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New insights on Maritime Akko revealed by Underwater and Coastal Archaeological Research

New insights on Maritime Akko revealed by Underwater and Coastal Archaeological Research

Galili, E., Rosen, B., Stern, E. J., Finkielsztein, G., Kool, R., Bahat-Zilberstein, N., Sharvit, Y., Kahanov, Y., Friedman, Z., Zviely, D.

Paper given at the Israeli Society for Aquatic Sciences, Forth annual meeting (2007)

Introduction: During the last decades, Akko (Acre), its harbor and its environment have been intensively investigated by archaeologists. However, some archaeological and historical questions have ot been completely solved. Among these are: the exact periods of the harbor’s construction and destruction, and the location, size and spatial distribution of the harbor in various periods. The present report summarizes and discusses finds from salvage excavations and surveys that were carried out in the harbor by the Israel Antiquities Authority while it was dredged during the years 1991 to 2004.

Akko is a classical model of an historical Mediterranean fortified harbor city which has been functioning for thousands of years as one of the main centers of maritime activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. Akko Bay, which is protected from the north and west winds by the cape, provided a natural anchorage and later a base for one of the three built harbors along the Israeli coast in pre modern times. The harbor which served as a gate-way to Israel for armies, pilgrims and merchants and was visited regularly by ships from the whole Mediterranean is often mentioned in historical documents.

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