that Kabri, in the northern part of the Acco plain, follows a different developmental trajectory than does the site of Acco and its hinterland in the southern part of the plain. Acco was urbanized early in MB I and developed a mature hinterland that persisted throughout MB II and into LB I. Kabri did not begin to bloom until late in the MB I period. Its rapid rise during MB II was accompanied by the abandonment of village sites far from the center of the polity and the fortification of nearby settlements. These efforts to consolidate power and to maintain the flow of goods into the center did not last long, and the polity of Kabri soon collapsed.

"Poetry in Motion: Canaanite Rulership and Aegean Narrative Art at Tel Kabri"
—Eric H. Cline and Assaf Yasur-Landau

2007

In the Summer of 2005, excavations in the palace of Kabri were resumed by the current authors. Three different areas were excavated, in order to establish the extent of the palace and to determine a field strategy for the future. This paper explores the relationship between rulership, ideology, and Aegean-style Frescoes at Tel Kabri.

Preliminary Reports

2005–2017

Preliminary Report of the 2017 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2015 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2013 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2011 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2009/2010 Winter Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2009 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2008 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2007 Excavation Season

Preliminary Report of the 2006 Regional Survey

Preliminary Report of the 2005 Excavation Season

 

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