1,500 Year Old Public Building Uncovered in Akko
In an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted c. 100 m west of Tel Akko – next to the Azrieli Shopping Mall compound under construction there – a 1,500 year old public building was discovered that may have been used as a church. The salvage excavation was carried out there as a result of work that had not been coordinated with the IAA and which caused damage to ancient remains located in a declared antiquities site
The early Christian sources mention the bishops of Akko and Caesarea who participated in major international conferences and meetings that dealt with formulating religious doctrine, thus attesting to the centrality of Akko for the Christian religion in this period. In addition, we also have evidence of an anonymous pilgrim from the city of Piacenza in Italy, regarding the richness and splendor of the city in the year 570 CE, in which he mentions the beautiful churches within its precincts.
The paucity of Byzantine remains that have been found so far can be attributed to the destruction caused by those who came thereafter. In addition, earlier structures that date to the Hellenistic period were exposed beneath the foundations of the Byzantine public building. Their contents were rich and diverse and included imported pottery vessels from the Mediterranean basin, among them amphorae from the Isle of Rhodes, as indicated by the handles that bear the governors’ names.
Source and Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority