Caesarea Research Projects

In 21 BC, King Herod the Great, ruler of the Jewish state of Judea, commissioned and built an all-weather harbor at Caesarea. He hoped to ingratiate himself to the new ruler of Rome, Caesar Augustus, and at the same time to satisfy some of his economic needs. The construction of the harbor was difficult due to natural constraints presented by the Israeli coastline ( Israeli Coastline ). The coast is straight, with no natural topography that could be expanded upon to build a harbor. However, Herod's engineers succeeded in building an all-weather harbor by using hydraulic concrete, a new Roman building material, to construct breakwaters extending out into the sea. ( A View of Herod's Harbor ). Construction of the harbor took twelve years. Herod named the completed city Caesarea and the harbor Sebastos (Greek for Augustus) (Details on Harbor Construction ). Archaeological evidence suggests that the city of Caesarea had a bustling harbor at least up to the mid to late first century. However, findings suggest the outer harbor had some problems towards the end of the 1st century AD which affected harbor use. Currently, there is no conclusive evidence to indicate whether these problems were due to natural or human-induced causes. [Articles of Interest] [Caesarea] [Archaeology]

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