Ancient Harbors

Harbors were an important part of the ancient world, as seen in this fresco image from Pompeii.

In the ancient world there were many natural and artificial harbors where various ships could come and dock, sometimes for loading and unloading, and sometimes for shelter during a storm. Many ships were lost at sea during storms that have been uncovered through archaeology. The Mediterranean Sea was a place of terrible storms and the Bible mentions that Paul the apostle struggled in these storms more than once. One of the most famous artificial harbors was built by Herod the Great at Caesarea, it became one of the wonders of the ancient world, and the eastern capital of the Roman Empire. In fact Pontius Pilate and his wife made their home in Caesarea. Unfortunately the coast of Israel was not a good choice for artificial harbors because of the silt that came from the Nile River in Egypt. This silt eventually destroyed all the harbors along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.