Dor (city)

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Dor in hieroglyphics
r Z1
T14 N25


Tar / Tir / Tuiar
Tjr / Tw-j3-r
Greek Dora

Dor ( Hebrew דאר or דור ; Assyrian du'ru , Greek Dora ; ancient Egyptian Der, Tar, Tir, Tuiar ) was an ancient city on the Mediterranean Sea in what is now Israel ; it is located about 30 km south of Haifa on the Carmel coast .

Literary reports

Dor is named in the ancient Egyptian travelogue of Wenamun as the "city of the Tjeker ". In the Old Testament Dor is mentioned several times: Joshua 11: 1-2, 12, 23: 17, 11, Judge 1, 27, 1 Kings 4, 11 and 1 Chronicles 7: 29 The Greeks held Doros , ancestor of the Dorians , Son des Hellen , ancestor of the Greeks, and the nymph Orseis for the founder of the city.


Dor had had a city wall with four-chamber gates since the time of Ahab . Shortly before the Assyrian conquest, the first Greek ceramics (late geometric ) was imported or used by local Greek traders. Dor and the Sharon plain were under Tiglath-pileser III. 733/32 BC Conquered by the Assyrians together with Galilee and the Jezreel plain . Dor was completely destroyed.

At the latest under Shalmaneser V (726–722 BC) the place was rebuilt, probably 720 BC. Like Megiddo and Samaria , Dor (Duru) became the capital of an Assyrian province. This also included the Phoenician cities on the coast, but they had almost autonomous status. An important road ran from Dor through the Sharon plain to the coast of Jaffa . Dor received a mighty city wall with regularly offset walls and two-chamber city gates based on the Assyrian model. It had a stone foundation, the actual wall was made of adobe bricks and was reinforced with stones at the edges. The wall was about 2 m thick, had a glacis made of clay and was probably originally plastered. The houses of that time often had stone pillars. The treaty between Assurhaddon and Baʿal of Tire also mentions Dor, which is ceded to Tire. Assyrian rule ended around 630 BC. Chr.

603 BC The city became part of the Babylonian Empire. Dor is believed to have been dependent on Sidon for the interim, and perhaps for a short time on King Josiah of Judah (around 610 BC). In contrast to Tire , Jerusalem and Ascalon , the city does not seem to have been destroyed by the Babylonians; the Assyrian city wall was in use until the Persian era . Babylonian finds are sparse. It is unclear whether the massive deportations of this period also affected Dor, but this would explain the small number of finds from the Babylonian period.

The Persian domination began 538 v. And is connected to a new building of the city wall. It again had two-chamber gates. The province of Dor at that time stretched from Schiqmona in the north to Jaffa in the south. The periplus of the pseudo-Skylax mentions the city of Doros, which can almost certainly be equated with Dor. Doros was under the rule of Sidon . This is confirmed by the inscription on the sarcophagus of the Sidon king Ešmunʿeser . At that time there were Greek traders in Dor, Jaffa and Akko .

Under Pharaoh Hakor (393-380 BC) Dor, like Tire and Sidon, was briefly under the control of Euagoras I of Salamis . Three inscriptions in archaic Cypriot script from Dor could date from this period.

332 BC The city of Alexander of Macedonia submitted to it . 296-201 BC It was Ptolemaic . By Ptolemy II. , The city received a city wall under Greek pattern. It consisted of rectangular sandstone blocks, each about 1 m long. The wall was about 2 m thick and built entirely of stone. At a distance of about 30 m, square towers rose above the wall line. The date is based on a coin from Ptolemy II in a layer under the wall. The building could therefore also go back to one of his successors. From 219 the wall is documented: Flavius ​​Josephus describes Dor as "a fortified city that is difficult to take".

216 BC The city was by Antiochus III. Megas besieged, but this could not take them. From 200 BC BC to 104 BC Then Dor was Seleucid .

104-63 BC The city was Hasmonean . After the murder of Jonathan , the Seleucid Diodotos Tryphon fled to Dor. Antiochus VII. Sidetes pursued him and besieged Dor together with Jonatan's brother and successor Simeon . The siege was called off when Tryphon fled further to Syria and eventually committed suicide after a defeat at Antioch. Slingshots made of lead, bearing the inscription “For the victory of Tryphon”, are archaeological evidence of this siege. Under Alexander Jannäus Dor was ruled by the tyrant Zoilus .

In the treaty between Ptolemy IX. Lathyros and Alexander Jannäus Dor may have been ceded to the King of Cyprus. Subsequently it was taken by Pompey and Gabinius , who made it an independent polis with the right to mint.


First excavations on the Tel Dor ( Khirbet el-Burdsch ) took place in 1923-24 by the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem under the direction of John Garstang . It was the first major excavation in the Mandate Palestine . Garstang made three cuts. Layers from the Roman period to the Bronze Age were exposed. J. Leibowitz from the Israel Antiquities Service carried out further investigations and emergency rescues in the area of ​​the kibbutz from 1950. He was also able to examine a Byzantine chapel on the northern edge of the tell. 1979-80 and 1983 Claudine Dauphin undertook excavations. From 1980 to 2000 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the direction of Ephraim Stern examined the site. Since 2003, the new expedition, led by Ilan Sharon from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ayelet Gilboa from the University of Haifa, has been investigating Tel Dor.

In seven sections (A – G), the layers from the Bronze Age to the Persian Age were examined. The ceramics of the early Iron Age (EZ Ia) carry on the traditions of the late Bronze Age. It is mostly unpainted, only small bottles and jugs with spouts are painted with concentric red circles. From EZ Ib there is the "Phoenician polychrome ceramic", which developed under strong Cypriot influence from the ceramics of EZ Ia and is characterized by bands of different widths. Cypriot imports have been recorded since EZ Ib (MC Geometrisch I). With phase EZ I / II, the bichrome style asserts itself, especially on the merchandise, and is used to decorate other shapes. Imports directly from Cyprus ( Cypriot Geometric IB / II) are numerous. At this time, the first Greek imports from Euboea and Lemnos also appear.

The Assyrian layers contain numerous fragments of the so-called Assyrian palace ware , which consist of whitish, finely slurried clay. The predominant forms are buckled wall bowls and oval jugs. They were also locally imitated and are then often painted with red stripes and have handles. Assyrian stamp seals have also been found. According to Ostraka, the Ba'al of Sidon, Ešmun, was venerated, and statues of Isis were also found , who may have been identified with Ba Gebalat Gebal. Equestrian figures are usually regarded as depictions of the warlike Baʿal. Clay models of small one-room temples, which were still made into the Persian period, as well as numerous amulets made of glass and faience were also found. They often show the Egyptian Ankh , the Horus eye and a grimace that is supposed to represent Bes . Clay masks show Baʿal and Astarte and were probably apotropaic in character.

A privately owned stamp seal, which is said to have been found on the surface near Sebaste , bears the inscription "[for Sa] charjau, the priest of Dor" (reverse "Ṣadoq, son of Micha"). However, whether this suggests an (Israelite) temple in Dor is controversial.

Burials in clay coffins probably go back to the Assyrians, they were found not only in Dor, but also in Megiddo , Dothan , Samaria , Jezreel , Tell el-Far'a (north) and Tell el-Qitaf .

Dog burials in Dor go back to a Persian custom. However , an entire dog cemetery was not found, as was the case in neighboring Ascalon . Finds of Greek helmets indicate the presence of Greek mercenaries in the 5th and 4th centuries.

Former glass factory in Nachsholim, now a museum

Moshav Dor

Near the ancient city of Dor, the kibbutz Nachscholim and - a little further south and further away from the Tel - the moshav Dor were founded. Archaeological remains were also damaged. In Nachscholim there is now a museum in a former glass factory of Baron Edmond de Rothschild with finds from Tel. Many exhibits from the Mediterranean that were recovered from underwater excursions off the coast are also on display here.


  • Immanuel Benzinger : Dora 2 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume V, 2, Stuttgart 1905, Col. 1549 f.
  • I. Ephʿal: The Assyrian domination of Palestine. In A. Malamat (ed.): The Age of the Monarchies: Political History. (= The World History of the Jewish People. (WHJP) ) Massada Press, Jerusalem 1979; Pp. 276-89.
  • Ayelet Gilboa, Ilan Sharon: Early iron age radiometric dates from tel dor, preliminary implications for phenicia and beyond. In: Radiocarbon. Vol. 43, No. 3, Tucson (Ariz) 2001, ISSN  0033-8222 , pp. 1343-1351.
  • Ephraim Stern: The walls of Dor. In: Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ). No. 38. Jerusalem 1988, ISSN  0021-2059 , pp. 6-14.
  • Ephraim Stern: Dor, ruler of the seas, nineteen years of excavations at the Israelite-Phoenician harbor town on the Carmel coast. Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem 1994, 2000, ISBN 965-221-042-0 -
  • Ephraim Stern: Archeology of the Land of the Bible. Doubleday, New York 2001, ISBN 0-385-42450-7 .

Web links

Commons : Dor  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Flavius ​​Josephus , Antiquitates Judaicae. 13, 233.
  2. ^ Polybios , Histories. V, 66.
  3. 1 Makk 9.10-14.25-27  EU
  4. Flavius ​​Josephus, Jewish War. I, 7, 7.
  5. N. Avigad: The Priest of Dor. In: Israel Exploration Journal. No. 25, 1975, pp. 101-105.
  6. Menahem Haran: A Temple at Dor? In: Israel Exploration Journal. No. 27, 1977, pp. 12-15.

Coordinates: 32 ° 37 '2.7 "  N , 34 ° 54" 58.9 "  E