Ancient Israeli Fortress Yields Surprise: A Greek Vase

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Decades after it was excavated, an ancient fortress in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel, is offering new hints about its past, archaeologists at Tel Aviv University say.

New findings suggest the fortress, Tel Qudadi, was established centuries later than believed, and may have served as an intermediate station for trade ships traveling between Egypt and Phoenicia.

The researchers unearthed an amphora (a large jar used to transport oil or wine) from the Greek isle of Lesbos at the crumbling edifice. The find is the earliest known example to date of Lesbian ceramic work in the Mediterranean.

What remains a mystery, the researchers say, is how the Lesbian amphora arrived at Tel Qudadi in the first place. It may have come aboard a Phoenician ship on a trading voyage around the Mediterranean.

While a single find cannot prove the existence of trade between ancient Israel and Lesbos, the finding has implications for understanding trade routes between different parts of the Mediterranean.

The mysterious amphora, along with other new discoveries about the ancient fortress, is causing researchers to reassess the site's timeline....

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