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Tel Aviv: The Israeli Antiquities Authority on Wednesday said a 3,400-year-old Canaanite fortress was unearthed in northern Israel by chance during the construction of a residential building. The remains, discovered in central Nahariya, the country's northernmost city, will be incorporated in a high-rise apartment tower that is being built at the site, the Authority said.
The incorporation will allow "the conservation of some of the remains for the benefit of the public", the statement read. The fortress was built by Canaanite people, who lived in the second millennium B.C., the researchers said.
According to Nimrod Getzov, a director of the excavation, the citadel was used as an administrative centre that served the mariners who sailed along the Mediterranean coast some 3,400 years ago. There was probably a dock alongside the building, he noted.
"Numerous artefacts were discovered in its rooms, including ceramic figurines in form of humans and animals, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels that attest to the extensive commercial and cultural relations that existed at that time with Cyprus and the rest of the lands in the Mediterranean basin," he said.
Getzov and his team found evidence that the citadel was destroyed at least four times, and each time it was rebuilt.
"An abundance of cereal, legumes and grape seeds were found in the burnt layers, which are indicative of the provisions the sailors would purchase," he added.