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A $27 million project to preserve the ancient ruins of the port city of Caesarea has led to a variety of discoveries. Archaeologists have unearthed the base of the altar from the temple built by King Herod over 2000 years ago to honor Caesar Augustus. Josephus described the temple, which was built on the hill across from the entrance to the harbor, as 'prominent in its size and beauty.' Excavations have revealed the temple was multi-leveled, with two large halls that opened to the sea on a lower level, as well as a large staircase leading up to the altar. Numerous smaller finds were also discovered in the excavations, including the head of a statue of Asclepius, a statue of a ram, and a small tablet made of mother-of-pearl with a menorah inscribed on it. The preservation project is one of the largest and most expensive in Israel's history. Its goal is to restore the ruins, making numerous ancient buildings open to the public, and to attract 3 million tourists by the year 2030. Caesarea is mentioned in the Bible (Acts 12) as the place where Herod Agrippa died, an event that is also confirmed by Josephus.


Off-site Links:
- http://archaeology.org.il/news/news.php?id=215
- http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.785858
- http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Rothschild-Foundation-to-invest-NIS-100m-to-uncover-ancient-Caesarea-489049
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/unique-mother-of-pearl-menorah-etching-found-in-ancient-caesarea/
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjteCDYUMiU

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ABRT 24 | 4/13/2019