The Tel Dor Archaeological Expedition

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

Links &


Area F: 1996

This year, we finished up a couple of half-squares on the top of the tel, completing our plan of some of the big buildings there and discovering what looks like the junction of the main E-W street: a big boost to our knowledge of the early Roman city-plan. We also continued digging under the Roman temple (the great norther foundation), in front of what we'd been tentatively identifying as the rear wall of a Hellenistic cult building. Instead, we found that it was the retaining wall of a large oil press! So much for predictive archaeology!! Quantities of pig bones were found nearby, pointing to a solution of one problem that had been bothering us for a while: the function of the large rock-cut basin just to seaward. Too high above the waves to be a fish-tank, and too near town to be a murex holding pit, it may possibly be an evaporation basin: the brine would be used to cure the olives, and the salt to preserve the pork. In any case, we're now all but certain that the Roman temple had no cultic predecessor, but we're still no nearer to solving the puzzle of why such a massive building would have been erected towards the end of the 2nd century AD and then abandoned with the rest of the tel a generation or two later.

Hellenistic olive pressing installation

Yearly reports for Area F:
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997

Please direct all excavation related inquiries to Professor Sarah Stroup at
Please direct all questions or comments regarding this web site to
Copyright © 2007 The Tel Dor Archaeological Expedition, All Rights Reserved.