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June 28    Scripture

Sites - Israel: Caesarea
Ancient Israel

Ancient Caesarea and Archaeology Caesarea: from Roman City to Crusader Fortress. Caesarea is located on the Mediterranean coast, about midway between Haifa and Tel Aviv. Archeological excavations during the 1950s and 1960s uncovered remains from many periods, in particular, a complex of fortifications of the Crusader city and the Roman theater. During the past 20 years, major excavations conducted by numerous expeditions from Israel and abroad have exposed impressive remains of the forgotten grandeur of both the Roman and the Crusader cities. [ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES] [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
http://www.mfa.gov.il


Ancient Harbor at Caesarea The Harbor at Caesarea Perhaps one of the most impressive parts of ancient Caesarea was its harbor, Sebastos. At the time it was built in the 1st century BC, Sebastos Harbor ranked as the largest artificial harbor built in the open sea, enclosing around 100,000 m2[9][10]. King Herod built the two moles, or breakwaters, of the harbor between 22 and 15 BC[11], and in 10/9 BC he dedicated the city and harbor to Caesar (Sebastos is Greek for Augustus)[12]. The speed of the harbors construction is stunning considering its size and complexity. The moles were made of lime and pozzolana, a type of volcanic ash, that would set into concrete underwater. Herod imported over 24,000 m3 of pozzolana from Puteoli, Italy, in order to construct the 500 meter long southern breakwater and 275 meter long northern breakwater[13]. At a conservative estimate, a shipment of this size would have required at least 44 shiploads of 400 tons each[11]. Herod also had 12,000 m3 of kurkar quarried to make rubble and 12,000 m3 of slaked lime produced to mix with the pozzolana. However, constructing the moles was just as complicated as obtaining the materials. In order to build the moles, architects had to devise a way to lay the wooden forms for the concrete moles underwater. One technique was to drive stakes into the ground to make a box and then fill the box with pozzolana concrete bit by bit[9]. However, this method required lots of divers to spend large amounts of time underwater hammering in the stakes and it also used a lot of the valuable pozzolana. Another technique was a double planking method used in the northern breakwater. On land, carpenters would construct a box with beams and frames on the inside and a watertight, double-planked wall on the outside. This double wall was built with a 23 cm gap between the inner and outer layer[14]. Although the box had no bottom, it was buoyant enough to float out to sea because of the watertight space between the inner and outer walls. Once it was floated into position, pozzolana was poured into the gap between the two walls and the box would sink into place on the seafloor and be staked down in the corners. The flooded inside area was then filled by divers bit by bit with pozzolana-lime mortar and kurkar rubble until it rose above sea level[14]. On the southern breakwater of Sebastos Harbor, another type of construction, called barge construction, was used. The southern side of Sebastos is much more exposed to harsh waves than the northern side, leading it to need sturdier breakwaters. Instead of using the double planked method filled with rubble, the architects constructing the southern breakwater sank barges filled with layers of pozzolana concrete and lime sand mortar. The barges were similar to boxes without lids, and they were constructed using mortise and tenon joints, the same technique used in ancient boats, to ensure they remained watertight. The barges were ballasted with 0.5 meters of pozzolana concrete and floated out to their position. Alternating layers of pozzolana based and lime based concretes were hand placed inside the barge to sink it and fill it up to the surface[14]. During its height, Sebastos Harbor was one of the most impressive harbors of its time. It had been constructed on a coast that had no natural harbors and it served as an important commercial harbor in antiquity, even rivaling Cleopatras harbor at Alexandria. The ancient historian Josephus was so impressed with the harbor at Caesarea he wrote, Although the location was generally unfavorable, [Herod] contended with the difficulties so well that the solidity of the construction could not be overcome by the sea, and its beauty seemed finished off without impediment.[15] However, while the harbor was impressive on the surface, it had some underlying problems that would soon lead to its demise. Studies of the concrete cores of the moles at Caesarea have shown that the concrete is much weaker than similar pozzolana hydraulic concrete used in various ancient Italian ports. For unknown reasons, the pozzolana mortar did not adhere as well to the kurkar rubble as it did to other rubble types used in Italian harbors[13]. Small but numerous holes in some of the cores also indicate that the lime used was of poor quality and was stripped out of the mixture by strong waves before it could set[13]. Also, large lumps of lime were found in all five of the cores studied at Caesarea, which shows that the pozzolana-lime mixture was not mixed thoroughly, perhaps due to the incredibly rapid construction of the harbor[13]. These structural deficits probably would not have seriously affected the harbors stability, except for one other detail the harbor had been constructed over a geological fault line that runs along the coast of Israel. Seismic action gradually took its toll on the breakwaters, causing them to tilt down and settle into the seabed[15]. Also, studies of seabed deposits at Caesarea have shown that a tsunami struck the area sometime between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD[16]. Although it is unknown if this tsunami simply damaged or completely destroyed the harbor, it is known that by the sixth century AD the harbor was unusable and today the moles rest over 5 meters underwater[17]. [Wikipedia]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima#The_Harbor_at_Caesarea


Ancient History of Caesarea Caesarea is believed to have been built on the ruins of Stratonospyrgos (Straton's Tower), founded by Straton I of Sidon. and was likely an agricultural storehouse in its earliest configuration.[2] In 90 BCE, Alexander Jannaeus captured Straton's Tower as part of his policy of developing the shipbuilding industry and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom. Straton's Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the Roman conquest of 63 BCE when the Romans declared it an autonomous city. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings.[3] Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theatre overlooking the Mediterranian Sea. Caesarea also flourished during the Byzantine period. In the 3rd century, Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish law, or Halakha, as by this time the majority of the inhabitants were non-Jewish.[4] The city was chiefly a commercial centre relying on trade. The area was only seriously farmed during the Rashidun Caliphate period, apparently until the Crusader conquest in the eleventh century.[4] Over time, the farms were buried under the sands shifting along the shores of the Mediterranean... [Wikipedia]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea#History


Caesarea Harbor Drawing and Photo In 10 B.C. Augustus Caesar decided to rebuild a small coastal station called Strato's Tower into a new city, which would be renamed Caesarea Maritima, in honor of Augustus. He allotted the task to the architectural mastermind Herod the Great. Herod built a harbor at Caesarea that would become one of the wonders of the ancient world. He built a massive breakwater which formed a horseshoe of protection around the whole bay. On the coast he built some of the most impressive works of architecture in the Roman world. He built an amphitheater, a citadel, a palace, a hippodrome, city walls and gates, paved squares with huge statues, and other marvels of Graeco-Roman civilization. It was here in Caesarea where the prefect Pontius Pilate lived, the foundation of his house was on a rock in the middle of the harbor and is still there to this day... [Bible History Online]
http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/3-caesarea-ancient-bb.html


Caesarea in New Testament Times The Roman City. Founded by King Herod in the first century BCE on the site of a Phoenician and Greek trade post known as Stratons Tower, Caesarea was named for Herods Roman patron, Augustus Caesar. This city was described in detail by the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. (Antiquities XV. 331 ff; War I, 408 ff) It was a walled city, with the largest harbor on the eastern Mediterranean coast, named Sebastos, the Greek name of the emperor Augustus. The temple of the city, dedicated to Augustus Caesar, was built on a high podium facing the harbor. A broad flight of steps led from the pier to the temple. Public buildings and elaborate entertainment facilities in the imperial tradition were erected. King Herods palace was in the southern part of the city. In the year 6 CE, Caesarea became the seat of the Roman procurators of Provincia Judaea and headquarters of the 10th Roman Legion. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the city expanded and became one of most important in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, classified as the "Metropolis of the Province of Syria Palaestina." Caesarea played an important role in early Christian history. Here the baptism of the Roman officer Cornelius took place; (Acts 10:1-5, 25-28) from here Paul set sail for his journeys in the eastern Mediterranean; and here he was taken prisoner and sent to Rome for trial. (Acts 23:23-24) The palace was built on a rock promontory jutting out into the sea, in the southern part of the Roman city. The excavations revealed a large architectural complex, measuring 110 x 60 m., with a decorative pool, surrounded by porticoes. This elegant structure in its unique location was identified as Herods palace. (Antiquitites, XV, 332) The palace was in use throughout the Roman period, as attested to by two columns with Greek and Latin dedicatory inscriptions naming governors of the province of Judea. [ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES] [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
http://www.mfa.gov.il


Caesarea in the First Century Under the Romans Herod built his palace on a promontory jutting out into the sea, with a decorative pool surrounded by stoas. In 13 BC, Caesarea became the civilian and military capital of Iudaea Province (sometimes spelled Judaea), and the official residence of the Roman procurators and governors, Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix. Josephus describes the harbor as being as large as the one at Piraeus, the major harbor of Athens. Remains of the principal buildings erected by Herod and the medieval town are still visible today, including the city walls, the castle and a Crusader cathedral and church. Archaeological excavations in the 1950s and 1960s uncovered remains from many periods, in particular, a complex of Crusader fortifications and a Roman theatre. Other buildings include a temple dedicated to Caesar; a hippodrome rebuilt in the 2nd century as a more conventional theater; the Tiberieum, which has a limestone block with a dedicatory inscription [6] This is the only archaeological find with an inscription mentioning the name "Pontius Pilatus"; a double aqueduct that brought water from springs at the foot of Mount Carmel; a boundary wall; and a 200 ft (60 m) wide moat protecting the harbour to the south and west. The harbor was the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast. Caesarea grew rapidly, becoming the largest city in Judea, with an estimated population of 125,000 over an urban area of 3.7 square kilometers. In 66 AD, a massacre of Jews here and the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt.[7] Vespasian declared it a colony and renamed it Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea. In 70 AD, after the doomed Jewish revolt had been suppressed, games were held here to celebrate the victory of Titus. Many Jewish captives taken during the revolt were brought to Caesarea Maritima and 2500 were slaughtered in Gladiatorial games.[8] Early Christian mentions of Caesarea in the apostolic period follow the acts of Peter who established the church there when he baptized Cornelius the Centurion (Acts, 10, 11). The Apostle Paul often sojourned there (9:30; 18:22; 21:8), and was imprisoned at Caesarea for two years before being taken to Rome (23:23, 25:1-13). [Wikipedia]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima#Roman_rule


Caesarea in Wikipedia Caesarea (Hebrew: קֵיסָרְיָה‎; Arabic: قيسارية‎, Kaysaria; Greek: Καισάρεια) is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city. It is located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa (45 km), on the Israeli Mediterranean coast near the city of Hadera. Modern Caesarea as of December 2007 has a population of 4,500 people,[1] and is the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation, and also one of the most populous localities not recognized as a local council. It lies under the jurisdiction of the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea


Caesarea in Wikipedia Caesarea (Hebrew: קֵיסָרְיָה‎; Arabic: قيسارية‎, Kaysaria; Greek: Καισάρεια) is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city. It is located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa (45 km), on the Israeli Mediterranean coast near the city of Hadera. Modern Caesarea as of December 2007 has a population of 4,500 people,[1] and is the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation, and also one of the most populous localities not recognized as a local council. It lies under the jurisdiction of the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. History [edit]Early history Further information: Caesarea Maritima Caesarea is believed to have been built on the ruins of Stratonospyrgos (Straton's Tower), founded by Straton I of Sidon. and was likely an agricultural storehouse in its earliest configuration.[2] In 90 BCE, Alexander Jannaeus captured Straton's Tower as part of his policy of developing the shipbuilding industry and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom. Straton's Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the Roman conquest of 63 BCE when the Romans declared it an autonomous city. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings.[3] Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theatre overlooking the Mediterranian Sea. Caesarea also flourished during the Byzantine period. In the 3rd century, Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish law, or Halakha, as by this time the majority of the inhabitants were non- Jewish.[4] The city was chiefly a commercial centre relying on trade. The area was only seriously farmed during the Rashidun Caliphate period, apparently until the Crusader conquest in the eleventh century.[4] Over time, the farms were buried under the sands shifting along the shores of the Mediterranean. In 1251, Louis IX fortified the city. The French king ordered the construction of high walls (parts of which are still standing) and a deep moat. However strong the walls were, they could not keep out the sultan Baybars, who ordered his troops to scale the walls in several places simultaneously, enabling them to penetrate the city. Further information: Qisarya Caesarea lay in ruins until the nineteenth century when the village of Qisarya (Arabic: قيسارية‎, the Arabic name for Caesarea) was established in 1884 by Muslim immigrants from Bosnia who built a small fishing village on the ruins of the Crusader fortress on the coast.[5][6] The kibbutz of Sdot Yam was established 1 km south in 1940. Many of Qisarya's inhabitants left before 1948, when a railway was built bypassing the port, ruining their livelihood. Qisarya had a population of 960 in 1945.[7] During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War part of the population fled for fear of attacks before it was conquered by Jewish forces in February, after which the remaining inhabitants were expelled and the village houses were demolished.[8] During the conquest of Qisarya a number of the Arab inhabittants were killed. According to a testimony collected from Battalion members obtained by Israeli historian Uri Milstein: "In February 1948, the 4th Batallion of Palmach, under the command of Josef Tabenkin, conquered Caesaria."...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea


Caesarea Maritima in Wikipedia Caesarea Maritima (Greek: ), called Caesarea Palaestina from 133 AD onwards,[1] was a city and harbor built by Herod the Great about 2513 BC. Today, its ruins lie on the Mediterranean coast of Israel about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Strato" or "Straton's Tower", in Latin Turris Stratonis).[2] Caesarea Maritima as with Caesarea Philippi in the Golan Heights and Caesarea Mazaca in Anatolian Cappadocia was named to flatter the Caesar. The city was described in detail by the 1st century Roman Jewish historian Josephus.[3] The city became the seat of the Roman praefecti soon after its foundation. The emperor Vespasian raised its status to that of a colonia. After the destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 A.D., Caesarea was established as the provincial capital of Iudaea Province before the change of name to Syria Palaestina in 134 A.D. shortly before the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt.[4] According to historian H.H. Ben-Sasson, Caesarea was the "administrative capital" beginning in 6 A.D.[5] Caesarea remained the capital until the early 8th century, when the Umayyad caliph Suleiman transferred the seat of the government of the Jund Filastin to the newly built city of Ramla.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima


Pontius Pilate Inscription In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea." It reads: Line One: TIBERIEUM, Line Two: (PON) TIUS, Line Three: (PRAEF) ECTUS IUDA (EAE). This is the only known occurrence of the name Pontius Pilate in any ancient inscription. Visitors to Caesarea's theater today see a replica, the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It is interesting as well that there have been a few bronze coins found that were struck form 29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate. [Bible History Online]
http://www.bible-history.com/empires/pilate.html


The Amphitheatre at Caesarea The amphitheater, on the citys southern shore, was also mentioned by Josephus Flavius. It was north-south oriented and measured 64 x 31 m. Its eastern and rounded southern side are well preserved; the western side was largely destroyed by the sea. A 1.05 m-high wall surrounded an arena, covered with crushed, beaten chalk. When first built in the Herodian period, it seated about 8,000 spectators; in the first century CE seating areas were added, increasing its capacity to 15,000. The dimensions, shape and installations indicate that this amphitheater was used for racing horses and chariots and was, in fact, a hippodrome. An inscription found here reads Morismus [the] charioteer. During the second century, the amphitheater was rebuilt and adapted for use as a more standard type of amphitheater. [ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES] [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
http://www.mfa.gov.il


The Aqueduct at Caesarea The Aqueduct, which provided an abundant supply of water, was built in the Herodian period; it was later repaired and enlarged to a double channel when the city grew. The upper aqueduct begins at the springs located some nine kilometers northeast of Caesarea, at the foot of Mt. Carmel. It was constructed with considerable engineering know-how, ensuring the flow of water, by gravity, from the springs to the city. In some portions, the aqueduct was supported by rows of arches, then it crossed the kurkar ridge along the coast via a tunnel. Entering the city from the north, the water flowed through a network of pipes to collecting pools and fountains throughout the city. Many inscriptions in the aqueduct ascribe responsibility for its maintenance to the Second and Tenth Legions. [ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES] [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
http://www.mfa.gov.il


The Theater at Caesarea and the Pontius Pilate Stone Inscription The theater is located in the very south of the city. It was commissioned by King Herod and is the earliest of the Roman entertainment facilities built in his kingdom. The theater faces the sea and has thousands of seats resting on a semi-circular structure of vaults. The semi-circular floor of the orchestra, first paved in painted plaster, was later paved with marble. In the excavated theater a stone was found, bearing parts of an inscription mentioning Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judea, and the Tiberium (the edifice in honor of the Emperor Tiberius) which he built. [ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES] [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
http://www.mfa.gov.il


Travel to Caesarea In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Baron Edmond James de Rothschild purchased much of the land around Caesarea - with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Rothschild family gifted these holdings to the Caesarea Foundation. The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Development Corporation [1] (called in Hebrew ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ?? ???????) remains the operational arm of the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation. Caesarea is therefore only locality in Israel which is managed by a private organization (the Caesarea Development Corporation) rather than a municipal governmental organization. Caesarea is considered one of the most upscale residential developments in Israel. The current Baron de Rothschild still maintains a home in Caesarea, as do many other wealthy and influential individuals and foreign residents. Beyond the ancient remains, Caesarea is a town devoted to tourists and to luxurious living. Some of Israels finest homes are located here and it is also home of Israels only 18-hole golf course (designed by the renowned Robert Trent-Jones), a luxury hotel, a vacation village, miles of sandy beaches, and a series of attractive restaurants, galleries and boutiques huddled around the Mediterranean cove. And, of course, visitors marvel at its extraordinary archeological attractions, not least of which is the Roman theatre, where concerts, entertainment extravaganzas and the annual International Opera Festival are held.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Caesarea


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