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The Many Masters of Dor, Part 2: How Bad Was Ahab?
Tel Dor, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is the site of one of the most conquered cities in the Levant. Although practically every major people of the region occupied or ruled the site at one time or another—leaving behind an accumulation of debris 45 feet high—it was the Phoenician culture that dominated Dor for some 800 years. Twelve years of excavation at this site 12 miles south of Haifa have revealed a wealth of remains and new discoveries, now presented by Ephraim Stern, director of the Dor excavation, in this three-part article.
In “The Many Masters of Dor, Part 1: When Canaanites Became Phoenician Sailors,” BAR 19:01, Stern traced Dor’s history from its Canaanite roots in the 20th century B.C.E. through its conquest and occupation by the Sikils—a Sea People tribe—up to its reconquest by the Phoenicians in about 1050 B.C.E. In this installment, he tells the story of the Phoenician-Israelite city, its development as a major port and its fall to the Assyrians in 733 B.C.E. “The Many Masters of Dor, Part 3: The Persistence of Phoenician Culture,” BAR 19:03, will look at the succession of absentee landlords—Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian—who ruled Dor until the city’s complete Hellenization in the third century B.C.E.

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