The Tel Dor Archaeological Expedition

UC Berkeley Department of History of Art | UC Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility | UW Seattle Department of Classics
Site History

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Area D1: 2004

In summer, 2004, the UC Berkeley team at Dor excavated nine 5x5 m squares in Area D1, staffed by graduate students in Classics, AHMA, History of Art, and Near Eastern Studies. Five students from Classics, History of Art, and AHMA, were enabled to participate through the generous award of a scholarship grant by Graduate Division. 

Our squares were located in the unexcavated area that separated Area D1 and Area D2. One of our goals was to link the two areas so that we could make stratigraphic correlations between them, especially with regard to the Roman and Hellenistic levels. In particular, we want eventually to clarify the relations between the major Hellenistic buildings in the two areas- the former "Persian Palace" in Area D1 and the “Big Mother Wall” in Area D2 – and provide a more complete plan of the Hellenistic levels on this side of the site.

The nine squares were organized into three large blocks or sectors. Opening so many squares from the surface of the tell required an enormous physical effort. Owing to heavy disturbances in these squares, it was necessary to remove more than a meter of overburden in several of the squares before intact architecture was reached. 

The major result of our efforts was the discovery of a large Phase 1 complex that for the present we interpret as a Roman bath house. This interpretation is based on the discovery of at least four thick plaster floors, roughly one meter square, that appear to be the remnants of basins and the discovery of an intact plaster basin. Unfortunately, most of the walls relating to these floors had been robbed, but several clearly delineated robber trenches established wall alignments. In Sector 1 a clear earlier subphase of this building was identified. This consisted of three large plaster floors laid parallel to each other and sloping down to the north, with the southern floor highest and the northern floor lowest. The channels that connected the floors and the consistent slope to them suggest that they may belong to a wine press or similar installation. Remnants of frescoes on the walls predate this subphase and further indicate that our building experienced significant changes in use over the years, perhaps beginning its life as a private dwelling. It was worked hard.  

We are now right above the Hellenistic period (Dor Phase 2), and remains of the Hellenistic colonnaded "temple" are turning up in foundations and fills, as well as more fragments of our spectacular garland-and-mask mosaic found in 2000. 

Yearly reports for Area D:
1998, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006

Please direct all excavation related inquiries to Professor Sarah Stroup at
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