Monday, June 20, 2011

A 1,500 Year Old Public Building Dating to the Byzantine Period was Revealed in Excavations

For the first time in the history of the study of Akko, a public building from the Byzantine period has been exposed in the city. 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.

According to Nurit Feig, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "Until now, the city was known from Christian sources which mention its bishop who took part in formulating the new religion. Now, the first tangible evidence is emerging in the field. This is an important discovery for the study of Akko because until now no remains dating to the Byzantine period have been found, save those of a residential quarter situated near the sea”. A large ashlar-built public edifice was uncovered in the IAA excavation.

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