D O R
A southern Phoenician town in the
Dor is already founded in the Middle Bronze Age IIA around c.1850 BC.
It was mentioned by Ramesses II in the Amara-west list (XXVIa:76). In this time a harbour quay was made. Maybe there is even an earlier attestation of the name [T]w-i3-r at Soleb in a topographical list of Amenhotep III (c.1387-1350 BC).
On the Wen Amon papyrus (I,8) the town and the population comes forward.
The Sekels of Dor are also known from the Ramesses III inscriptions.
The Bible, if we believe the contents, tells us in Judges 1:18-19: “
was not able to drive out the inhabitants
of the plain, for they had chariots of iron.” Judah
Around 1075 BC the Egyptian messenger Wen Amon wants to buy wood for the Pharaoh in
. On the way to Byblos Byblos he clashed with one of the sea-peoples: the Sekel
or Tjeker (T3-k3-r) of Dor; they were
more robber than merchant; had apparently free play at sea and pursued him to . Byblos
What happened exactly? The envoy sailed for the East on a ship captained by a Phoenician and was welcomed with respect by the prince of the city of
This prince (wr) was
called b3-dy-r, most likely no proper name, but the Semitic title “substitute”,
badilu or badalu, is implying that the prince was depending from a higher
authority (king of Tyre?). During his stay in this city, however, he was robbed
of the gold and silver he brought with him to buy the timber. The prince of Dor
refused to compensate him for the loss and so Wen Amon resolved to take the law
in his own hands. (S.Pernigotti in 1988). In the end Wen Amon could after much
difficulty purchase timber from Sakarbaal, king of Dor. . Then landed suddenly the Tjeker in
the Byblos harbour of Byblos,
who actually did want that timber to transport to . Sakarbaal did not proceed
against the Tjeker, but ordered Wen Amon to leave. (Herm 1971). Egypt
This period is marked in Dor by the presence of a scarabee, an ivory plaque and many bichrome jugs of Cypriotic origin. In this 11th century some events which are mentioned in the Old Testament could have happened:
Jos. 11:2, 12:23, 17:11: It seems, that Dor participated in a Canaanite coalition against Joshua with the Israelite people, but this coalition was beaten at Merom and Hazor.
Judg. 1:27: Dor was a Canaanite city: Manasseh did not expel the inhabitants…. of Dor and of the towns of its territory …. and the Canaanites wanted to stay in this country.
Kings 4:11: The son of Abinadab possessed the whole area of Dor; he had as wife Tafath, the daughter of Salomo.
1 Chron. 7:29: The children of Manasse were in Dor and her subordinate towns.
Despite these sentences it must be stated, that Dor was never fully occupied by the Israelites. It is clearly excluded from the empire of Salomo, because his territory ended at “all the ‘napat’ of Dor (I Kings 4,11). ‘Napat’ means something like the lagoon, which is clearly present at Dor at that time.