a large mound of about 80 acres located in the foothills of the western Lower Galilee bordering the Jezreel Valley, 5 km (3 mi.) inland from Nahariya (map reference 1632 × 2681). The site may be ancient Reḥob, mentioned in the Egyptian Execration texts and in Jos. 19:28. Moshe Prausnitz carried out surveys and soundings for the Israel Department of Antiquities in 1957–1958; and Aharon Kempinski carried out major excavations in 1986–1993 for the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, assisted by W.-D. Niemeier of Heidelberg University.
The site, well watered and in a very fertile area, was occupied extensively in the Neolithic period and into the Early Chalcolithic phases. Belonging to this horizon are Dark-Faced Burnished wares of the so-called Wadi Rabah culture.
The third millennium is represented by an Early Bronze IA–B phase (c. 3400–3100 BCE) characterized by large oval houses with central pillars; quantities of typical pottery, including Grain Washed; several rich tombs, one with a radiocarbon date of about 3494 BCE; and a sealing that is Mesopotamian in style and usually found only in EB II–III contexts. The EB II phase exhibits substantial broadroom houses and “metallic” wares that are northern in type.
The Middle Bronze Age saw the maximum expansion of Kabri, exhibiting two phases of fortifications. The first, with a shallow earthen rampart and an inner wall, belongs to MB I. A later phase, of MB II–III date, witnessed the addition of a massive city wall. The MB pottery includes vessels that are Anatolian in type, “North Syrian Painted Ware,” and Cypriot imports. Several burials produced scarabs, including one with the name of a Hyksos king, ykbm. The most spectacular remains of this phase belong to a large, multiroom palace (no. 607) with a plastered “ceremonial hall” decorated with multicolored floral frescoes on both the floors and walls (more than 2,300 fragments). The closest parallels are from Middle Minoan II Crete (Phaistos); Late Minoan IA Knossos and Thera; and now Tell ed-Dab῾a in the Egyptian Delta. [See Dab῾a, Tell ed-.] The destruction of the MB levels may have occurred as early as 1600 BCE.
Later remains belong to the Iron Age, with Cypro-Phoenician and Phoenician pottery. The Iron Age was brought to an end by Assyrian and Babylonian destructions. Persian and Hellenistic occupations are also attested.
- Kempinski, Aharon, ed. Excavations at Kabri: Preliminary Reports. 6 vols. Tel Aviv, 1987–1992. Covers the 1986–1991 seasons.
- Prausnitz, M. W. “Kabri.” Israel Exploration Journal 9 (1959): 268–269.
William G. Dever