A 3,400-year-old fort in northern Israel will soon be in the basement of a high-rise apartment building. The ancient citadel was recently excavated by archaeologists in the seaside town of Nahariya.

Nimrod Getzov led the dig and explains that there was no intention of preserving the site, which was already zoned for construction. The excavation began as a routine procedure, called a "rescue dig," where the team are merely collecting artefacts that might have archaeological value. But when they found the 14th century citadel, so well preserved, things changed.

"We reached an agreement with the contractor that he would change the plans. He's agreed to keep a few poles in the ground on which he will erect the building. And actually it will be possible to keep access to the site. So in the future ... it will be possible to excavate under the building while the building is kept and everybody is happy," said Getzov.

The team found items at the site, including bronze and ceramic artefacts and grains and cereals that they believe ancient sailors bought when they stopped by the fort to trade or sell their wares.

The Israel Antiquities Authority says the artefacts correspond to known designs from the Egyptian, Cypriot and Mycenaean civilizations. They hope to use the site and findings to get a better picture of commercial and cultural relations between neighbouring civilisations in the 14th century.