Israel: Reflections on Archaeology

A look back at my visits to Acco, Beit She’an and Caesarea in Israel and the wealth of opportunities that exist for amateur archaeologists to explore as layer upon layer of civilization are peeled away. Acco, also known as Ptolemais and Acre during its tumultuous history, is two cities in one: the modern that goes about its business above ground, while the ancient is being skillfully revealed underground. Discoveries at Caesarea, the port city built by Herod the Great have unearthed a Roman temple, amphitheatre, hippodrome and aqueduct. While I was there history was rewritten with a discovery that gave credence to the writings of Josephus Flavius. Earthquakes at a strategic crossroads in the Jordan Valley were partially responsible for the frequent rebuilding of Beit She’an, once known as Scythopolis. Here archaeologists discover ruins built upon ruins and have the challenge of knowing what to keep and when to dig deeper. For more information: check out episode #149 in the International category.

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