The Montfort Castle Project was established in 2006. with the aim of studying the history of the castle, carrying out archaeological excavations, planning and carrying out conservation work and restoration, and preparing a plan for development of the castle and its surroundings as a heritage site. Four years of surveying were carried out funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF grant no. 1161/06) and a new plan of the central part of the castle was drawn up (surveyors Dov Podovski and Slava Pirsky).
Since 2011 four seasons of excavations have been carried out in three different parts of the castle (see EXCAVATIONS) and over the next few years additional seasons are planned, mainly in the lower part of the castle, the outer ward, and around the outworks.
New historical studies are underway including re-examination of Latin sources (Kristjan Toomaspoeg) and entirely new research based on Arabic sources (Rabei Khamisy) , and will be published in a forthcoming volume - MONTFORT CASTLE: History, Early Research and Recent Studies (Brill).
Conservation work has been carried out by the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (INNPPA). The MCP has carried out conservation in the areas excavated since 2011 (conservation by ARCO L.t.d.) and has recorded the condition of the ruins with the aim of preparing a master plan for future conservation.
The location of Montfort Castle in a national park and in an area of virginal Mediterranean forest with its unique flora and fauna, including some plants and animals found only in this region, makes it imperative that conservation of the natural forest life be taken into account in all archaeological and development work carried out. The preservation of the natural setting and of the romantic nature of the ruins with the native forest is an integral part of the MCP's aims.
In the past several plans were made for developing the site but very little has been done to date. The MCP aims at advancing plans for development of the site as a national and international heritage site, including the opening of new paths, placing of information signs, preparing guides etc.
Prof. Adrian Boas - Project Director
Department of Archaeology/Department of Land of Israel Studies,
University of Haifa
Dr. Rabei Khamisy - Assistant
post-doctorate, University of Cardiff
Dr. Rafael Lewis - Assistant
post-doctorate, Tel-Aviv University
Dr. Robert Kool - Numismatist
Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA)
Adrienne Ganor - Glass Conservation
MA candidate, University of Haifa, Head of Glass Conservation lab of the IAA
Jonathan Gottlieb - Plaster and Mortar Studies
MA candidate, University of Haifa
Nuha Agha - Fauna Research
Ph.D candidate, University of Haifa
Vartdit Shotten-Hallel - Stone Research
Ph.D candidate, Hebrew University of Jerusalem