Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tel Michal

I woke at 5 as usual this morning. I heard the sound of the rain and rolled over and went back to sleep. By the time 9am came around there was a break in the clouds and so the boy and I decided to go somewhere close by. It is difficult to find anything closer than Tel Michal (Makmish). It's a small tel overlooking the Herzliya Marina (and Arena Mall). It is maybe 5 minutes walk from squint central.

Tel Michal was probably a maritime fort or small harbor and was occupied intermittently from the Middle Bronze Age II (around 2000 BCE), and reached it peak during the Persian Period (586-332BCE). The ancient city was spread over five small hills and sherds of pottery from all the periods of occupation can be found on the sand (Bronze Age, Iron Age, Persian, Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine periods). Excavations took place over four summers (77-80) and there is a nice report for those interested.
It is pretty incredible, I have been past this tel thousands of times. I used to run past this wall on the Karkur cliffs overlooking the beach back in the old days, yet I never knew this tel existed. Until today that is. This is the view approaching the tel from the north side.
This is the corner of the wall of what I believe was a Roman fort that eventually was abandoned as the big fort and harbor at Appolonia took its place (Appolonia is about 3Km north).
This is the view of the marina and the mall's parking lot from the top of the tel.
There are definitely remains of walls here.
This is some sort of bath or something. The site was still wet from the heavy rains. But besides the strong wind the weather was fine for us. (It started raining again a few hours after we left).
The view of Tel Aviv to the south from the top of the tel.
The boy examining the millions of ants out sunning themselves after the rain.
It is springtime in Israel. The side of the tel was covered in wild flowers.
This is the highest part of the tel with the Oceanus in the background.

That was very cool. I was looking at this map this morning to see if there was anything interesting to see close by when I found this tel. Its a great resource and although the map is a little out of date, the pointers to the various interesting places are very relevant. That was a nice way to spend an hour.

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