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Tel Kedesh, Israel*


Sharon Herbert, University of Michigan
Andrea Berlin, Boston University

Tel Kedesh is a large tel site in Upper Galilee, occupying an area of ca. 8–10 hectares. It is located on the land of Kibbutz Malkia, some 450 meters above sea level and about 10 kilometers northwest of Hazor. Situated in one of the richest agricultural zones of modern Israel, the area of Kedesh and the Upper Galilee has been home since antiquity to a tapestry of cultural and ethnic groups, from the Israelite tribe of Naphtali to Phoenicians from the nearby city of Tyre.

The University of Michigan/University of Minnesota Excavations at Tel Kedesh began in 1997 to investigate material evidence for Phoenician presence in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. After two exploratory and survey seasons and seven excavation seasons, the team has uncovered evidence of a monumental administrative building dating to the Persian (6th–4th centuries BCE) and Hellenistic (3rd–first half 2nd centuries BCE) periods. The discovery of over 2,000 clay seal impressions, or bullae, in 1999 and a Ptolemaic gold coin minted in Cyprus in 2010 attest to the prominence and wealth of Kedesh in the regional landscape.