An Outpost Of Empier: A Disscsuion Of The Strata Of Tel Dor In The Roman Period

1160 words - 5 pages

The rocky shores of the eastern Mediterranean has always been at the forefront of the history of the ancient world, many great empires have extended their reach into this cross roads of the ancient world, this meeting of cultures has led to interesting mixtures in the stratigraphic record. Tel Dor is an interesting site because of its long history of occupation stretching back to the 13th century BC. In the Roman period Tel Dor was to reach its height though economically and culturally overshadowed by the great city of Caesarea a mere 10km to the south it still was a thriving provincial town, after the dissolution of the Seleucid empire, Pompey the great granted Tell Dor its autonomy though it was latter incorporated into the province of Syria (Nitschke2011:146-147). Though Tel Dor was first excavated in 1924 by John Garstany of director of Department of Antiquities of the British Mandate, modern excavation is mostly done by the University of Washington and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This paper shall attempt to show that the discoveries made from the Roman show that the city thrived in this period even in the shadow of nearby Caesarea and expand on what might be done in future excavations to show that Tel Dor is not just a marginalized footnote in history.
Among the intriguing features of Tel Dor found in the 21st century The Industrial complex of area D4b is perhaps the most perplexing. In 2004 a trench was dug in area D4 revealing a single large building that initially led to confusion about its purpose, the initial hypothesis was that due to the presence of a hypocaust was that this had to be a bath house which no roman town ever seems to be without (Sharon 2004). Further exploration in 2005 to 2006 cast doubt on this initial idea as further discoveries were uncovered in later seasons, in 2005 a terracotta pipe leading to indentations which were theorized to be from a standing basin led the research team to form the hypothesis that this building was not a bath house as previously thought but rather an industrial scale bakery (Sharon 2004), this idea was further reinforced by the discovery of plaster floors with a plain mosaic that was water proof but not what one would expect to see in a bath house (Sharon 2005) a base of what was thought to be a donkey driven mill was found along with a kiln which supports the bakery theory. Current excavations have moved on from this building it but it seems everyone involved has moved on from the bath house theory.
Another indicator of economic activity in Roman Tel Dor comes from area D1 near D4, previous to 2004, archeologists had no clue what the kilns found in this building were for. X-ray Fluorescence however led to the discovery of leaded bronze residue (Nitschke 2011:151). This leaded bronze residue points to another industry that of bronze casting, thriving in this town.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of the richness of this town is that it possesses its own mint, the evidence that...

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