Remains of Minoan-style painting discovered during excavations in Israel

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Washington, November 10 (ANI): The remains of a Minoan-style wall painting, recognizable by a blue background, the first of its kind to be found in Israel, was discovered in the course of the recent excavation season at Tel Kabri.

This fresco joins others of Aegean style that have been uncovered during earlier seasons at the Canaanite palace in Kabri.

"It was, without doubt, a conscious decision made by the city's rulers who wished to associate with Mediterranean culture and not adopt Syrian and Mesopotamian styles of art like other cities in Canaan did. The Canaanites were living in the Levant and wanted to feel European," explained Dr. Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa, who directed the excavations.

The remains of a Canaanite city from the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 B.C.) have been exposed at Tel Kabri, next to Kibbutz Kabri near Nahariya.

A palace for the city's rulers stands in the center of the city, which was the most important of the cities in the Western Galilee during that period.

Excavations began at Tel Kabri in 1986, conducted by the late Professor Aharon Kempinski, and were halted in 1993.

Over the past years, excavations have been renewed by teams directed by Dr. Yasur-Landau of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa and Prof. Eric Cline of The George Washington University.

"The city's preservation enables us to get a complete picture of political and social life in the Canaanite period. We can reveal whether or not it had a central government, whether taxes were levied, what sort of agriculture there was and how politics were conducted at the time," Dr. Yasur-Landau explained.

The recent excavation season has enabled researchers to conclude what the rulers' cultural preferences were.

While excavations at Tel Hazor in the northern Galilee, the largest Canaanite city of that period, revealed numerous remains of sculpture works of Syrian and Mesopotamian style, no such evidence of this style of artwork were discovered at Tel Kabri.

Until now, the remains of a fresco in a style that had been common on the island of Santorini (Thera), discovered during previous seasons at the Tel Kabri site, might have been considered a solitary occurrence.

However, the remains of additional works reinforce the conjecture that this was a city that not only had trade relations with Mediterranean kingdoms, but also preferred to be culturally associated with them. (ANI)

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