Ashkelon National Park, Israel
The Ashkelon Marina is one of the largest and most beautiful in Israel, with a capacity of 600 boats in water depth of 4m – 6m.
The Ashkelon Marina is located between two beaches: “Delilah” and “Bar-Kochba”, on the golden sands of Ashkelon, situated at the base of a fascinating cliff in the heart of the tourist area.
This prime location results unique relationship between the Marina, the city of Ashkelon and its people.
It is possible to meet tour groups who follow their enthusiastic leaders, telling interesting things about Ashkelon – that can only be seen by using the imagination tour of the archaeological remains found in Ashkelon indicates the many peoples that in turn controlled this ancient city.
Archaeological finds have included hieroglyphic writings, columns of ancient synagogues, and a statue of the Greek goddess of victory standing on a globe of the world supported by Atlas.
These artifacts represent only some of the periods of Ashkelon’s interesting history; it has also been under Babylonian, Crusader, Muslim and Ottoman control.
From earliest times it was a thriving city numbering 15,000 souls and measuring 51 hectares.
Its strategic position on the coast helped the city develop, including its natural harbour and a perennial spring that made it a convenient resting place along the ‘Way of the Sea’, the international trade route connecting Babylon and Egypt.
Ashkelon’s first inhabitants were Canaanites who built the most expressive feature of Ashkelon that is still seen today: a giant wall that spans around the city.
The current wall is the ‘new’ Crusader version.
The Canaanites were not independent rulers but had to accept Egyptian control a lot of times.
A reminder of the not-always-friendly Egyptian rule is preserved in the Merneptah stele, the first inscription that mentions Israel by name.
It was found in Egypt.
The text proudly boasts that Israel was “laid waste” by Pharaoh; Ashkelon is mentioned among the conquered cities.
The Canaanites in Ashkelon lived there all through the Bronze Age (from 2000 BCE), until the Philistines conquered the city.
This fierce people of warriors had invaded from their origins somewhere in the Aegean Islands.
They quickly adapted their life to the circumstances in the Levant and built five independent city states on the coast of Israel.
Ashkelon was one of them.
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Isreal is so rich in artifacts you will make discoveries were ever you go.
Archaeology is a national past time in Israel.
It is one of the few countries that still permits “reasonable” souvenirs to be taken away by visitors.
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