Photo Essay

Tel Dor

Tel Dor

A tel is a hill or mound with ruins on it. Tel Dor holds the ruins of a nearly 3000 year old port city, located about 15 minutes south of Haifa, Israel.

Originally a Canaanite city, later ruled by a group of the Sea Peoples, Dor was conquered by David and became one of the 12 district capitals of Solomon, and his main port on the Mediterranean. In 732 B.C., Dor fell to the Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser III, but was at once made the capital of the Assyrian coastal province of Duru. The town also prospered under the Achaemenid Persians, at a time when both Greeks and Phoenicians also lived within the walled circuit of the city. In Hellenistic times Dora, as it was then called, became an important fortress, which later (under Roman rule), was still of sufficient size and importance to issue its own coinage. A Jewish community is known to have existed at Dor in the mid-first century A.D. and, despite the town's undoubted decline in the Byzantine period, it was still the seat of a bishopric from the fifth to the seventh centuries A.D. In the thirteenth century A.D. a Crusader castle was built on the site.

When I lived in Israel, I used to run along this beach every Friday, and finish my run by jumping off the big rock at the tip of the jetty into the deep, ancient ship hold.

The magical beauty of this site brings me both relief and intense pleasure. But my enjoyment is tinged with a little sadness, because I wish I could still live here and feel the magic every Friday.

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