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.
The link to Tel Kabri is confirmed by tiny fragments of Aegean-style wall and floor paintings and may also be indicated by beautifully cut blocks of stone known as orthostats that we excavated in 2011. These orthostats have architectural parallels to palaces on Minoan Crete.1
But why would a Canaanite ruler want to decorate his palace with Aegean-style paintings or construct buildings using Aegean methods and techniques as reflected in the orthostats?