DOR (Dora ; Heb. דֹּר ,דּוֹר ,רּאֹד), ancient harbor town on the coast of Carmel, 18 miles (29 km.) south of Haifa. The earliest known appearance of the name of Dor is from an Egyptian inscription from Nubia, dated to the time of Rameses ii (13th century b.c.e.). According to Egyptian documents Dor fell into the hands of the Sikila/Tjekker, one of the Sea Peoples (Philistines), in the 12th/11th centuries b.c.e. Dor was one of the important Canaanite city-states in the league of Jabin, King of *Hazor (Josh. 11:2). It was among the cities of Manasseh in the territory of Asher, but according to Judges (1:27) it was not conquered by them. Solomon appointed the son of Abinadab as overseer of the region of Dor – the fourth district of his kingdom (i Kgs. 4:11). Under the name of Du'ru it belonged to the Assyrian province of the same name following the conquest of the region by Tiglath Pileser iii in 732 b.c.e. In the Persian period (6th–4th centuries b.c.e.), when the cities on the coast were granted autonomy, Dor became a Sidonian colony. In the early Hellenistic period it was a Ptolemaic royal fortress. At the end of the second century b.c.e., Dora was in the hands of the tyrant Zoilus, who also ruled Strato's Tower (*Caesarea). Alexander Jannaeus acquired both cities by negotiation in the late second century b.c.e. After conquering the country (63 b.c.e.), Pompey restored Dora to its former owners, as was his policy with all cities that had formerly been autonomous. The city retained its freedom during the reign of Herod and his successors. According to Josephus (Ant. 19:300) a synagogue existed there before the destruction of the Second Temple. A change in status came about early in the second century c.e., when it was annexed to the province of *Phoenicia. In the late Roman period it became part of Palaestina Prima. Eusebius (Onom. 78:9; 136:16) states that the site is located 9 Roman miles from Caesarea. A fortified tower (Merle) was built on the southwestern edge of the mound in the Crusader period.
The site consists of a mound and a lower area used for occupation to the east, i.e. the upper and lower cities. Excavations were first undertaken in the mound in 1923 and 1924 by John Garstang on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Two test trenches were sunk on the northern and southern slopes, and a substantial area along the western slope in the area of the monumental temples with their impressive podia was cleared. Recent work has shown that these temples are undeniably Roman and apparently do not date back to the Hellenistic period as was once believed. Excavations on the tell were conducted by Ephraim Stern between 1980 and 2000 (current directors are Ilan Sharon and Ayelet Gilboa) and substantial structural remains from the Iron Age, Hellenistic, and Roman periods have been found. Excavations were first conducted in the lower city by J. Leibovitch in 1950–52, uncovering parts of a Roman theater and a Byzantine church, at the northern and southern ends of the city. The excavation of the Byzantine Church was resumed by Claudine Dauphin in 1979 and completed in 1994. A general survey of harbor installations along the edges of the tell and along the bays to the north and south has been undertaken by Avner Raban and others since the 1980s. Shipwrecks and other underwater features have been investigated by Raban, S. Wachsman, K. Raveh, and S. Kingsley. A survey of the aqueducts leading water to the site was made by Yuval Peleg. Regional surveys were conducted by Y. Olami, A. Siegelmann, A. Ovadiah, and others. A project of landscape archaeology was undertaken by Shimon Gibson and Sean Kingsley in 1994 with the investigation of settlements and fields, dating from the Chalcolithic, Early Bronze i, Middle Bronze Age iia, Iron Age, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and medieval to Ottoman periods.
Several areas of the large 30-acre mound were examined during the excavations by Stern, and more recently by Sharon and Gilboa. In the upper level are remains of the Roman period. Below these lie the remains of a city wall of the Hellenistic period, which was apparently built in the latter part of the reign of Ptolemy ii Philadelphus, and was still in use in the early Roman period. The wall, built of large ashlars, is still standing to a height of 7 feet, and it has a tower with a projection of 45 feet. It is built over the remains of a city wall of the Persian period, which is composed of large uncut stones and encloses a somewhat larger city. Beneath the Persian wall were sections of a brick Israelite city wall, at least 8 feet wide. Buildings remains were found within the wall. Whereas the buildings of the Persian and early Hellenistic period followed the Phoenician method of ashlar pillars alternating with a fill of undressed stones, the later Hellenistic walls were built of headers only. A dyeing installation of the Hellenistic period yielded large quantities of murex shells. Another monumental building of the Hellenistic period contained several plastered pools. The sections of the Hellenistic city examined revealed that it had been laid out according to the Hippodamian principles of town-planning, consisting of parallel intersecting streets, which formed a checkerboard pattern. Surprisingly, however, at Dor this method of town planning is dated to the Persian period. In the interior, adjacent to the wall, were shops opening onto a street. Little has remained of the underlying Persian level, except for pottery found in pits sunk into late Israelite levels. Inside the city were uncovered channels of an elaborate sewage system and of an aqueduct. From the city gate, a 30-foot-wide street led into the city, into an area which contained workshops of the Byzantine period. The gate of the Roman period has not been preserved. In deeper levels the gates of the Hellenistic and Persian periods were found, and beneath them an Israelite city gate, made of cyclopean boulders brought from Mt. *Carmel. In plan this gate resembles the gate of *Meggidoiv-a. It consists of two guardrooms with paved squares at the front and back of the gate. Beneath this gate was a very solid gate of the four-chamber type, which is a unique example of Phoenician-Iron Age construction methods. One pilaster of the gate, facing the town, was made of polished orthostats. This gate is dated to the 9th–8th centuries b.c.e. and its destruction is ascribed to the Assyrians in 734 b.c.e. A massive fortification wall built of mud-brick along the eastern edge of the mound dates to the Early Iron Age (1150–1050 b.c.e.). These are associated with the Sikila/Tjekker settlement at the site. Only pottery and small finds are known from the Late Bronze Age. Several walls were dated to the 11th century b.c.e. The earliest remains of occupation at the site are buildings along the western edge of the site dating from the Middle Bronze iia period.
The Byzantine-period town was apparently situated almost entirely in the area of the lower city immediately to the east of the mound that was no longer used for habitation purposes. The outline of the city is clearly visible in aerial photographs. Textual sources indicate that Dora was the seat of a bishop. The excavations by Dauphin have brought to light an episcopal basilica that was a center of pilgrimage and healing at the tomb of two saints and was erected in the fourth century over the ruins of a Graeco-Roman sanctuary.
[Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]
Modern Dor is a moshav, affiliated with Tenu'at ha-Moshavim, founded in 1949 by immigrants from Greece, some of whom had been stevedores in Salonika. These were joined by settlers from Iraq, Morocco, and other countries. Fishing, initially envisaged as a mainstay of the moshav's economy, was replaced by intensive farming and livestock as principal farm branches. A large plot of land was acquired at the site of the nearby Arab village Ṭanṭura (abandoned since 1948) by Baron Edmond de *Rothschild, who erected a glass factory in 1891 intended to exploit the fine shore sand for the production of bottles for the wine of Rishon le-Zion and Zikhron Ya'akov. The enterprise was unsuccessful. Dor was a partner with neighboring Kibbutz Naḥsholim in the Ḥof Dor recreation home. In 2002 its population was 321.
G. Dahl, The Materials for the History of Dor (1951); S. Wachsmann and K. Raveh, "A Concise Nautical History of Dor/Tantura," in: International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 13:3 (1984), 223–41; Y. Ayalon (ed.), The Coast of Dor (1988); K. Raveh and S. Kingsley, "The Status of Dor in Late Antiquity: A Maritime Perspective," in: Biblical Archaeologist, 54 (1991), 198–207; C. Dauphin and S. Gibson, "The Byzantine City of Dor/Dora Discovered," in: Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society, 14 (1994–1995): 9–38; E. Stern et al., Excavations at Dor. Final Report. Volumes I A-B (1995); S.A. Kingsley and K. Raveh, The Ancient Harbour and Anchorage at Dor, Israel,bar International Series 626 (1996); C. Dauphin, "On the Pilgrim's Way to the Holy City of Jerusalem: The Basilica of Dor in Israel," in: J.R. Bartlett (ed.), Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation (1997), 145–65; E. Stern, Dor: Ruler of the Seas (2000); A. Gilboa and I. Sharon, "An Archaeological Contribution to the Early Iron Age Chronological Debate: Alternative Chronologies for Phoenicia and Their Effects on the Levant, Cyprus, and Greece," in: basor, 332 (2003), 7–80; "Sea Peoples and Phoenicians along the Southern Phoenician Coast – A Reconciliation: An Interpretation of Sikila (skl) Material Culture" in: basor, 337 (2005), 47–78.