A crowdfunding campaign to fund archaeological work and restoration of a crusader castle has already reached half of its goal.
An international team of researchers are seeking 7500 euros to finance excavations sand specialized research at the Castle of Belvoir, located in northern Israel. The fortress was built by the Knights Hospitaller in the second half of the twelfth-century.
Anna Josephsson, one of the members involved in the project, explained that they launched the campaign “to extend and accelerate the work on the site (excavations, lapidary, architectural study and valorisation toward public ). We particularly want to progress in the 3D documentation and the planned full-scale reconstruction of the chapel (in collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Department and the National Parks authorities.)”
The funds will go towards paying for a wide variety of operations, including hiring specialists in medieval architecture, data acquisition to create a 3D film, and getting a better understanding of the topography of the site.
Also known as Kokhav ha-Yarden, Belvoir Castle was a strategically important fortress overlooking the Jordan Valley. “The fortification defended lands controlled by Frankish Christians though not directly at the border,” Josephsson explains. “Belvoir is a major site in the Latin East, one of the most important castles built by the Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem in the second half of the 11th century and considered by some as a typical example.
“The archaeological study of the rich lapidary and remaining buildings as well as the new excavations shows the various phases of construction of the castle. In the inner courtyard we will continue the excavation of what is probably the earliest building (probably before 1160 while owned by Ivo Belos) and the mission will extend excavations to the second enclosure and the complex system of water supply (cisterns, baths pipelines…).
“A new plan of the castle is under process and new photogrammetric surveys of the elevations ensure a support to the analysis of the castle to serve for the restoration of the successive states of the fortification. Our efforts will focus on the restoration of the chapel once located on the first floor and the restitution of this first floor.”