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Caesarea Archaeoseismic

Aerial View of Caesarea Aerial View of Caesarea

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Used with permission from Biblewalks.com


Names

Transliterated Name Language Name
Caesarea
Caesarea Maritima
Keysariya Hebrew ‎קֵיסָרְיָה
Qesarya Hebrew ‎קֵיסָרְיָה
Qisri Rabbinic Sources
Qisrin Rabbinic Sources
Qisarya Arabic قيسارية
Qaysariyah Early Islamic Arabic قايساريياه
Caesarea near Sebastos Greek and Latin sources
Caesarea of Straton Greek and Latin sources
Caesarea of Palestine Greek and Latin sources
Caesarea Ancient Greek ‎Καισάρεια
Straton's Tower
Strato's Tower
Stratonos pyrgos Ancient Greek
Straton's Caesarea
Introduction
Introduction

King Herod built the town of Caesarea between 22 and 10/9 BCE, naming it for his patron - Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. The neighboring port was named Sebastos - Greek for Augustus (Stern et al, 1993). Straton's Tower, a Phoenician Port city, existed earlier on the site. When the Romans annexed Judea in 6 CE, Caesarea became the headquarters for the provincial governor and his administration (Stern et al, 1993). During the first Jewish War, Roman General Vespasian wintered at Caesarea and used it as his support base (Stern et al, 1993). After he became Emperor, he refounded the city as a Roman colony. Caesarea is mentioned in the 10th chapter of the New Testament book of Acts as the location where, shortly after the crucifixion, Peter converted Roman centurion Cornelius - the first gentile convert to the faith. In Early Byzantine times, Caesarea was known for its library and as the "home-town" of the Christian Church historian and Bishop Eusebius. After the Muslim conquest of the 7th century, the city began to decline but revived again in the 10th century (Stern et al, 1993). Crusaders ruled the city for most of the years between 1101 and 1265 CE (Stern et al, 1993). After the Crusaders were ousted, the town was eventually leveled in 1291 CE and remained mostly desolate after that (Stern et al, 1993).

Identification

Herod the Great named the port city he built on the Mediterranean coast Caesarea, to honor his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus. He called the neighboring port Sebastos, Greek for" Augustus." The site is located on the Sharon coast, about midway between Haifa and Tel Aviv (map reference 1399.2115). The site's ancient name has survived into modern times in the Arabic Qaisariya. Rabbinic sources reproduced Caesarea as Qisri or Qisrin. Because it was only one of many Caesareas, Greek and Latin sources often specify Caesarea as near (the harbor) Sebastos, Caesarea of Straton, or (more commonly) Caesarea of Palestine. The emperor Vespasian granted Caesarea the rank of Roman colony, making it Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesariensis, and Severus Alexander gave it the title Metropolis of the province Syria Palaestina. The name Caesarea Maritima, widely used today, was apparently unknown in antiquity. Straton's Tower (Στρατωνος Πνργος), a Phoenician port town, existed earlier on the site. The name is Greek for Migdal Shorshon, its equivalent in rabbinic texts. It is a common type of toponym meaning a fortified town, not a bastion or lookout tower, as some have thought. Whatever the meaning of Shorshon, in local legend Straton was a Greek hero, and it was he, not Herod, who founded Caesarea, which has thus also been called Straton's Caesarea.

History

Modern scholars suggest that the historical Straton was either a general in the Ptolemaic army in the beginning of the third century BCE or one of two Phoenicians named 'Abdashtart who ruled Sidon in the fourth century BCE. Recent ceramic finds do support limited commercial activity at the site this early, but the earliest reference to Straton's Tower is in a papyrus from the Zenon archive (P Cairo 59004) (259 BCE), which also attests an active harbor. The town flourished in the third century BCE (ceramic evidence) and especially in the later second century BCE, when the local tyrant, Zoilos, held it against the expanding Jewish kingdom (Josephus, Antiq. XIII, 324), perhaps fortifying it with the "city wall of Straton's Tower" mentioned in a rabbinic source (Tosefta Shevi'it IV, 11). The rulers of Straton's Tower apparently developed at least two protected harbors, cut into the sandstone bedrock of the coast in characteristic Hellenistic fashion - λιμην κλειστος (close haven).

The town finally passed to Alexander Jannaeus in about 100 BCE (Josephus, Antiq. XIII, 334~335). During forty years of Hasmonean rule, Straton' s Tower probably acquired a Jewish population, but the rabbis excluded the town itself (though not its territory) from the borders of Palestine (Tosefta Shevi'it IV, 11). To weaken the Hasmonean kingdom, Pompey annexed Straton's Tower and other coastal towns to Roman Syria in 63 BCE (Antiq. XIV, 76; War I, 156). The town was in a state of decay when Octavian, the future Caesar Augustus, restored it to the Jewish state in 31 BCE (Antiq. XV, 217; War I, 396).

Between 22 and 10/9 BCE, Herod built Caesarea on the site of Straton's Tower. Josephus praises the king's lavish construction, which included a theater and an amphitheater, a royal palace, the marketplace (agora), streets on a grid plan, and especially the harbor (War I, 408~414; Antiq. XV, 331~ 337; XVI, 136~141). Above the old main harborof Straton's Tower and just to the east, he created a spacious temple platform. Upon this platform he erected a temple dedicated to the goddess Roma and to the deified Emperor Augustus. Herod appears to have resettled the site with Jews as well as with Greek-speaking pagans. Nevertheless, Caesarea became a typical Greek city-state (polis) of the Hellenistic age, ruled by a city council and magistrates under a resident royal general. In the Herodian state, this city was a pagan and Greek counterweight to Jewish Jerusalem. The new harbor, Sebastos, like the city itself, emphasized Herod's links with his Roman patron, and it offered the only all-weather haven on the Mediterranean coast o his kingdom. Sebastos consisted of a renovated inner harbor, the old rock-cut main anchorage of Straton's Tower, and a much larger outer harbor basin that extended westward from the shore, encompassed within massive constructed breakwaters designed to protect moored ships from the powerful coastal surge. As vessels approached from the northwest, they passed colossal statues of the emperor's family elevated on columns that guided mariners to the harbor entrance. Visible from much farther out at sea was the harbor's lighthouse tower, named after Drusus, the emperor's current heir apparent. Josephus also mentions barrel-vaulted warehouses designed to accommodate goods passing through the harbor (War I, 413; Antiq. XV, 337). It seems that Sebastos retained its royal administrative status, unlike the municipal anchorage at the bay south of it, until it was handed over to the people of the city in about 70 CE.

When the Romans annexed Judea to the empire in 6 CE, they made Caesarea the headquarters of the provincial governor and his administration. A Latin inscription found in the theater records that one of these, Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea, dedicated a temple at Caesarea to the emperor Tiberius (AE 1963, no. 104). The city remained the capital of Judea, later called Palaestina, until the end of classical antiquity.

In 66 CE, on the eve of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome, the pagan majority massacred most of Caesarea's Jews (War II, 457). During the revolt, the Roman commander, Vespasian, wintered at Caesarea and used it as his main support base. After he became emperor, in gratitude for its loyalty, he refounded the city as a Roman colony. Caesarea became an outpost of Roman culture. Western-type duumviri headed the government and decurions (municipal senators) formed the city council. Many inscriptions from Caesarea's first three centuries are in Latin. Hostile to Caesarea, the rabbis called it "daughter of Edom," meaning "daughter of Rome," and they denied that Caesarea and Jerusalem could prosper at the same time.

In the second and third centuries, the city continued to profit from links with the Roman emperors. Hadrian, who may have paid Caesarea an imperial visit in the summer of l30, expanded its aqueduct system and may have built the city's stone circus. In response, the Caesareans dedicated a temple to Hadrian, and coins from the local mint depicted him as the colony's founder. Other imperial visitors were Septimius Severus, in 199 or 201, and perhaps Severus Alexander, in 231-232. The former founded the city's famous Pythian games, while it was Alexander who gave Caesarea the title metropolis. Christianity took at Caesarea within a few years of the Crucifixion, when Saint Peter converted the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts 10). Indeed, this city may have harbored the first gentile Christians. Nevertheless, the virtual extinction of the Jewish community in 66 apparently implicated most Christians as well, and it is only from the later second century that there is a renewed record of a Christian church, with its own bishop. In the same period, Jews resettled in Caesarea, attracted by economic advantages. By 250, the city boasted both a celebrated rabbinic academy and the Christian school of Origen, the outstanding scholar and theologian who assembled an unparalleled library and compiled the hexapla text of the Bible. In the towns and villages of Caesarea's countryside, the population was heavily Jewish and Samaritan.

With the advent of the Christian Roman Empire (fourth-seventh centuries), Caesarea's population and economy expanded, as in the rest of Palestine. A new fortification wall enclosed far more urban space. The authorities built an additional (low-level) aqueduct system, and they continued to replace the city's street pavements following Herod's original grid plan. When Christianity became the dominant religion, a church replaced Herod's temple to Roma and Augustus on the temple platform.

In this period Caesarea remained a metropolis, or provincial capital. In 530, the Roman emperor Justinian promoted the governor stationed at Caesarea to proconsul because of the city's famous past and because it presided over a province filled with famous cities, including the one where "Jesus Christ ... had appeared on earth" (Justinian, Novella 103). The city's bishop also ranked as metropolitan of Palestine and the Caesarean see kept this prerogative even after 451, when the archbishop of Jerusalem obtained the rank of patriarch. The most famous of Caesarea's bishops was the ecclesiastical historian and apologist Eusebius (bishop c. 315-339), who recorded Christian martyrdoms in the city's amphitheater under the last pagan emperors. On the Jewish side, his contemporary was Rabbi Abbahu, who taught his daughters Greek, visited the city's baths, and maintained excellent relations with the pagan authorities. Another product of the city's learned culture was the historian Procopius of Caesarea (sixth century).

By 500, tectonic action and the coastal surge had reduced parts of the breakwaters of Herod's harbor to submerged reefs that were a hazard to navigation. The emperor Anastasius ( 492-517) undertook a major building campaign to restore Sebastos (Procopius of Gaza, Panegyricus in imperatorem Anastasium XIX, PG 87, col. 2817), and this helped Caesarea reach its pinnacle of prosperity in the sixth century. In the meantime, however, relations deteriorated between the city's Christian majority and its Samaritan and Jewish minorities. In 484, rebellious Samaritans burned Caesarea's Church of Saint Procopius. The major revolt of 529-530, when thousands of Samaritans died, fled, or were enslaved, left the territory of Caesarea denuded of her peasant farmers, a serious economic blow (Procopius of Caesarea, Arcana XI, 14-33). In 555, Samaritans - this time allied with the Jews - again burned Christian churches at Caesarea, together with the palace of the Roman governor (J. Malalas, Chron. XVIII, 487-488). These troubles presaged the invasions of the seventh century, when non-Christian minorities generally sided with the enemy. In 614, a Persian army attacked Caesarea, but the city capitulated without serious resistance. The Roman armies returned for a brief period after 628, but in 641 or 642 Caesarea fell to an Arab army after a seven-month siege.

During the next two centuries Caesarea suffered heavily from depopulation, natural building collapse, and stone robbing, and the harbors fell into disuse. By the tenth century, however, Caesarea reemerged, a prosperous town but on a much smaller scale. The geographers el-Muqaddasi and Nasiri-Khusrau mention flourishing gardens and orchards, a fortification wall, and a Great Mosque apparently situated on what had been Herod's temple platform (PPTS III, 3, 55; IV, 1, 20). In 1101, the Frankish king Baldwin I of Jerusalem and the Genoese fleet conquered Caesarea after a brief siege and established a Crusader principality. It lasted, despite periods of reconquest, until 1265. A Christian church replaced the Great Mosque on the temple platform. In 1251-1252, the French king Louis IX ("Saint Louis") labored on the fortifications with his own hands, as an act of penance. Fourteen years later, the Egyptian sultan Baybars stormed Caesarea, and in 1291 his successor leveled it and other Crusader castles along the Levantine coast to prevent their falling into enemy hands. From time to time a squatter settlement existed among the ruins after 1291, but Caesarea mostly remained desolate.

History of Excavations

Early Exploration and Excavations

Caesarea is a large site, comprising about 235 a. within its semicircular perimeter wall. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries European travelers, such as R. Pococke and V. Guerin, published more-or-less accurate descriptions of the site. In 1873, C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener mapped and described it as part of the Survey of Western Palestine, noting, for example, the aqueducts, the semicircular (outer) perimeter wall, the medieval fortifications, and the theater. Over the next ninety years there were only chance finds. In 1945, J. Ory,forthe Mandatory Department of Antiquities, and M. Avi-Yonah, in 1956 and 1962, for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums, explored the meager remains of a synagogue revealed during winter storms along the northern seashore. In 1951, S. Yeivin excavated a marble-paved esplanade east of the Crusader city for the department, where a tractor from Kibbutz Sedot Yam had struck a colossal porphyry statue. In 1955, a large mosaic pavement on a ridge to the northeast of ancient Caesarea was also exposed accidentally.

Large-scale, systematic explorations at Caesarea date only from 1959, the first of five seasons of the Missione Archeologica ltaliana directed by A. Frova. This team studied part of the semicircular (outer) perimeter wall, demonstrating its date to be Byzantine, and exposed, for the first time, the northern segment of an inner perimeter wall, which the Missione considered Herodian. It also examined a "Christian building" to the northeast of the site and completely excavated the Herodian-Roman theater and the massive fortezza (fortress) that incorporated the ruins of the theater in the Byzantine period. During most of the same years (1960-1964) A. Negev, on behalf of the National Parks Authority, cleared the Crusader moats surrounding the present medieval city. Negev exposed numerous ancient and medieval ruins, including the facade of the temple platform and the triple-apsed Crusader basilica above it. Negev also excavated to the north of the medieval city, between it and the inner perimeter wall, where he exposed part of the Hellenistic town, and to the south of the southern Crusader moat, where he found the building he identified as the library of Origen and Eusebius. Farther north, just inland from the coast, Negev exposed and studied 300 m of the high-level aqueduct.

The Joint Expedition to Maritime Caesarea, comprising teams from twenty-one colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, began exploring the site in 1971, under the direction of R. Bull, 0. Storvick, and E. Krentz. In twelve seasons, this project excavated many sites outside the medieval city, mainly in fields A and B to the east; C, K, L, M, and N to the south; and G to the north, within the inner perimeter wall. Among the Joint Expedition's main goals was to recover the grid plan of streets laid out by Herod. In 1974, J. H. Humphrey, under Joint Expedition auspices, dug several trenches in the circus. During the same decade, in 1975-1976 and 1979, L. I. Levine and E. Netzer, representing the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology, explored the west-central part of the medieval city and what Netzer calls the Promontory Palace, which extends seaward to the northwest of the theater.

In more recent rescue excavations, R. Reich and M. Peleg uncovered a south gate in the ancient semicircular perimeter wall in Kibbutz Sedot Yam (1986), adjacent to the site on the south, andY. Porath studied the south gate in the medieval wall and part of the wall itself (1989-1990). Porath has also conducted extensive research on Caesarea's aqueducts. In 1990, Netzer renewed his work on the Promontory Palace. In 1989-1990, A. Raban and K. Holum organized the Combined Caesarea Expeditions (CCE), an international amphibious effort to explore major sectors of the ancient site. To the south of the medieval city, the Combined Caesarea Expeditions have begun work in area KK, the next insula (city block) to the south of the Joint Expedition's field C. The objective here is to explore the evolution of an urban neighborhood throughout antiquity. CCE is also excavating in area I, the inner harbor, and area TP, the temple platform, in an effort to link the harbor with what was apparently the monumental center of both the ancient and medieval city.

Caesarea is also a rare maritime site where subsurface remains of a major ancient harbor lie relatively undisturbed by postmedieval harbor construction and uncluttered by the detritus of modern commerce. In 1960, E. Link, one of the pioneers of underwater exploration, conducted a marine survey that first identified the ruins ofSebastos, Herod's great harbor. Bad weather and difficult seas limited Link's success, however, and it was not untill976 that Haifa University's Center for Maritime Studies began sustained research on Caesarea's harbors. In that year, Raban headed an intensive underwater survey. Following three additional survey and training seasons (1978-1980), R. Hohlfelder, J. Oleson, and later R. Vannjoined Raban as codirectors of the international Caesarea Ancient Harbour Excavation Project (CAHEP). During the 1980s, this team recovered the design and construction techniques Herod used for Sebastos and examined lesser harbors to the north and south of it, as well as some of the numerous shipwrecks nearby. R. Stieglitz, another project co-director, explored harbor installations on land and remains ofStraton's Tower. CCE is continuing work on Sebastos

IAA Excavations

Large-scale archaeological excavations were carried out at Caesarea from 1992 to 1998 by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA); they were directed by Y. Porath. The project included the excavation of a 100–150-m-wide strip along the coast between the theater complex to the south and the excavations of the Combined Caesarea Expeditions (CCE) to the north; the western part of the temple platform and the area between this platform and the eastern quay of the port of Sebastos; both sides of the southern Crusader wall (continuing the salvage excavations carried out in 1989); the bottom of the Crusader moat (cleared in the 1960s by A. Negev), from the southern gateway to the northern gateway; and the area southwest of the theater. In addition, salvage excavations were conducted within the area demarcated by the Byzantine wall; in structures outside the wall; on the necropolis; in agricultural areas to the east, north, and south of the city; and along the aqueducts that carried water to Caesarea from outside the city.

The Combined Caesarea Expeditions Excavations

During the 1990s the face of ancient Caesarea underwent dramatic change as excavations on an unprecedented scale exposed much more of the site and resolved earlier puzzles and misconceptions. The Combined Caesarea Expeditions (CCE) organized in 1989 by A. Raban, of the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa, and K. G. Holum, of the University of Maryland, continued work through much of the decade and, on a more limited scale, into the new millennium. In 1993, J. Patrich joined the CCE directorate on behalf of the University of Haifa. Inside the Old City, K. Holum directed excavations on the temple platform (area TP) and in a warehouse quarter north of the inner harbor (area LL). A. Raban led excavations at the presently land-locked inner harbor and its eastern quay (area I), and at two sites along the southern edge of the temple platform (areas Z and TPS). J. Patrich excavated south of the Crusader city in areas CC, NN, and KK. In area KK, he uncovered six warehouse units, while area CC, formerly field C of the Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima (JECM), contained a government complex that accommodated the Roman provincial procurator and later the governor of Byzantine Palestine. The CCE team also devoted effort to area CV, the western side of the area CC vaults, and its maritime unit conducted underwater excavations in the harbor.

Underwater Excavations

The CAHEP (Caesarea Ancient Harbour Excavation Project) consortium, led by the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa, in collaboration with the University of Colorado (led by R. L. Hohlfelder), the University of Maryland (led by R. L. Vann), and the University of Victoria, British Columbia (led by J. P. Oleson), was succeeded by the maritime unit of the CCE, a collaborative project of the University of Haifa (led by A. Raban) and McMaster University (led by E. G. Reinhardt). The ongoing project conducts an annual field season with student volunteers from both institutions as well as others from around the world. The focus of the underwater research has shifted lately toward geoarchaeology, in an attempt to comprehend the history of maritime activity at Caesarea and the demise of Sebastos in the context of environmental changes and topographical alternations on the waterfront.

Maps, Aerial Views, Plans, Sections, Drawings, and Photos
Maps, Aerial Views, Plans, Sections, Drawings, and Photos

Maps

Normal Size

  • Fig. 5 The Caesarea region from Galili et al (2021)

Magnified

  • Fig. 5 The Caesarea region from Galili et al (2021)

Aerial Views

  • Caesarea in Google Earth
  • Caesarea on govmap.gov.il

Plans, Sections, Drawings, and Photos

Entire Site

Normal Size

  • Fig. 1 Sketch plan of Caesarea Maritima from Toombs (1978)
  • Aqueducts in the vicinity of Caesarea from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Map of Caesarea showing excavation areas from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Herodian Caesarea from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Byzantine Caesarea from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Fig. 1 Roman and Crusader Caesarea from Ad et al (2017)
  • Fig. 1 View of ancient harbor of Caesarea from Reinhardt and Raban (1999)
  • Fig. 4 The Roman, Herodian harbor of Caesarea from Galili et al (2021)
  • Fig. 1 Caesarea with principal sites mentioned by Dey et al(2014)
  • Fig. 1.9 Plan of early Islamic Caesarea from Whitcomb (2016)
  • Fig. 1.10 Drawing of the Temple Platform at Caesarea from Whitcomb (2016)
  • Fig. 2 Plan of the mid-7th century irrigated garden from Taxel (2013)
  • Plan of Area TP containing the Octagonal Church from Stern et. al. (2008)

Magnified

  • Fig. 1 Sketch plan of Caesarea Maritima from Toombs (1978)
  • Aqueducts in the vicinity of Caesarea from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Map of Caesarea showing excavation areas from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Herodian Caesarea from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Byzantine Caesarea from Stern et. al. (2008)
  • Fig. 1 Roman and Crusader Caesarea from Ad et al (2017)
  • Fig. 1 View of ancient harbor of Caesarea from Reinhardt and Raban (1999)
  • Fig. 1 Caesarea with principal sites mentioned by Dey et al(2014)
  • Fig. 1.9 Plan of early Islamic Caesarea from Whitcomb (2016)
  • Fig. 1.10 Drawing of the Temple Platform at Caesarea from Whitcomb (2016)
  • Fig. 2 Plan of the mid-7th century irrigated garden from Taxel (2013)
  • Plan of Area TP containing the Octagonal Church from Stern et. al. (2008)

Area LL

Normal Size

  • Fig. 1D Aerial view of site LL and southern part of the Upper aqueduct from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 1E Aerial view of site LL showing locations of cores, baulk, and collapsed corridor from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 3 Early phases Plan of Area LL from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 8 Wall Collapse in Stratum VI (Umayyad) from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 3 Sections of Cores C1 and C2 and the Southern Baulk from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 2B Destruction layer(s) showing building stones suspended in anomalous sands from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 2C Archaeological fill directly underlying anomalous deposit along with inset of fire-burnt stones from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 4 Lab Analysis of Core C1 from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 5 Lab Analysis of Southern Baulk from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 8 Projected direction of tsunami surge from Everhardt et. al. (2023)

Magnified

  • Fig. 1D Aerial view of site LL and southern part of the Upper aqueduct from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 1E Aerial view of site LL showing locations of cores, baulk, and collapsed corridor from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 3 Early phases Plan of Area LL from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 8 Wall Collapse in Stratum VI (Umayyad) from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 3 Sections of Cores C1 and C2 and the Southern Baulk from Everhardt et. al. (2023)

Caesarea Tsunamogenic Site
Caesarea Tsunamogenic Site



Chronology
Stratigraphy

Ad et al (2017, 2018)

Stratum Period
I Modern
II Late Ottoman (Bosnian)
IIIa Crusader (Louis IX)
IIIb Crusader (pre-Louis IX)
IV Fatimid
V Abbasid
VI Umayyad
VII Late Byzantine/Early Umayyad
VIII Late Byzantine
IX Early Byzantine
X Late Roman
XI Roman
XII Early Roman
XIII Herodian

Toombs (1978)

Entire Site Summary

  • Toombs (1978) developed a stratigraphic framework for Caesarea after 4 seasons of excavations using the destruction layers overlying the latest Byzantine occupation as the stratigraphic key. The framework was developed primarily on balk sections from four fields - A, B, C, and H. It is considered most accurate for the Byzantine and Arab phases and least accurate for Late Arab and Roman levels.
  • Dates with an asterisk (*) were derived from Note 4 in Toombs (1978:232)
  • Sketch plan of Caesarea Maritima from Toombs (1978) .
Phase Period Date Comments
I Modern
II Crusader 1200-1300 CE‎
III.1 Late Arab 900*-1200 CE
III.2 Middle Arab
Abbasid
750-900* CE
III.3 Early Arab
Umayyad
640-750 CE
IV Byzantine/Arab 640 CE In A.D. 640 Caesarea fell to Arab invaders. This time the destruction was complete and irretrievable. Battered columns and the empty shells of buildings stood nakedly above heaps of tangled debris.
V Final Byzantine 614-640 CE In A.D. 614 Persian armies captured Caesarea, but withdrew by A.D. 629. This invasion caused widespread destruction and brought the Main Byzantine Period to a close, but recovery was rapid and the city was restored
VI.1 Main Byzantine 450/550*-614 CE
VI.2 Main Byzantine 330 - 450/550* CE
VII.1 Roman 200*-330 CE It seems probable that during the Late Roman Period a major catastrophe befell the city, causing a partial collapse of the vaulted warehouses along the waterfront, and the destruction of major buildings within the city. Such a city-wide disaster alone would account for the rebuilding of the warehouse vaulting and the buildings above it, as well as the virtual absence of intact Roman structures in the city proper.
VII.2 Roman 100*-200* CE
VII.3 Roman 10 BCE - 100* CE

Entire Site with comparisons between areas

  • Toombs (1978) developed a stratigraphic framework for Caesarea after 4 seasons of excavations using the destruction layers overlying the latest Byzantine occupation as the stratigraphic key. The framework was developed primarily on balk sections from four fields - A, B, C, and H. It is considered most accurate for the Byzantine and Arab phases and least accurate for Late Arab and Roman levels.
  • Sketch plan of Caesarea Maritima from Toombs (1978) .
Stratigraphic Framework for Caesarea by Toombs (1978) Figure 4

Stratigraphic analysis of the results of the first four seasons at Caesarea, tabulated by Field.

Toombs (1978)

Areas CC, KK, and NN

 Stratigraphy of Areas CC, KK, and NN

Stern et. al. (2008)


Starting Gates of the Hippodrome

 Phases of the Starting Gates of the Hippodrome

Stern et. al. (2008)


Late 1st/ Early 2nd century CE Earthquake

Figures

Figures

  • Fig. 1- View of ancient harbor of Caesarea from Reinhardt and Raban (1999)
  • Fig. 2 - Stratigraphic Sections from Reinhardt and Raban (1999)
  • Fig. 3 - Possible harbor configurations through time from Reinhardt and Raban (1999)
  • Fig. 2 - Herodian-phase mole demonstrating ~2000 years of a stable sea level from Dey et al(2014)

Discussion

Using ceramics, Reinhardt and Raban (1999) dated a high energy subsea deposit inside the harbor at Caesarea to the late 1st / early 2nd century CE. This, along with other supporting evidence, indicated that the outer harbor breakwater must have subsided around this time. They attributed the subsidence to seismic activity.
L4 — Destruction Phase

The first to second century A.D. basal rubble unit (L4) was found on the carbonate cemented sandstone bedrock (locally known as kurkar) and was characteristic of a high-energy water deposit (Fig. 2). The rubble was framework supported with little surrounding matrix and composed mainly of cobble-sized material, which was well rounded, heavily encrusted (e.g., bryozoans, calcareous algae), and bored (Lithophaga lithophaga, Cliona) on its upper surface. The rubble had variable lithologies including basalts, gabbros, and dolomites, all of which are absent on the Israeli coastal plain and were likely transported to the site as ship ballast (probably from Cyprus). The surrounding matrix was composed of shell material (mainly Glycymeris insubricus), pebbles, and coarse sand. The pottery sherds found in this unit were well rounded, encrusted, and dated to the first to second century A.D. The date for this unit and its sedimentological characters clearly records the existence of high-energy conditions within the inner harbor about 100-200 yr after the harbor was built. This evidence of high-energy water conditions indicates that the outer harbor breakwaters must have been severely degraded by this time to allow waves to penetrate the inner confines of the harbor (Fig. 3, A and B).

Indication of the rapid destruction of the outer harbor breakwaters toward the end of the first century A.D. is derived from additional data recovered from the outer harbor. In the 1993 season, a late first century A.D. shipwreck was found on the southern submerged breakwater. The merchant ship was carrying lead ingots that were narrowly dated to A.D. 83-96 based on the inscription "IMP.DOMIT.CAESARIS.AUG.GER." which refers to the Roman Emperor Domitianus (Raban, 1999). The wreck was positioned on the harbor breakwater, indicating that this portion of the structure must have been submerged to allow a ship to run-up and founder on top (Raban, 1999; Fig. 3B). Because Josephus praised the harbor in grand terms and referred to it as a functioning entity around A.D. 75-79, and yet portions of the breakwater were submerged by A.D. 83-96, we conclude that there was a rapid deterioration and submergence of the harbor, probably through seismic activity.
Later they suggested that the subsidence had a neotectonic origin.
Evidence for neotectonic subsidence of the harbor has been reinforced by separate geologic studies (stratigraphic analysis of boreholes, Neev et al., 1987; seismic surveys, Mart and Perecman, 1996) that recognize faults in the shallow continental shelf and in the proximity of Caesarea; one fault extends across the central portion of the harbor. However, obtaining precise dates for movement along the faults is difficult. Archaeological evidence of submergence can be useful for dating and determining the magnitude of these events: however, at Caesarea the evidence is not always clear.
Neotectonic subsidence is unlikely. As pointed out by Dey et al(2014), the coastline appears to have been stable for the past ~2000 years (Fig. 2) with sea level fluctuating no more than ± 50 cm, no pronounced vertical displacement of the city's Roman aqueduct (Raban, 1989:18-21), and harbor constructions completed directly on bedrock showing no signs of subsidence. However, Reinhardt and Raban (1999) considered more realistic possibilities for submergence of harbor installations such as seismically induced liquefaction, storm scour, and tsunamis.
The submergence of the outer harbor break-waters at the end of the first century A.D. could have also been due to seismic liquefaction of the sediment. Excavations have shown that the harbor breakwaters were constructed on well-sorted sand that could have undergone liquefaction with seismic activity. In many instances the caissons are tilted (15°-20° from horizontal; Raban et al., 1999a) and at different elevations, which could be due to differential settling (area K; Fig. 1). However, the tilting could also be due to undercutting by current scour from large-scale storms (or tsunamis) and not exclusively seismic activity. Our data from the inner harbor cannot definitively ascribe the destruction of the harbor at the end of the first century A.D. to a seismic event, although some of the data support this conclusion. However, regardless of the exact mechanism, our sedimentological evidence from the inner harbor and the remains of the late first century A.D. shipwreck indicate that the submergence of the outer breakwater occurred early in the life of the harbor and was more rapid and extensive than previously thought.
Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) examined and dated cores taken seaward of the harbor and identified 2 tsunamite deposits (see Tsunamogenic Evidence) including one which dates to to the 1st-2nd century CE. Although, it is tempting to correlate the 1st-2nd century CE tsunamite deposits of Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) to the L4 destruction phase identified in the harbor ( Reinhardt and Raban, 1999), the chronologies presented by Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) suffer from some imprecision due to the usual paucity of dating material that one encounters with cores. Further, the harbor subsidence and breakwater degradation dated by Reinhardt and Raban (1999) may not have been caused by seismic activity. If it was related to seismic activity, the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Quake is a better candidate than the 115 CE Trajan Quake because it would have produced higher intensities in Caesarea.

Fritsch and Ben-Dor (1961) reported the following from an early underwater exploration of Caesarea's harbor.
At the very deepest spot where the airlift penetrated, beneath huge stone blocks which teetered precariously above the divers' heads, was uncovered a large wooden beam. Beneath its protective cover the divers found the only whole amphora of our dig. This proved to be a second century Roman vessel. The fact that it was found under the tumbled beam and masonry would indicate that these things were catapulted into the sea at the same time. Since there is a strong earthquake recorded in the area of Caesarea in the year A.D. 130 [JW: this refers to the Eusebius Mystery Quake - could also be Incense Road Quake], it may possibly be that the harbor installations of Herod were destroyed at that time.

Other finds recovered from the original bottom, now under fifteen feet of sand, included numerous sherds of second century amphorae, corroded bronze coins, ivory hairpins, colorful bits of glass and other objects of the Roman period. Two objects were of special significance. One was a small lead baling seal with a standing winged figure. It has a pinpoint hole near its center, and a rather deep, depressed line on the back of it, as though made by a wire.3

The other object was probably the most important thing discovered at Caesarea this past summer. It was a small commemorative coin or medal made of an unidentified alloy, about the size of a ten-cent piece, with two holes drilled through it as if it might have been worn as a pendant. Upon the face of it there is the representation of the entrance to a port flanked by round stone towers surmounted by statues. Arches border the jetty on either side of the towers, and two sailing vessels are about to enter the harbor. Two letters, KA, may well be the abbreviation for the word Caesarea. The other side of the coin shows the figure of a male with a long beard and a tail like a dolphin, with a mace-like object in his hand. Coin experts who have seen this piece agree that it is unique, and that it undoubtedly depicts the ancient port of Caesarea. It may have been issued to commemorate some important occasion at Caesarea in the first or second century A.D.
Footnotes

3. This object may be an amulet, the winged figure representing Horus, the Egyptian sun god who wards off lurking evils. Cf. E.A.W. Budge, Amulets and Superstitions (London, 1930) 166. A close examination of the original piece, however, leads one to conclude that it is a baling seal.

Cyril Quake - 363 CE - tenuous evidence

Raphael and Bijovsky (2014) examined "a large hoard of 3,700 copper coins found in the excavations of" what may have been a synagogue. They describe the discovery of the coin hoard as follows:

In 1962, during the excavations at Caesarea, Avi-Yonah unearthed a large hoard containing 3,700 copper-alloy coins, in a building that he identified as a synagogue. The latest coins in the hoard date to 361 CE, suggesting that the synagogue was destroyed by the 363 CE earthquake.

... The finds from the excavation were only partially published. Much of the information, such as locus numbers, is not always clear and the exact location of the hoard is not marked on a plan or described by Avi-Yonah. Nevertheless, his written descriptions clearly state that the hoard was found in the building and the strata are fairly well defined. A photograph shows Avi-Yonah in the building during the excavation kneeling next to the in situ hoard (Fig. 1).
The coins were found in Stratum IV. The original excavator (Avi-Yonah) "gave no reason for the destruction of Stratum IV." In discussing evidence for seismic destruction in Caesarea, Raphael and Bijovsky (2014) provide the following:
None of the excavations revealed large scale damage in Stratum IV: "there is no evidence of wholesale destruction across the site, especially since the wall lines are still mostly intact based upon photographic record. Yet not much remains of the structure either in stratum IV or stratum V" (Govaars et al. 2009:132). After the earthquake debris was cleared, the synagogue was rebuilt. Stones from the previous synagogue were reused for the building of the stratum V synagogue, but the hoard was not found until Avi-Yonah's excavations. Govaars wrote "the direct relationship of the coin hoard to a structure is uncertain and, therefore the coin evidence cannot be used to date the still unknown structure" (Govaars et al. 2009:42). This is a somewhat peculiar statement considering the coins were found in the synagogue and are on the whole well preserved, homogeneous and well dated. Avi-Yonah was convinced that the hoard was directly related to the Stratum IV building: "The fact that a hoard of 3,700 bronze coins was found in the ruins of the synagogue itself that were buried in 355/356 AD indicates that this synagogue was built in the end of the third or the early fourth century, and was destroyed in the mid fourth century AD" (Avi-Yonah 1964:26 n. 5).

... Evidence at Caesarea

The subject of earthquakes and tsunamis has been partially reviewed by several archaeologists who directed or participated in the excavations at Caesarea. None of the monumental buildings across the site revealed earthquake damage that dates to the fourth century CE.

The report of remains from the excavations of the Promontory Palace at Caesarea, dated between the early fourth century and early sixth centuries, does not mention destruction levels (Levine and Netzer 1986:176-184). In other excavations, the Roman and Byzantine-period warehouses and granaries (horreum) gradually fell into ruin over a considerable period. Neither the main streets, pavements, sewage and water systems, the theater, amphitheater nor the stadiums of the Late Roman and Byzantine periods show signs of destruction that suggested earthquake damage (Humphrey 1974:32; Porath 1996:114-120; Porath 2003 and Porath [pers. comm.]).

If the town was partially damaged or destroyed in the 363 CE earthquake, as the Harvard Syriac letter [i.e. the letter attributed to Cyril] describes, then other than the large coin hoard, the earthquake left no clear, tangible evidence. The damage was cleared and buildings were repaired or rebuilt. Although none of the archaeological reports mentions earthquake damage, several reports clearly describe the abandonment and/or the rebuilding of public buildings in the second half of the fourth century CE. None of the authors provided a reason for their destruction or abandonment.

Tectonic evidence such as collapsed columns, thick piles of debris or warped walls are elusive throughout the fourth century architecture of Caesarea. Why is this typical earthquake damage missing? Are the written sources and the numismatic evidence sufficient proof of the 363 CE earthquake in Caesarea? It is important to note that among the various violent, politically motivated upheavals that took place in the second half of the fourth century, one of the main candidates explaining destruction at archaeological sites is the Gallus Revolt (352 CE). However, none of the sources that describe this revolt mention Caesarea Maritima (Geller-Nathanson 1986:34)
1,453 coins from the hoard of coins were identifiable by mints and dates. They ranged in age from 315 CE to the first quarter of the 5th century CE. 110 of these coins ranged in age from 364 - 421 CE and post dated 363 CE. The bulk of the hoard, however, were struck between 341 and 361 CE. The authors noted that 11 of the post 363 CE coins may have been intrusive. An explanation for the other 99 post 363 CE coins was based largely on a comparison to a similarly dated coin hoard in Qasrin. The authors opined that the many coins from Julian II shows that the coins could not have been concealed before 355 CE ruling out the Gallus Revolt (352 CE) as a cause for the loss of the hoard. On the whole, this numismatic evidence for the Cyril Quake striking Caesarea seems tenuous however since Caesarea was mentioned as being partly ruined in Cyril's letter, it merits inclusion in this catalog.

7th century CE Earthquake

Langgut et al (2015) report that destruction of a building in Caesarea Maritima was tentatively attributed to the 659 CE earthquake by Raban et al (1993:59-61).

mid 8th century CE Earthquake

Temple Platform and Octagonal Church

Plans

Plans

Normal Size

  • Caesarea with principal sites mentioned by Dey et al(2014)

Magnified

  • Caesarea with principal sites mentioned by Dey et al(2014)

Discussion

Dey et al (2014) report that evidence for seismic destruction due to one of the mid 8th century earthquakes is present adjacent to the Temple Platform and possibly at the octagonal church.
At Caesarea, the best evidence of destruction attributable to the 749 earthquake comes from Area TPS, on the S side of the Temple Platform, where a thick layer of debris marks the end of the Umayyad occupation of the Late Byzantine bath complex, which was subsequently mulled and built over in the later 8th century - see Raban and Yankelevitz (2008:81) and Arnon (2008:85). Another probable effect of the earthquake was the collapse of the octagonal church on the platform - see Holum et al (2008:30-31).

Terraced Gardens

Plans

Plans

Normal Size

  • Caesarea with principal sites mentioned by Dey et al(2014)

Magnified

  • Caesarea with principal sites mentioned by Dey et al(2014)

Discussion

In addition, there appears to be evidence of landward tsunami deposits. After the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, Caesarea depopulated. In the late 7th or early 8th century CE, the coastal strip south of where the Crusaders would later build their fortifications was transformed into lush terraced gardens irrigated by wells and cisterns ( Dey et al, 2014). Marine layers found on top of these gardens included Glycymeris, a non-edible deeper water bivalve. Atop the marine layer was, in some areas, a burial ground with a funerary inscription providing a terminus ante quem of 870 CE. A terminus post quem of c. 500 came from a reflecting pool fronting the Temple platform and overlain by the marine layer. Dey et al (2014) suggest that the most likely explanation for the transformation from gardens to burial ground was an intervening episode of tsunamogenic destruction. They discussed the potential landward tsunamogenic deposit as follows:
The most substantial strata attributable to a marine inundation of mid-8th-c. date appeared in the SW sector, along the coastal strip south of the Crusader fortifications. Extensive tracts of these deposits between the temple platform and the theater, a shore-parallel distance of nearly 800 m, were uncovered (and removed, usually mechanically) in the 1970s and early 1980s under the auspices of the Joint Expedition (JECM). The bulk of the deposits lay in a shallow depression situated c.10 m above mean sea-level (MSL) and separated from the sea by a low ridge 15 m above MSL. From the landward side of the ridge, beginning c.50 m from the shore, these marine layers stretched inland as far as 300 m from the sea. 14 They comprised two distinct, superimposed sequences, each consisting of a thick, lower layer of densely-bedded (and in some cases imbricated) shells, rubble and sherds up to 1.5 m thick, topped by a dark, silty layer 20-40 cm thick. Datable materials in the second, upper sequence placed its formation around the 14th c. 15 In the lower sequence, dated by the excavators approximately to the 8th c. on the basis of finds, numerous disarticulated human remains turned up, as well as at least one complete skeleton in Area C, interbedded with the surrounding strata of shells and silt. 16 Like the rest of the materials, this corpse was probably deposited by a (cataclysmic) natural event. As D. Neev and K. Emery indicated in their report, there were no signs of a man-made grave, and the surrounding horizontal strata were uninterrupted above and below the skeleton; such 'culturally non-appropriate burials' are now recognized as a typical feature of tsunami deposits.17 The most likely scenario would have corpses deposited by the retreating waters of the tsunami and immediately covered with more detritus, keeping the articulated skeleton undisturbed by scavenging animals or human intervention.

Area LL

Figures

Figures

Normal Size

  • Fig. 1D Aerial view of site LL and southern part of the Upper aqueduct from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 1E Aerial view of site LL showing locations of cores, baulk, and collapsed corridor from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 3 Early phases Plan of Area LL from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 8 Wall Collapse in Stratum VI (Umayyad) from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 3 Sections of Cores C1 and C2 and the Southern Baulk from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 2B Destruction layer(s) showing building stones suspended in anomalous sands from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 2C Archaeological fill directly underlying anomalous deposit along with inset of fire-burnt stones from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 4 Lab Analysis of Core C1 from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 5 Lab Analysis of Southern Baulk from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 8 Projected direction of tsunami surge from Everhardt et. al. (2023)

Magnified

  • Fig. 1D Aerial view of site LL and southern part of the Upper aqueduct from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 1E Aerial view of site LL showing locations of cores, baulk, and collapsed corridor from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
  • Fig. 3 Early phases Plan of Area LL from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 8 Wall Collapse in Stratum VI (Umayyad) from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 3 Sections of Cores C1 and C2 and the Southern Baulk from Everhardt et. al. (2023)

Discussion

Site LL is located just north of Caesarea's inner harbour. Ad et al (2018) excavated the site which was in use from the Herodian period to the Umayyad period. A storage structure (aka "the warehouse") was identified in the western part of the site which appears to have been constructed in Herodian times and remained in use, as it underwent changes, until the middle of the Umayyad period (~700 CE). After the Islamic conquest of Caesarea (640 CE), rooms were partitioned, floors were raised, construction was added and some of the openings were sealed. Ceramics indicate that the site was abandoned at the end of the 7th century CE after which it suffered two major destruction events before re-occupation occurred in the mid 8th century CE in what was interpreted as Abbasid Strata V (the Abbasid Caliphate began ruling in 750 CE). During the renewed Abbasid occupation, destruction debris were preserved as the builders preferred to level the area and build above the destruction layer(s). The destruction events within Stratum VI (Umayyad) appear to be an earthquake and a tsunami; both likely a result of the the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Quake sequence.

Ad et al (2018) report that during the earthquake event several ceilings collapsed inward, and there was evidence of a fire in the eastern warehouse.1 In the collapse in the corridor, the original order of the courses of the wall or vault could be clearly identified (Fig. 8) adding confidence to a seismic interpretation. During the subsequent tsunami event, a layer of sand and collapsed building stones had accumulated to a height of more than 2 m in Rooms 8–11 in the western warehouse and to a height of 1.5 m in Rooms 12–14 and the corridor of the eastern warehouse. Everhardt et. al. (2023) further examined the destruction deposits by taking cores and radiocarbon samples as well as examining burn evidence and a baulk inside the collapsed corridor.

The cores (C1 and C2) were taken in the collapsed corridor after the Abbasid floor was removed, thus sampling the destruction deposits. See Fig. 1E for location of the cores (and southern baulk) and Fig. 3 for photos and descriptions of the cores and the southern baulk. A ~20 mg. charcoal sample from the top 3 cm of sediment in the Umayyad archaeological fill and one untreated sample of various organic material (~20 mg) from the top 5 cm of the same layer in core C1, as close as possible to the contact with the lower anomalous deposit, were collected for radiocarbon dating. Everhardt et. al. (2023:14-15) report that radiocarbon dates of charcoal and organic material from the upper contact of the Umayyad archaeological deposit (Unit C) range from 605 to 779 CE2 which is in agreement with the phasing of Ad et al (2018) and compatible with destruction layers that were deposited in 749 CE.

Cores C1 and C2 were sampled and analyzed for grain size distribution, foraminiferal assemblage, total organic carbon (TOC), and Inorganic Carbon (IC). An additional 13 surface surface samples, including from storm surge deposits, were also collected, analyzed, and compared with the analysis of the Cores and Southern Baulk in order to help distinguish if a tsunami deposit was indicated in the cores and baulk. Portable-Optically Stimulated Luminescence (P-OSL) dating was also performed on the cores. Four sedimentary units (A-D) were identified in the two cores are were described as follows :
Unit Alias Description Interpretation
A ‘anomalous’ deposit clean, loose quartz sand with no sedimentary structures or cultural artifacts. tsunami deposit
B same sediment as Unit A but with additions of several marine-encrusted potsherds and reddened, partially heat-fused sand clusters. earthquake and fire debris mixed with a tsunami deposit
C 'Umayyad archaeological fill' a dark gray/brown (10YR 6/2), organic-rich layer with many cultural artifacts, including potsherds, glass shards, shells, beach pebbles, charcoal, and bone fragments. Post abandonment deposition from the latter half of the Umayyad period - typical of an ancient garbage dump
D compact earthen floor Umayyad or earlier floor
Everhardt et. al. (2023) interpreted ‘anomalous’ deposit Unit A as tsunamogenic primarily based on grain size distribution and an abundance of foraminifera along with other indicators. As for Unit B, they noted that the reddened, partially heat-fused sand clusters were in agreement with the presence of reddened in-situ building blocks along the intact eastern wall of the room (and elsewhere along the walls) which indicated that a fire took place before the tsunami struck. They also noted an abundance of charcoal found in the upper Umayyad archaeological fill. They viewed the presence of marine-encrusted potsherds as an indicator that these inclusions were previously submerged in the marine system long enough for the encrustation to take place, suggesting that they were transported from the sea to land at the time of the event which in turn could indicate that the tsunami water and deposits extinguished the fire.

Everhardt et. al. (2023) proposed that the lower southern baulk was also a tsunamogenic deposit related to 'anomalous" deposit Unit A in the cores.
Footnotes

1 Everhardt et. al. (2023:5) reports that fire-reddened walls (see inset of Figure 2C) were found at the same level as the destruction layer(s).

2 Everhardt et. al. (2023:14-15) described the radiocarbon samples as follows:

A single piece of charcoal from the surface of the Umayyad archaeological fill (Unit C) in core C1 has been radiocarbon dated with 95.4% probability to 649–687 cal CE (73.5%) or 743–773 cal CE (22.0%), consistent with the archaeological finds. A second radiocarbon age was measured on a mix of small organic materials from the same layer as the previous charcoal sample, with a result of 605–665 cal CE (95.4% probability).

Other locations

Everhardt et. al. (2023), while citing citing Holum et. al. (2008) reported that isolated reports describe single-column-fall damage or other structural failures in Caesarea due to the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year sequence.

Seismic Effects
Late 1st/ Early 2nd century CE Earthquake

Effect Location Image(s) Description
Liquefaction and Subsidence outer harbor breakwater



Description

  • The first to second century A.D. basal rubble unit (L4) was found on the carbonate cemented sandstone bedrock (locally known as kurkar) and was characteristic of a high-energy water deposit (Fig. 2). The rubble was framework supported with little surrounding matrix and composed mainly of cobble-sized material, which was well rounded, heavily encrusted (e.g., bryozoans, calcareous algae), and bored (Lithophaga lithophaga, Cliona) on its upper surface. The rubble had variable lithologies including basalts, gabbros, and dolomites, all of which are absent on the Israeli coastal plain and were likely transported to the site as ship ballast (probably from Cyprus). The surrounding matrix was composed of shell material (mainly Glycymeris insubricus), pebbles, and coarse sand. The pottery sherds found in this unit were well rounded, encrusted, and dated to the first to second century A.D. The date for this unit and its sedimentological characters clearly records the existence of high-energy conditions within the inner harbor about 100-200 yr after the harbor was built. This evidence of high-energy water conditions indicates that the outer harbor breakwaters must have been severely degraded by this time to allow waves to penetrate the inner confines of the harbor (Fig. 3, A and B).

    Indication of the rapid destruction of the outer harbor breakwaters toward the end of the first century A.D. is derived from additional data recovered from the outer harbor. In the 1993 season, a late first century A.D. shipwreck was found on the southern submerged breakwater. The merchant ship was carrying lead ingots that were narrowly dated to A.D. 83-96 based on the inscription "IMP.DOMIT.CAESARIS.AUG.GER." which refers to the Roman Emperor Domitianus (Raban, 1999). The wreck was positioned on the harbor breakwater, indicating that this portion of the structure must have been submerged to allow a ship to run-up and founder on top (Raban, 1999; Fig. 3B). Because Josephus praised the harbor in grand terms and referred to it as a functioning entity around A.D. 75-79, and yet portions of the breakwater were submerged by A.D. 83-96, we conclude that there was a rapid deterioration and submergence of the harbor, probably through seismic activity.
    - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

  • The submergence of the outer harbor break-waters at the end of the first century A.D. could have also been due to seismic liquefaction of the sediment. Excavations have shown that the harbor breakwaters were constructed on well-sorted sand that could have undergone liquefaction with seismic activity. In many instances the caissons are tilted (15°-20° from horizontal; Raban et al., 1999a) and at different elevations, which could be due to differential settling (area K; Fig. 1). However, the tilting could also be due to undercutting by current scour from large-scale storms (or tsunamis) and not exclusively seismic activity. Our data from the inner harbor cannot definitively ascribe the destruction of the harbor at the end of the first century A.D. to a seismic event, although some of the data support this conclusion. However, regardless of the exact mechanism, our sedimentological evidence from the inner harbor and the remains of the late first century A.D. shipwreck indicate that the submergence of the outer breakwater occurred early in the life of the harbor and was more rapid and extensive than previously thought. - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

Tsunami Offshore Caesarea


Description

  • Although Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) and earlier researchers associated a 1st - 2nd century CE tsunamite deposit from offshore Caesarea with the Trajan quake of ~115 CE, this association is unlikely. Salamon et al (2011) noted that the presence of a tsunami far south of the supposed epicenter of the Trajan Quake does not fit the usual pattern of tsunamis on the Israeli coast where most tsunamis which hit the coast were generated by ruptures more or less opposite to the coast (e.g. from the Cypriot and Hellenic Arcs). While Salamon et al (2011) suggested a storm surge as a possibility, the work of Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) and earlier publications appears to preclude this as they used a host of indicators to seperate storm surge deposits from tsunamite deposits. I propose that an offshore shelf collapse potentially due to the Incense Road Earthquake of the early 2nd century CE as a likely cause.

  • Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) examined and dated cores taken seaward of the harbor and identified 2 tsunamite deposits (see Tsunamogenic Evidence) including one which dates to to the 1st-2nd century CE. Although, it is tempting to correlate the 1st-2nd century CE tsunamite deposits of Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) to the L4 destruction phase identified in the harbor ( Reinhardt and Raban, 1999), the chronologies presented by Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) suffer from some imprecision due to the usual paucity of dating material that one encounters with cores. Further, the harbor subsidence and breakwater degradation dated by Reinhardt and Raban (1999) may not have been caused by seismic activity. If it was related to seismic activity, the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Quake is a better candidate than the 115 CE Trajan Quake because it would have produced higher intensities in Caesarea.

  • 4.5.2. Sedimentological Findings at Sea Presented as Indicators of a Tsunami

    The core issue in tsunami sedimentology is to distinguish tsunami deposits from beach or storm deposits. Marine fauna and marine deposits found in low-lying, lagoonal water bodies near the coast are often used as paleo tsunami indicators, and so is the presence of large boulders on a rocky coast, away from the sea [42,83,84]. Identifying offshore tsunami deposits is more challenging. It has been less practiced, as there are very few analogies for comparison and it is hard to distinguish them from storm deposits [10,42,83]. A comprehensive study conducted by Mariner et al. [84] analyzed hundreds of published records of tsunami events in the Mediterranean and proposed that 90% of them are problematic and need to be re-examined.

    4.5.3. Outside the Harbor

    At a water depth of 10–12 m offshore, Reinhardt et al. (area W, [42]) identified beds of small angular shell fragments and potsherds dated from the 1st century BCE to the 1st century CE that were overlain by a layer of convex-up-oriented disarticulated bivalve shells. Relying on the fragmentation patterns and stratigraphy of the shells, the authors assumed that these shells could be related to the 115 CE tsunami deposits. Reinhardt et al. [42] also reported on the presence of articulated Glycymeris shells in the tsunami deposit, and suggested that these shells indicate transport from the deeper shelf, as the shallowest habitation depth for these bivalves is 18 m. However, no evidence for the presence of such articulated Glycymeris shells in the discussed deposits have ever been presented or published. Furthermore, Meinis et al. [85] noted that Glycymeris sp. (especially G. insubrica or violescens) were very common along the Israeli coast over long periods. They existed at different depths in a coastal environment (e.g., 8–16 m depth) and even at 200 m water depth. In the Adriatic Sea, their habitat was reported to be at a water depth of 2–40 m [86]. Moreover, Reinhardt et al. [42] give no explanation of how these articulated mollusks survived what they describe as the “ . . . intense wave turbulence, shell-to-shell impacts, and shells striking the harbor moles or bedrock under high wave energy, as generated by a tsunami”. Given the above, there is nothing special in finding G. insubrica in sea bed sediments which are shallower than 18 m. The existence of articulated Glycymeris bivalves in the discased Caesarea deposits is yet to be proven, while the preservation of such articulated shells under a catastrophic tsunami that was assumed to destroy the Roman Harbor, is still to be explained.

    As noted above, it is difficult to distinguish between tsunami and storm deposits [83,84,87,88]. Sakuna et al. [89] noted the difficulty in identifying the shallow-marine tsunami deposits associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami based on sedimentological evidence. Tamura et al. [10], who study the 2011 tsunami in Japan, concluded that this tsunami (“one of the largest modern tsunamis in the last 1200 years”) did not produce distinct sedimentary records in Sendai Bay. He also stated that there are no established unequivocal criteria for identifying shallow marine tsunami deposits and that it is impossible to identify the associated deposits at sea, since they are not preserved and might have been mixed by storms [10]. Their results agree with the suggestions of Weiss and Bahlburg [90] that the offshore tsunami deposits are unlikely to be preserved at depths shallower than 65 m. In this regard, the deposits identified by Reinhardt et al. [42] as the result of the 115 tsunami that is supposed to have destroyed the harbor, are questionable, as are the three reflected sub-bottom layers identified by Goodman-Tchernov and Austin [9] as tsunami features.
    - Galili et al (2021:16-17,20)

Tsunami Harbor



Description

  • The first to second century A.D. basal rubble unit (L4) was found on the carbonate cemented sandstone bedrock (locally known as kurkar) and was characteristic of a high-energy water deposit (Fig. 2). The rubble was framework supported with little surrounding matrix and composed mainly of cobble-sized material, which was well rounded, heavily encrusted (e.g., bryozoans, calcareous algae), and bored (Lithophaga lithophaga, Cliona) on its upper surface. The rubble had variable lithologies including basalts, gabbros, and dolomites, all of which are absent on the Israeli coastal plain and were likely transported to the site as ship ballast (probably from Cyprus). The surrounding matrix was composed of shell material (mainly Glycymeris insubricus), pebbles, and coarse sand. The pottery sherds found in this unit were well rounded, encrusted, and dated to the first to second century A.D. The date for this unit and its sedimentological characters clearly records the existence of high-energy conditions within the inner harbor about 100-200 yr after the harbor was built. This evidence of high-energy water conditions indicates that the outer harbor breakwaters must have been severely degraded by this time to allow waves to penetrate the inner confines of the harbor (Fig. 3, A and B).

    Indication of the rapid destruction of the outer harbor breakwaters toward the end of the first century A.D. is derived from additional data recovered from the outer harbor. In the 1993 season, a late first century A.D. shipwreck was found on the southern submerged breakwater. The merchant ship was carrying lead ingots that were narrowly dated to A.D. 83-96 based on the inscription "IMP.DOMIT.CAESARIS.AUG.GER." which refers to the Roman Emperor Domitianus (Raban, 1999). The wreck was positioned on the harbor breakwater, indicating that this portion of the structure must have been submerged to allow a ship to run-up and founder on top (Raban, 1999; Fig. 3B). Because Josephus praised the harbor in grand terms and referred to it as a functioning entity around A.D. 75-79, and yet portions of the breakwater were submerged by A.D. 83-96, we conclude that there was a rapid deterioration and submergence of the harbor, probably through seismic activity.
    - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

  • The submergence of the outer harbor break-waters at the end of the first century A.D. could have also been due to seismic liquefaction of the sediment. Excavations have shown that the harbor breakwaters were constructed on well-sorted sand that could have undergone liquefaction with seismic activity. In many instances the caissons are tilted (15°-20° from horizontal; Raban et al., 1999a) and at different elevations, which could be due to differential settling (area K; Fig. 1). However, the tilting could also be due to undercutting by current scour from large-scale storms (or tsunamis) and not exclusively seismic activity. Our data from the inner harbor cannot definitively ascribe the destruction of the harbor at the end of the first century A.D. to a seismic event, although some of the data support this conclusion. However, regardless of the exact mechanism, our sedimentological evidence from the inner harbor and the remains of the late first century A.D. shipwreck indicate that the submergence of the outer breakwater occurred early in the life of the harbor and was more rapid and extensive than previously thought. - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

  • 4.5.4. Tsunami Deposits in the Eastern (Inner) Basin

    Excavations in the eastern basin [40] yielded a thin layer of sediments from the 1st to 2nd centuries CE, overlain by a deposit of mixed sediments. They determined that in the 1st century, and evidently up to the 3rd century CE, the prevailing conditions in the eastern basin were of a brackish body of water with good circulation. Thus, the inner harbor seems to have been in use after 115 CE. The mixed sediment deposits discovered in the eastern basin was attributed by Reinhardt and Raban [40] to cleaning and deepening of the harbor in early periods. The proposed main mechanisms for the destruction of the harbor in the study by Reinhardt and Raban [40] were the seismic and tectonic scenarios. Later, however, after reassessing the finds in light of the available new studies on tsunamis, the tectonic and seismic scenarios, as well as the dredging deposit hypothesis, gave way to the 115 CE tsunami scenario [42].

    - Galili et al (2021:16-17,20)

Fallen port architecture harbor


Description

  • At the very deepest spot where the airlift penetrated, beneath huge stone blocks which teetered precariously above the divers' heads, was uncovered a large wooden beam. Beneath its protective cover the divers found the only whole amphora of our dig. This proved to be a second century Roman vessel. The fact that it was found under the tumbled beam and masonry would indicate that these things were catapulted into the sea at the same time. Since there is a strong earthquake recorded in the area of Caesarea in the year A.D. 130 [JW: this refers to the Eusebius Mystery Quake - could also be Incense Road Quake], it may possibly be that the harbor installations of Herod were destroyed at that time. - Fritsch and Ben-Dor (1961)

mid 8th century CE Earthquake

Effect Location Image(s) Description
Tsunami                   Offshore Caesarea and Jisr al-Zikra



Description

  • Goodman-Tchernov et al (2009) identified tsunamites in cores taken immediately offshore of the harbor of Caesarea which Goodman-Tchenov and Austin (2015) dated to the 5th - 8th century CE and associated with tsunamis generated by the Beirut Quake of 551 CE and one of the Sabbatical Year Quakes. Although earlier works assigned this 5th - 8th century tsunamite deposit solely to the Beirut Quake of 551 CE, later revisions assigned this offshore deposit mostly to one of the Sabbatical Year Quakes with the suggestion that the Sabbatical Year Quake tsunami deposit contained some reworked tsunamites from the Beirut Quake of 551 CE. The revision may be based on the analysis of re-interpreted landward tsunami deposits (see Fig. 14 above from Galili et. al., 2021) which were dated by Dey et al (2014) to around the time of the Sabbatical Year Quakes. The chronology of the cores was determined using an assemblage of ceramic finds, radiocarbon, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. Multiple indicators were used to distinguish tsunami deposits from storm deposits. Particle size distributions were shown to be particularly helpful and reliable. Tsunami horizons were characterized by a wider range of grain sizes and poorer sorting.

    Although efforts to distinguish two tsunami events in the 5th-8th century tsunamogenic deposit by coring in deeper water where an intervening layer, for example, might be present are reported in publications such as Dey et al (2014), this has not yet, to my knowledge, been accomplished. Tsunamogenic evidence for for an event in the mid 8th century CE (e.g. the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Quakes) is better supported than for the 551 CE Beirut Quake although it is possible that both earthquakes generated a tsunami which struck Caesarea.

  • Tyuleneva et. al. (2017) identified what appears to be the same tsunamite in a core (Jisr al-Zarka 6) taken offshore of nearby Jisr al-Zakra. This core was located ~1.5-4.5 km. north of the Caesarea cores. The tsunamite deposit from Jisr al-Zarka was more tightly dated to 658-781 CE (1292-1169 Cal BP) – within the time window for the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Earthquake sequence.

Tsunami Harbor



Description

  • Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) produced a description of a potential tsunami deposit in the shallow intermediate harbor.
    In excavations of the shallow intermediate harbor (TN area, Fig. 1C; Reinhardt and Raban, 2008:155-182 ), there is an extensive deposit of mixed (Early Islamic- Byzantine–4th to 8th century CE) refuse, ranging from high-value intricate items of varying erosion state and exposure—suggesting broad mixing of typical harbor refuse (e.g., broken amphora/pots) and newly introduced, undamaged domestic wares and personal items (e.g., intricate hair combs, fine sections of Islamic coins, statuette, a satchel of copper coins). Unlike other harbor deposits, these materials are of broad origin (domestic, commercial, religious), value range and preservation state, suggesting the kind of non-deliberate and rapid burial a tsunami event would produce. In addition, because the ages of the ceramics found in this excavation range from early Islamic to late Byzantine (6th through 8th centuries CE), no distinctive stratigraphy offshore today separates what may have been two distinct tsunami events.
    Dey and Goodman-Tchernov (2010:278) reported on potential 6th century CE tsunami deposits in the inner and outer harbors.
    The inner harbour was blanketed with a thick deposit of heterogeneous rubble, including bones and other organic remains, pottery, and architectural materials.63 Meanwhile, in the outer harbour, a powerful scouring effect mixed materials datable from the 1st c. B.C. to the 6th c. A.D. into a single, undifferentiated mass, further undermined the breakwaters, and cut a trench into the channel between the outer moles.64 The signs from both the inner and outer harbour are dramatic enough to have led previous commentators already to propose the tsunami of 551 as a possible cause.65

    Footnotes

    [63] Raban 1996, 662; Yule and Barham 1999, 277-78; Reinhardt and Raban 2008, 177-78.

    [64] Reinhardt and Raban 2008, 178-79.

    [65] See, e.g., Raban 1996, 662; Yule and Barham 1999, 277-78; Reinhardt and Raban 2008, 177-78.

Collapsed Vault or Walls, Tsunami, and a Fire Area LL








Description

Site LL is located just north of Caesarea's inner harbour. Ad et al (2018) excavated the site which was in use from the Herodian period to the Umayyad period. A storage structure (aka "the warehouse") was identified in the western part of the site which appears to have been constructed in Herodian times and remained in use, as it underwent changes, until the middle of the Umayyad period (~700 CE). After the Islamic conquest of Caesarea (640 CE), rooms were partitioned, floors were raised, construction was added and some of the openings were sealed. Ceramics indicate that the site was abandoned at the end of the 7th century CE after which it suffered two major destruction events before re-occupation occurred in the mid 8th century CE in what was interpreted as Abbasid Strata V (the Abbasid Caliphate began ruling in 750 CE). During the renewed Abbasid occupation, destruction debris were preserved as the builders preferred to level the area and build above the destruction layer(s). The destruction events within Stratum VI (Umayyad) appear to be an earthquake and a tsunami; both likely a result of the the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Quake sequence.

Ad et al (2018) report that during the earthquake event several ceilings collapsed inward, and there was evidence of a fire in the eastern warehouse.1 In the collapse in the corridor, the original order of the courses of the wall or vault could be clearly identified (Fig. 8) adding confidence to a seismic interpretation. During the subsequent tsunami event, a layer of sand and collapsed building stones had accumulated to a height of more than 2 m in Rooms 8–11 in the western warehouse and to a height of 1.5 m in Rooms 12–14 and the corridor of the eastern warehouse. Everhardt et. al. (2023) further examined the destruction deposits by taking cores and radiocarbon samples as well as examining burn evidence and a baulk inside the collapsed corridor.

The cores (C1 and C2) were taken in the collapsed corridor after the Abbasid floor was removed, thus sampling the destruction deposits. See Fig. 1E for location of the cores (and southern baulk) and Fig. 3 for photos and descriptions of the cores and the southern baulk. A ~20 mg. charcoal sample from the top 3 cm of sediment in the Umayyad archaeological fill and one untreated sample of various organic material (~20 mg) from the top 5 cm of the same layer in core C1, as close as possible to the contact with the lower anomalous deposit, were collected for radiocarbon dating. Everhardt et. al. (2023:14-15) report that radiocarbon dates of charcoal and organic material from the upper contact of the Umayyad archaeological deposit (Unit C) range from 605 to 779 CE2 which is in agreement with the phasing of Ad et al (2018) and compatible with destruction layers that were deposited in 749 CE.

Cores C1 and C2 were sampled and analyzed for grain size distribution, foraminiferal assemblage, total organic carbon (TOC), and Inorganic Carbon (IC). An additional 13 surface surface samples, including from storm surge deposits, were also collected, analyzed, and compared with the analysis of the Cores and Southern Baulk in order to help distinguish if a tsunami deposit was indicated in the cores and baulk. Portable-Optically Stimulated Luminescence (P-OSL) dating was also performed on the cores. Four sedimentary units (A-D) were identified in the two cores are were described as follows :

Unit Alias Description Interpretation
A ‘anomalous’ deposit clean, loose quartz sand with no sedimentary structures or cultural artifacts. tsunami deposit
B same sediment as Unit A but with additions of several marine-encrusted potsherds and reddened, partially heat-fused sand clusters. earthquake and fire debris mixed with a tsunami deposit
C 'Umayyad archaeological fill' a dark gray/brown (10YR 6/2), organic-rich layer with many cultural artifacts, including potsherds, glass shards, shells, beach pebbles, charcoal, and bone fragments. Post abandonment deposition from the latter half of the Umayyad period - typical of an ancient garbage dump
D compact earthen floor Umayyad or earlier floor
Everhardt et. al. (2023) interpreted ‘anomalous’ deposit Unit A as tsunamogenic primarily based on grain size distribution and an abundance of foraminifera along with other indicators. As for Unit B, they noted that the reddened, partially heat-fused sand clusters were in agreement with the presence of reddened in-situ building blocks along the intact eastern wall of the room (and elsewhere along the walls) which indicated that a fire took place before the tsunami struck. They also noted an abundance of charcoal found in the upper Umayyad archaeological fill. They viewed the presence of marine-encrusted potsherds as an indicator that these inclusions were previously submerged in the marine system long enough for the encrustation to take place, suggesting that they were transported from the sea to land at the time of the event which in turn could indicate that the tsunami water and deposits extinguished the fire.

Everhardt et. al. (2023) proposed that the lower southern baulk was also a tsunamogenic deposit related to 'anomalous" deposit Unit A in the cores.
Footnotes

1 Everhardt et. al. (2023:5) reports that fire-reddened walls (see inset of Figure 2C) were found at the same level as the destruction layer(s).

2 Everhardt et. al. (2023:14-15) described the radiocarbon samples as follows:

A single piece of charcoal from the surface of the Umayyad archaeological fill (Unit C) in core C1 has been radiocarbon dated with 95.4% probability to 649–687 cal CE (73.5%) or 743–773 cal CE (22.0%), consistent with the archaeological finds. A second radiocarbon age was measured on a mix of small organic materials from the same layer as the previous charcoal sample, with a result of 605–665 cal CE (95.4% probability).

Tsunami deposit ? Terraced Gardens



Description

  • In addition, there appears to be evidence of landward tsunami deposits. After the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, Caesarea depopulated. In the late 7th or early 8th century CE, the coastal strip south of where the Crusaders would later build their fortifications was transformed into lush terraced gardens irrigated by wells and cisterns ( Dey et al, 2014). Marine layers found on top of these gardens included Glycymeris, a non-edible deeper water bivalve. Atop the marine layer was, in some areas, a burial ground with a funerary inscription providing a terminus ante quem of 870 CE. A terminus post quem of c. 500 came from a reflecting pool fronting the Temple platform and overlain by the marine layer. Dey et al (2014) suggest that the most likely explanation for the transformation from gardens to burial ground was an intervening episode of tsunamogenic destruction. They discussed the potential landward tsunamogenic deposit as follows:
    The most substantial strata attributable to a marine inundation of mid-8th-c. date appeared in the SW sector, along the coastal strip south of the Crusader fortifications. Extensive tracts of these deposits between the temple platform and the theater, a shore-parallel distance of nearly 800 m, were uncovered (and removed, usually mechanically) in the 1970s and early 1980s under the auspices of the Joint Expedition (JECM). The bulk of the deposits lay in a shallow depression situated c.10 m above mean sea-level (MSL) and separated from the sea by a low ridge 15 m above MSL. From the landward side of the ridge, beginning c.50 m from the shore, these marine layers stretched inland as far as 300 m from the sea. 14 They comprised two distinct, superimposed sequences, each consisting of a thick, lower layer of densely-bedded (and in some cases imbricated) shells, rubble and sherds up to 1.5 m thick, topped by a dark, silty layer 20-40 cm thick. Datable materials in the second, upper sequence placed its formation around the 14th c. 15 In the lower sequence, dated by the excavators approximately to the 8th c. on the basis of finds, numerous disarticulated human remains turned up, as well as at least one complete skeleton in Area C, interbedded with the surrounding strata of shells and silt. 16 Like the rest of the materials, this corpse was probably deposited by a (cataclysmic) natural event. As D. Neev and K. Emery indicated in their report, there were no signs of a man-made grave, and the surrounding horizontal strata were uninterrupted above and below the skeleton; such 'culturally non-appropriate burials' are now recognized as a typical feature of tsunami deposits.17 The most likely scenario would have corpses deposited by the retreating waters of the tsunami and immediately covered with more detritus, keeping the articulated skeleton undisturbed by scavenging animals or human intervention.

  • Excavations carried out on the coast of Caesarea yielded deposits which were associated with 6th and 8th century CE tsunami events (Figure 14) - Galili et al (2021:16-17,20)

Collapse and debris Area TPS, on the S side of the Temple Platform and the octagonal church on the platform

Description

  • At Caesarea, the best evidence of destruction attributable to the 749 earthquake comes from Area TPS, on the S side of the Temple Platform, where a thick layer of debris marks the end of the Umayyad occupation of the Late Byzantine bath complex, which was subsequently mulled and built over in the later 8th century - see Raban and Yankelevitz (2008:81) and Arnon (2008:85). Another probable effect of the earthquake was the collapse of the octagonal church on the platform - see Holum et al (2008:30-31). - Dey et al (2014)

Tsunami Surge Maps
mid 8th century CE Earthquake

  • Area LL
  • Beverly Goodman-Tchernov (personal communication, 2023) suggests that the earthquake did not leave a directional signature of damage and collapse largely because site LL experienced liquefaction during this earthquake but the impact of the tsunami did leave a directional signature as shown below
  • Fig. 8 from Everhardt et. al. (2023)
Figure 8

Tsunami corridor. Based on the damage to the southern and southwestern walls and orientation of the collapsed building stones, the dominant destruction came from the southern harbor facing side of the corridor.

Everhardt et. al. (2023)

Intensity Estimates
Late 1st/ Early 2nd century CE Earthquake

Effect Location Image(s) Description Intensity
Liquefaction and Subsidence outer harbor breakwater



Description

  • The first to second century A.D. basal rubble unit (L4) was found on the carbonate cemented sandstone bedrock (locally known as kurkar) and was characteristic of a high-energy water deposit (Fig. 2). The rubble was framework supported with little surrounding matrix and composed mainly of cobble-sized material, which was well rounded, heavily encrusted (e.g., bryozoans, calcareous algae), and bored (Lithophaga lithophaga, Cliona) on its upper surface. The rubble had variable lithologies including basalts, gabbros, and dolomites, all of which are absent on the Israeli coastal plain and were likely transported to the site as ship ballast (probably from Cyprus). The surrounding matrix was composed of shell material (mainly Glycymeris insubricus), pebbles, and coarse sand. The pottery sherds found in this unit were well rounded, encrusted, and dated to the first to second century A.D. The date for this unit and its sedimentological characters clearly records the existence of high-energy conditions within the inner harbor about 100-200 yr after the harbor was built. This evidence of high-energy water conditions indicates that the outer harbor breakwaters must have been severely degraded by this time to allow waves to penetrate the inner confines of the harbor (Fig. 3, A and B).

    Indication of the rapid destruction of the outer harbor breakwaters toward the end of the first century A.D. is derived from additional data recovered from the outer harbor. In the 1993 season, a late first century A.D. shipwreck was found on the southern submerged breakwater. The merchant ship was carrying lead ingots that were narrowly dated to A.D. 83-96 based on the inscription "IMP.DOMIT.CAESARIS.AUG.GER." which refers to the Roman Emperor Domitianus (Raban, 1999). The wreck was positioned on the harbor breakwater, indicating that this portion of the structure must have been submerged to allow a ship to run-up and founder on top (Raban, 1999; Fig. 3B). Because Josephus praised the harbor in grand terms and referred to it as a functioning entity around A.D. 75-79, and yet portions of the breakwater were submerged by A.D. 83-96, we conclude that there was a rapid deterioration and submergence of the harbor, probably through seismic activity.
    - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

  • The submergence of the outer harbor break-waters at the end of the first century A.D. could have also been due to seismic liquefaction of the sediment. Excavations have shown that the harbor breakwaters were constructed on well-sorted sand that could have undergone liquefaction with seismic activity. In many instances the caissons are tilted (15°-20° from horizontal; Raban et al., 1999a) and at different elevations, which could be due to differential settling (area K; Fig. 1). However, the tilting could also be due to undercutting by current scour from large-scale storms (or tsunamis) and not exclusively seismic activity. Our data from the inner harbor cannot definitively ascribe the destruction of the harbor at the end of the first century A.D. to a seismic event, although some of the data support this conclusion. However, regardless of the exact mechanism, our sedimentological evidence from the inner harbor and the remains of the late first century A.D. shipwreck indicate that the submergence of the outer breakwater occurred early in the life of the harbor and was more rapid and extensive than previously thought. - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

VI-VII+
Tsunami Offshore Caesarea


Description

  • Although Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) and earlier researchers associated a 1st - 2nd century CE tsunamite deposit from offshore Caesarea with the Trajan quake of ~115 CE, this association is unlikely. Salamon et al (2011) noted that the presence of a tsunami far south of the supposed epicenter of the Trajan Quake does not fit the usual pattern of tsunamis on the Israeli coast where most tsunamis which hit the coast were generated by ruptures more or less opposite to the coast (e.g. from the Cypriot and Hellenic Arcs). While Salamon et al (2011) suggested a storm surge as a possibility, the work of Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) and earlier publications appears to preclude this as they used a host of indicators to seperate storm surge deposits from tsunamite deposits. I propose that an offshore shelf collapse potentially due to the Incense Road Earthquake of the early 2nd century CE as a likely cause.

  • Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) examined and dated cores taken seaward of the harbor and identified 2 tsunamite deposits (see Tsunamogenic Evidence) including one which dates to to the 1st-2nd century CE. Although, it is tempting to correlate the 1st-2nd century CE tsunamite deposits of Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) to the L4 destruction phase identified in the harbor ( Reinhardt and Raban, 1999), the chronologies presented by Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) suffer from some imprecision due to the usual paucity of dating material that one encounters with cores. Further, the harbor subsidence and breakwater degradation dated by Reinhardt and Raban (1999) may not have been caused by seismic activity. If it was related to seismic activity, the early 2nd century CE Incense Road Quake is a better candidate than the 115 CE Trajan Quake because it would have produced higher intensities in Caesarea.

  • 4.5.2. Sedimentological Findings at Sea Presented as Indicators of a Tsunami

    The core issue in tsunami sedimentology is to distinguish tsunami deposits from beach or storm deposits. Marine fauna and marine deposits found in low-lying, lagoonal water bodies near the coast are often used as paleo tsunami indicators, and so is the presence of large boulders on a rocky coast, away from the sea [42,83,84]. Identifying offshore tsunami deposits is more challenging. It has been less practiced, as there are very few analogies for comparison and it is hard to distinguish them from storm deposits [10,42,83]. A comprehensive study conducted by Mariner et al. [84] analyzed hundreds of published records of tsunami events in the Mediterranean and proposed that 90% of them are problematic and need to be re-examined.

    4.5.3. Outside the Harbor

    At a water depth of 10–12 m offshore, Reinhardt et al. (area W, [42]) identified beds of small angular shell fragments and potsherds dated from the 1st century BCE to the 1st century CE that were overlain by a layer of convex-up-oriented disarticulated bivalve shells. Relying on the fragmentation patterns and stratigraphy of the shells, the authors assumed that these shells could be related to the 115 CE tsunami deposits. Reinhardt et al. [42] also reported on the presence of articulated Glycymeris shells in the tsunami deposit, and suggested that these shells indicate transport from the deeper shelf, as the shallowest habitation depth for these bivalves is 18 m. However, no evidence for the presence of such articulated Glycymeris shells in the discussed deposits have ever been presented or published. Furthermore, Meinis et al. [85] noted that Glycymeris sp. (especially G. insubrica or violescens) were very common along the Israeli coast over long periods. They existed at different depths in a coastal environment (e.g., 8–16 m depth) and even at 200 m water depth. In the Adriatic Sea, their habitat was reported to be at a water depth of 2–40 m [86]. Moreover, Reinhardt et al. [42] give no explanation of how these articulated mollusks survived what they describe as the “ . . . intense wave turbulence, shell-to-shell impacts, and shells striking the harbor moles or bedrock under high wave energy, as generated by a tsunami”. Given the above, there is nothing special in finding G. insubrica in sea bed sediments which are shallower than 18 m. The existence of articulated Glycymeris bivalves in the discased Caesarea deposits is yet to be proven, while the preservation of such articulated shells under a catastrophic tsunami that was assumed to destroy the Roman Harbor, is still to be explained.

    As noted above, it is difficult to distinguish between tsunami and storm deposits [83,84,87,88]. Sakuna et al. [89] noted the difficulty in identifying the shallow-marine tsunami deposits associated with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami based on sedimentological evidence. Tamura et al. [10], who study the 2011 tsunami in Japan, concluded that this tsunami (“one of the largest modern tsunamis in the last 1200 years”) did not produce distinct sedimentary records in Sendai Bay. He also stated that there are no established unequivocal criteria for identifying shallow marine tsunami deposits and that it is impossible to identify the associated deposits at sea, since they are not preserved and might have been mixed by storms [10]. Their results agree with the suggestions of Weiss and Bahlburg [90] that the offshore tsunami deposits are unlikely to be preserved at depths shallower than 65 m. In this regard, the deposits identified by Reinhardt et al. [42] as the result of the 115 tsunami that is supposed to have destroyed the harbor, are questionable, as are the three reflected sub-bottom layers identified by Goodman-Tchernov and Austin [9] as tsunami features.
    - Galili et al (2021:16-17,20)

IX +
Tsunami Harbor



Description

  • The first to second century A.D. basal rubble unit (L4) was found on the carbonate cemented sandstone bedrock (locally known as kurkar) and was characteristic of a high-energy water deposit (Fig. 2). The rubble was framework supported with little surrounding matrix and composed mainly of cobble-sized material, which was well rounded, heavily encrusted (e.g., bryozoans, calcareous algae), and bored (Lithophaga lithophaga, Cliona) on its upper surface. The rubble had variable lithologies including basalts, gabbros, and dolomites, all of which are absent on the Israeli coastal plain and were likely transported to the site as ship ballast (probably from Cyprus). The surrounding matrix was composed of shell material (mainly Glycymeris insubricus), pebbles, and coarse sand. The pottery sherds found in this unit were well rounded, encrusted, and dated to the first to second century A.D. The date for this unit and its sedimentological characters clearly records the existence of high-energy conditions within the inner harbor about 100-200 yr after the harbor was built. This evidence of high-energy water conditions indicates that the outer harbor breakwaters must have been severely degraded by this time to allow waves to penetrate the inner confines of the harbor (Fig. 3, A and B).

    Indication of the rapid destruction of the outer harbor breakwaters toward the end of the first century A.D. is derived from additional data recovered from the outer harbor. In the 1993 season, a late first century A.D. shipwreck was found on the southern submerged breakwater. The merchant ship was carrying lead ingots that were narrowly dated to A.D. 83-96 based on the inscription "IMP.DOMIT.CAESARIS.AUG.GER." which refers to the Roman Emperor Domitianus (Raban, 1999). The wreck was positioned on the harbor breakwater, indicating that this portion of the structure must have been submerged to allow a ship to run-up and founder on top (Raban, 1999; Fig. 3B). Because Josephus praised the harbor in grand terms and referred to it as a functioning entity around A.D. 75-79, and yet portions of the breakwater were submerged by A.D. 83-96, we conclude that there was a rapid deterioration and submergence of the harbor, probably through seismic activity.
    - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

  • The submergence of the outer harbor break-waters at the end of the first century A.D. could have also been due to seismic liquefaction of the sediment. Excavations have shown that the harbor breakwaters were constructed on well-sorted sand that could have undergone liquefaction with seismic activity. In many instances the caissons are tilted (15°-20° from horizontal; Raban et al., 1999a) and at different elevations, which could be due to differential settling (area K; Fig. 1). However, the tilting could also be due to undercutting by current scour from large-scale storms (or tsunamis) and not exclusively seismic activity. Our data from the inner harbor cannot definitively ascribe the destruction of the harbor at the end of the first century A.D. to a seismic event, although some of the data support this conclusion. However, regardless of the exact mechanism, our sedimentological evidence from the inner harbor and the remains of the late first century A.D. shipwreck indicate that the submergence of the outer breakwater occurred early in the life of the harbor and was more rapid and extensive than previously thought. - Reinhardt and Raban (1999)

  • 4.5.4. Tsunami Deposits in the Eastern (Inner) Basin

    Excavations in the eastern basin [40] yielded a thin layer of sediments from the 1st to 2nd centuries CE, overlain by a deposit of mixed sediments. They determined that in the 1st century, and evidently up to the 3rd century CE, the prevailing conditions in the eastern basin were of a brackish body of water with good circulation. Thus, the inner harbor seems to have been in use after 115 CE. The mixed sediment deposits discovered in the eastern basin was attributed by Reinhardt and Raban [40] to cleaning and deepening of the harbor in early periods. The proposed main mechanisms for the destruction of the harbor in the study by Reinhardt and Raban [40] were the seismic and tectonic scenarios. Later, however, after reassessing the finds in light of the available new studies on tsunamis, the tectonic and seismic scenarios, as well as the dredging deposit hypothesis, gave way to the 115 CE tsunami scenario [42].

    - Galili et al (2021:16-17,20)

IX +
Fallen port architecture harbor


Description

  • At the very deepest spot where the airlift penetrated, beneath huge stone blocks which teetered precariously above the divers' heads, was uncovered a large wooden beam. Beneath its protective cover the divers found the only whole amphora of our dig. This proved to be a second century Roman vessel. The fact that it was found under the tumbled beam and masonry would indicate that these things were catapulted into the sea at the same time. Since there is a strong earthquake recorded in the area of Caesarea in the year A.D. 130 [JW: this refers to the Eusebius Mystery Quake - could also be Incense Road Quake], it may possibly be that the harbor installations of Herod were destroyed at that time. - Fritsch and Ben-Dor (1961)

VIII +
Although the archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of IX (9) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224), such an Intensity would have leveled Caesarea and there is no accompanying evidence of damage to structures and massive rebuilding. An Intensity of IX (9) appears to be an over estimate and highlights the probability that tsunamogenic evidence in Caesarea was likely derived from either far field tsunamis or localized offshore shelf collapse. Potential Intensity is downgraded to VI (6), VII (7), or VIII (8).

mid 8th century CE Earthquake

Effect Location Image(s) Description Intensity
Tsunami                   Offshore Caesarea and Jisr al-Zikra



Description

  • Goodman-Tchernov et al (2009) identified tsunamites in cores taken immediately offshore of the harbor of Caesarea which Goodman-Tchenov and Austin (2015) dated to the 5th - 8th century CE and associated with tsunamis generated by the Beirut Quake of 551 CE and one of the Sabbatical Year Quakes. Although earlier works assigned this 5th - 8th century tsunamite deposit solely to the Beirut Quake of 551 CE, later revisions assigned this offshore deposit mostly to one of the Sabbatical Year Quakes with the suggestion that the Sabbatical Year Quake tsunami deposit contained some reworked tsunamites from the Beirut Quake of 551 CE. The revision may be based on the analysis of re-interpreted landward tsunami deposits (see Fig. 14 above from Galili et. al., 2021) which were dated by Dey et al (2014) to around the time of the Sabbatical Year Quakes. The chronology of the cores was determined using an assemblage of ceramic finds, radiocarbon, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. Multiple indicators were used to distinguish tsunami deposits from storm deposits. Particle size distributions were shown to be particularly helpful and reliable. Tsunami horizons were characterized by a wider range of grain sizes and poorer sorting.

    Although efforts to distinguish two tsunami events in the 5th-8th century tsunamogenic deposit by coring in deeper water where an intervening layer, for example, might be present are reported in publications such as Dey et al (2014), this has not yet, to my knowledge, been accomplished. Tsunamogenic evidence for for an event in the mid 8th century CE (e.g. the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Quakes) is better supported than for the 551 CE Beirut Quake although it is possible that both earthquakes generated a tsunami which struck Caesarea.

  • Tyuleneva et. al. (2017) identified what appears to be the same tsunamite in a core (Jisr al-Zarka 6) taken offshore of nearby Jisr al-Zakra. This core was located ~1.5-4.5 km. north of the Caesarea cores. The tsunamite deposit from Jisr al-Zarka was more tightly dated to 658-781 CE (1292-1169 Cal BP) – within the time window for the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Earthquake sequence.

IX +
Tsunami Harbor



Description

  • Goodman-Tchernov and Austin (2015) produced a description of a potential tsunami deposit in the shallow intermediate harbor.
    In excavations of the shallow intermediate harbor (TN area, Fig. 1C; Reinhardt and Raban, 2008:155-182 ), there is an extensive deposit of mixed (Early Islamic- Byzantine–4th to 8th century CE) refuse, ranging from high-value intricate items of varying erosion state and exposure—suggesting broad mixing of typical harbor refuse (e.g., broken amphora/pots) and newly introduced, undamaged domestic wares and personal items (e.g., intricate hair combs, fine sections of Islamic coins, statuette, a satchel of copper coins). Unlike other harbor deposits, these materials are of broad origin (domestic, commercial, religious), value range and preservation state, suggesting the kind of non-deliberate and rapid burial a tsunami event would produce. In addition, because the ages of the ceramics found in this excavation range from early Islamic to late Byzantine (6th through 8th centuries CE), no distinctive stratigraphy offshore today separates what may have been two distinct tsunami events.
    Dey and Goodman-Tchernov (2010:278) reported on potential 6th century CE tsunami deposits in the inner and outer harbors.
    The inner harbour was blanketed with a thick deposit of heterogeneous rubble, including bones and other organic remains, pottery, and architectural materials.63 Meanwhile, in the outer harbour, a powerful scouring effect mixed materials datable from the 1st c. B.C. to the 6th c. A.D. into a single, undifferentiated mass, further undermined the breakwaters, and cut a trench into the channel between the outer moles.64 The signs from both the inner and outer harbour are dramatic enough to have led previous commentators already to propose the tsunami of 551 as a possible cause.65

    Footnotes

    [63] Raban 1996, 662; Yule and Barham 1999, 277-78; Reinhardt and Raban 2008, 177-78.

    [64] Reinhardt and Raban 2008, 178-79.

    [65] See, e.g., Raban 1996, 662; Yule and Barham 1999, 277-78; Reinhardt and Raban 2008, 177-78.

IX +
Collapsed Vault or Walls, Tsunami, and a Fire Area LL








Description

Site LL is located just north of Caesarea's inner harbour. Ad et al (2018) excavated the site which was in use from the Herodian period to the Umayyad period. A storage structure (aka "the warehouse") was identified in the western part of the site which appears to have been constructed in Herodian times and remained in use, as it underwent changes, until the middle of the Umayyad period (~700 CE). After the Islamic conquest of Caesarea (640 CE), rooms were partitioned, floors were raised, construction was added and some of the openings were sealed. Ceramics indicate that the site was abandoned at the end of the 7th century CE after which it suffered two major destruction events before re-occupation occurred in the mid 8th century CE in what was interpreted as Abbasid Strata V (the Abbasid Caliphate began ruling in 750 CE). During the renewed Abbasid occupation, destruction debris were preserved as the builders preferred to level the area and build above the destruction layer(s). The destruction events within Stratum VI (Umayyad) appear to be an earthquake and a tsunami; both likely a result of the the Holy Desert Quake of the Sabbatical Year Quake sequence.

Ad et al (2018) report that during the earthquake event several ceilings collapsed inward, and there was evidence of a fire in the eastern warehouse.1 In the collapse in the corridor, the original order of the courses of the wall or vault could be clearly identified (Fig. 8) adding confidence to a seismic interpretation. During the subsequent tsunami event, a layer of sand and collapsed building stones had accumulated to a height of more than 2 m in Rooms 8–11 in the western warehouse and to a height of 1.5 m in Rooms 12–14 and the corridor of the eastern warehouse. Everhardt et. al. (2023) further examined the destruction deposits by taking cores and radiocarbon samples as well as examining burn evidence and a baulk inside the collapsed corridor.

The cores (C1 and C2) were taken in the collapsed corridor after the Abbasid floor was removed, thus sampling the destruction deposits. See Fig. 1E for location of the cores (and southern baulk) and Fig. 3 for photos and descriptions of the cores and the southern baulk. A ~20 mg. charcoal sample from the top 3 cm of sediment in the Umayyad archaeological fill and one untreated sample of various organic material (~20 mg) from the top 5 cm of the same layer in core C1, as close as possible to the contact with the lower anomalous deposit, were collected for radiocarbon dating. Everhardt et. al. (2023:14-15) report that radiocarbon dates of charcoal and organic material from the upper contact of the Umayyad archaeological deposit (Unit C) range from 605 to 779 CE2 which is in agreement with the phasing of Ad et al (2018) and compatible with destruction layers that were deposited in 749 CE.

Cores C1 and C2 were sampled and analyzed for grain size distribution, foraminiferal assemblage, total organic carbon (TOC), and Inorganic Carbon (IC). An additional 13 surface surface samples, including from storm surge deposits, were also collected, analyzed, and compared with the analysis of the Cores and Southern Baulk in order to help distinguish if a tsunami deposit was indicated in the cores and baulk. Portable-Optically Stimulated Luminescence (P-OSL) dating was also performed on the cores. Four sedimentary units (A-D) were identified in the two cores are were described as follows :

Unit Alias Description Interpretation
A ‘anomalous’ deposit clean, loose quartz sand with no sedimentary structures or cultural artifacts. tsunami deposit
B same sediment as Unit A but with additions of several marine-encrusted potsherds and reddened, partially heat-fused sand clusters. earthquake and fire debris mixed with a tsunami deposit
C 'Umayyad archaeological fill' a dark gray/brown (10YR 6/2), organic-rich layer with many cultural artifacts, including potsherds, glass shards, shells, beach pebbles, charcoal, and bone fragments. Post abandonment deposition from the latter half of the Umayyad period - typical of an ancient garbage dump
D compact earthen floor Umayyad or earlier floor
Everhardt et. al. (2023) interpreted ‘anomalous’ deposit Unit A as tsunamogenic primarily based on grain size distribution and an abundance of foraminifera along with other indicators. As for Unit B, they noted that the reddened, partially heat-fused sand clusters were in agreement with the presence of reddened in-situ building blocks along the intact eastern wall of the room (and elsewhere along the walls) which indicated that a fire took place before the tsunami struck. They also noted an abundance of charcoal found in the upper Umayyad archaeological fill. They viewed the presence of marine-encrusted potsherds as an indicator that these inclusions were previously submerged in the marine system long enough for the encrustation to take place, suggesting that they were transported from the sea to land at the time of the event which in turn could indicate that the tsunami water and deposits extinguished the fire.

Everhardt et. al. (2023) proposed that the lower southern baulk was also a tsunamogenic deposit related to 'anomalous" deposit Unit A in the cores.
Footnotes

1 Everhardt et. al. (2023:5) reports that fire-reddened walls (see inset of Figure 2C) were found at the same level as the destruction layer(s).

2 Everhardt et. al. (2023:14-15) described the radiocarbon samples as follows:

A single piece of charcoal from the surface of the Umayyad archaeological fill (Unit C) in core C1 has been radiocarbon dated with 95.4% probability to 649–687 cal CE (73.5%) or 743–773 cal CE (22.0%), consistent with the archaeological finds. A second radiocarbon age was measured on a mix of small organic materials from the same layer as the previous charcoal sample, with a result of 605–665 cal CE (95.4% probability).

VIII-IX +
Tsunami deposit ? Terraced Gardens



Description

  • In addition, there appears to be evidence of landward tsunami deposits. After the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, Caesarea depopulated. In the late 7th or early 8th century CE, the coastal strip south of where the Crusaders would later build their fortifications was transformed into lush terraced gardens irrigated by wells and cisterns ( Dey et al, 2014). Marine layers found on top of these gardens included Glycymeris, a non-edible deeper water bivalve. Atop the marine layer was, in some areas, a burial ground with a funerary inscription providing a terminus ante quem of 870 CE. A terminus post quem of c. 500 came from a reflecting pool fronting the Temple platform and overlain by the marine layer. Dey et al (2014) suggest that the most likely explanation for the transformation from gardens to burial ground was an intervening episode of tsunamogenic destruction. They discussed the potential landward tsunamogenic deposit as follows:
    The most substantial strata attributable to a marine inundation of mid-8th-c. date appeared in the SW sector, along the coastal strip south of the Crusader fortifications. Extensive tracts of these deposits between the temple platform and the theater, a shore-parallel distance of nearly 800 m, were uncovered (and removed, usually mechanically) in the 1970s and early 1980s under the auspices of the Joint Expedition (JECM). The bulk of the deposits lay in a shallow depression situated c.10 m above mean sea-level (MSL) and separated from the sea by a low ridge 15 m above MSL. From the landward side of the ridge, beginning c.50 m from the shore, these marine layers stretched inland as far as 300 m from the sea. 14 They comprised two distinct, superimposed sequences, each consisting of a thick, lower layer of densely-bedded (and in some cases imbricated) shells, rubble and sherds up to 1.5 m thick, topped by a dark, silty layer 20-40 cm thick. Datable materials in the second, upper sequence placed its formation around the 14th c. 15 In the lower sequence, dated by the excavators approximately to the 8th c. on the basis of finds, numerous disarticulated human remains turned up, as well as at least one complete skeleton in Area C, interbedded with the surrounding strata of shells and silt. 16 Like the rest of the materials, this corpse was probably deposited by a (cataclysmic) natural event. As D. Neev and K. Emery indicated in their report, there were no signs of a man-made grave, and the surrounding horizontal strata were uninterrupted above and below the skeleton; such 'culturally non-appropriate burials' are now recognized as a typical feature of tsunami deposits.17 The most likely scenario would have corpses deposited by the retreating waters of the tsunami and immediately covered with more detritus, keeping the articulated skeleton undisturbed by scavenging animals or human intervention.

  • Excavations carried out on the coast of Caesarea yielded deposits which were associated with 6th and 8th century CE tsunami events (Figure 14) - Galili et al (2021:16-17,20)

IX +
Collapse and debris Area TPS, on the S side of the Temple Platform and the octagonal church on the platform

Description

  • At Caesarea, the best evidence of destruction attributable to the 749 earthquake comes from Area TPS, on the S side of the Temple Platform, where a thick layer of debris marks the end of the Umayyad occupation of the Late Byzantine bath complex, which was subsequently mulled and built over in the later 8th century - see Raban and Yankelevitz (2008:81) and Arnon (2008:85). Another probable effect of the earthquake was the collapse of the octagonal church on the platform - see Holum et al (2008:30-31). - Dey et al (2014)

VIII +
Although the archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of IX (9) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224), such an Intensity would have leveled Caesarea and there is no accompanying evidence of widespread leveling of structures. An Intensity of IX (9) is a gross over estimate and highlights the probability that tsunamogenic evidence in Caesarea was likely derived from localized offshore shelf collapse. In addition, the possibility of liquefaction at Caesarea suggests that bedrock intensity could have been as low as VII (7) to create the seismic effects observed.

Notes and Further Reading
References

Articles and Books

‘Ad, U.; Kirzner, D., Shotten-Hallel, Vardit, and Gendelman, P., 2017, the Crusader Market. Preliminary Report; Hadashot Arkheologiyot

‘Ad, U.; Arbel, Y.; Gendelman, P. Caesarea, 2018, Area LL. 2018; Hadashot Arkheologiyot

Arnon, Y. D. 2008. Caesarea Maritima, the late periods (700-1291 CE) (BAR 51771; Oxford).

Dey, H., et al. (2014). "Archaeological evidence for the tsunami of January 18, A.D. 749: a chapter in the history of Early Islamic Qâysariyah (Caesarea Maritima)." Journal of Roman Archaeology 27: 357-373.

Everhardt, C. J., et al. (2023). "Earthquake, Fire, and Water: Destruction Sequence Identified in an 8th Century Early Islamic Harbor Warehouse in Caesarea, Israel." Geosciences 13(4): 108.

Fritsch, C. T. and I. Ben-Dor (1961). "The Link Expedition to Israel, 1960." The Biblical Archaeologist 24(2): 50-59.

Galili, E., et al. (2021). "Archaeological and Natural Indicators of Sea-Level and Coastal Changes: The Case Study of the Caesarea Roman Harbor." Geosciences (Switzerland) 11.

Langgut, D., Eli Yannai, Itamar Taxel, Amotz Agnon & Shmuel Marco (2016) Resolving a historical earthquake date at Tel Yavneh (central Israel) using pollen seasonality, Palynology, 40:2, 145-159

Mart and Perecman(1996). Caesarea: Unique Evidence for Faulting Patterns and Sea Level Fluctuations in the Late Holocene. Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Milennia. Leiden, Brill: 3-24.

Raban, A. (1996). The inner harbor basin of Caesarea: archaeological evidence for its gradual demise

Raban, A. and S. Yankelevitz 2008. "A Byzantine/Early Islamic bath on the S flank of the Temple Plat-form, excavations 1995," in Holum, Stabler and Reinhardt 2008, 67-84.

Reinhardt, E. G., et al. (2006). "The tsunami of 13 December A.D. 115 and the destruction of Herod the Great's harbor at Caesarea Maritima, Israel." Geology 34(12): 1061-1064.

Reinhardt, E. G. and A. Raban (1999). "Destruction of Herod the Great's harbor at Caesarea Maritima, Israel—Geoarchaeological evidence." Geology 27(9): 811-814.

Stabler, J, and K. Holum 2008. "The warehouse quarter (area LL) and the Temple Platform (area TP), 1996-2000 and 2002 seasons," in Holum, Stabler and Reinhardt 2008, 1-39.

Toombs (1978). The Stratigraphy of Caesarea Maritima. Archaeology in the Levant: Essays for Kathleen Kenyon. R. M. a. P. Parr. Warminster. England, Aris and Phillips: 233-232.

Whitcomb, D. (2011) “Qaysariya as an Early Islamic Settlement.” In Shaping the Middle East: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in an Age of Transition, 400-800 C.E.. (2011). United States: University Press of Maryland.

Whitcomb, D. (2016) “Notes for an archaeology of Muʿāwiya: material culture in the transitional period of believers.” In A. Borrut and F. M. Donner, eds. Christians and Others in the Umayyad State. (2016). United States: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Comprehensive Bibliography from Caesarea-Maritima.org
Bibliography from Stern et al (1993 v.1)

Main publications

L. Kadman, The Coins ofCaesarea Maritima (Corpus Nummorum Palaestinensium 2), Tel Aviv 1957

King Herod's Dream: Caesarea on the Sea (Exhibition Cat., Smithsonian Institution, eds. K. G. Holum et al.), New York 1988.

Other studies

Conder-Kitchener, SWP 2, 13-29

L. Haefeli, Caesarea am Meer, Miinster 1923; A. Reifenberg, IEJ l (1950-1951), 20-32

H. Hamburger, 'Atiqot l (1955), 115-138

8 (1968), l-38

id., IEJ9 (1959), 43-45

20 (1970), 81-91

S. Yeivin, Archaeology 8 (1955), 122-129

B. Lifshitz, RB70(1963), 556-558

74 (1967), 45-59

id., Scripta Classica Israelica 2 (1975), 108-109, 112

J.D. Brierman, IEJ 19 (1969), 44-45

J. Fitz, Latomus 28 (1969), 126-140

H. Petor, Antike Welt 1 (1970), 47-53

R. Diplock, PEQ 103 (1971), I 1-16

105 (1973), 165-166

T. D. Newman, BA 34 (1971), 88-91

M. W. Prausnitz, IEJ 21 (1971), 227

S. E. Smith, RB 78 (1971), 591-593

E. Weber, Bonner Jahrbuch 171 (1971), 194-200

J. Ringel, Sefunim 4 (1972-1975), 22-27

id., Revue Numismatique 6e Serie 16 (1974), 155-159

id., Cesanie de Palestine: Etude historique et archeologique, Paris 1975

ibid. (Reviews), IEJ26 (1976), 215- 216.- Syria 53 (1976), 349.- PEQ 109 (1977), 62-63

id., Mediterranean Historical Review 3 (1988), 63-73

H. Seyrig, Syria 49 (1972), 112-115

S. Dar and S. Applebaum, PEQ 105 (1973), 91-99; H. Bietenhard, Caesarea, Origenes und die Juden (Franz Delitzsch-Vorlesungen 1972), Stuttgart 1974; H. W. Hazard, Near Eastern Numismatics(G. C. Miles Fest.), Beirut 1974, 359-368

A. Siegelmann, IEJ 24 (1974), 216-221

L. M. Hopfe and G. Lease, BA 38 (1975), 2-10

J. H. Riley, BASOR 218 (1975), 25- 63

M. Christo!, Zeitschriftfur Papyrologie und Epigraphik 22 (1976), 169-176

A. Flinder,/EJ26 (1976), 77-80

id., BAlAS I (1982), 25-27

R. L. Hohlfelder, Byzantine Studies Conference: Abstracts of Papers 3 (1977), 69-70

8 (1982), 18-19

id., City, Town and Countryside, New York 1982, 65-73

id., Ancient Coins of the Graeco-Roman World (eds. W. Heckel and R. Sullivan), Waterloo, Ont. 1984, 261-285

id., National Geographic 171/2 (1987), 260-279

id., Caesarea Maritima, Israel: A National Park and an International Archaeological Monument Under Siege (International Perspectives on Cultural Parks, Proc., I st World Conference, 1984) Washington 1989

A. Kasher, Jewish Quarterly Review 68 (1977), 16- 27

L. Cervellin, Terra Santa (1978), 125

D. E. Groh, Levant 10 (1978), 165-169

W. E. Kaegi, Jr., IEJ28 (1978), 177-181

X. Lorio!, Revue des Etudes Anciennes 80 (1978), 72-80

L. Y. Rahmani, RB 85 (1978), 268-276

88 (1981), 240-244

id., JEJ 38 (1988), 246-248

P. I. Fransen, MdB 12 (1980), 5-13, 21-25; D. W. Roller, BASOR 238 (1980), 35-42

252 (1983), 61-68

id., RB 88 (1981), 582-583

id., Levant 14 (1982), 90-103

V. Sussman, 'Atiqot 14 (1980), 76-79

Buried History 17/2 (1981), 7-16

H.-D. Neef, ZDPV97 (1981), 74-80

M. Spiro, AlA 85 (1981), 219

id., Byzantine Studies Conference: Abstracts of Papers 7 (1981 ), 10-11

R. C. Wiemken and K. G. Holum, BASOR 244 (1981 ), 27-52

K. G. Holum, City, Town and Countryside, New York 1982, 65-74

id., IEJ 36 (1986), 61-64

id., Archaeology 41/3 (1988), 44-47

id., Studia Pompeiana et Classica (W. F. Jashemski Fest.) 2, New Rochelle, N.Y. 1989, 87-104; E. Puech, RB89(!982), 210-221

Z. Rubin, Jerusalem Cathedral (1982), 79-105

R. L. Vann, City, Town and Countryside, New York 1982, 165-198

C. Dauphin, BAlAS 1982-1983, 25-31

H. K. Beebe, JNES 42 (1983), 195-207

A. Betz, Pro Arte Antiquo (H. Kenner Fest.), Vienna 1983, 33-36

C. M. Lehmann, Zeit fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik 51 (1983), 191-195

id., AlA 88 (1984), 250-251

id., Classical Philology 79 (1984), 45-52

C. J. Lenzen, "The Byzantine/Islamic Occupation at Caesarea Maritima as Evidenced through the Pottery" (Ph.D. diss., Drew Univ. 1983

Ann Arbor 1986)

E. Trocme, MdB 27 (1983), 28-30

E. Will, Fondation Eugene Piot (Monuments et Memoires 65) (1983), 1-24

id., Syria 64 (1987), 245-251

R. Gersht, Scripta Classica Israelica 7 (1983-1984), 53-57

id., PEQ 116 (1984), 110- 114

id., TA 13-14 (1986-1987), 67-70

id. IEJ 41 (1991), 145-156

Y. Meshorer, Israel Numismatic Journal8 (1984-1985), 37-58

D. Pringle, Levant 17 (1985), 171-202

R. Reich, 'Atiqot 17 (1985), 206- 212

G. Finkielsztejn, RB 93 (1986), 419-428

L. Holland, American Numismatic Society Museum Notes 31 (1986), 171-201

R. Wenning,Boreas-Munstersche Beitriige zur Archiiologie9(1986), 113-129

MdB 56 (1988)

R. Arav, PEQ 121 (1989), 144-148

A. Raban, BASOR 273 (1989), 83

Y. Porathet al., ES/9 (1989-1990), 132-134

2nd International Congress on Biblical Archaeology, 24 June-4 July 1990: Abstracts, Jerusalem 1990, 104-112

G. Labbe, Revue des Etudes Anciennes 93 (1991), 277-297.

Italian Expedition

Main publication

A. Frova et al., Scavi di Caesarea Maritima, Milan 1965.

Other studies

Caesarea Maritima (Israele), Rapporto preliminare della 1-a campagna di scavo della Missione Archeologica Italiano, Milan 1959

A. Frova, CNI 14/3-4 (1963), 20-24

id., Scavi di Caesarea Maritima (Reviews), AlA 71 (1967), 323-324.- Archaeology 20 (1967), 155.- Qadmoniot 7 (1969), 106-107 (Hebrew).

Hebrew University Expedition

M. Avi-Yonah, JEJ 6 (1956), 260-261

12 (1962), 137-139

13 (1963), 146-148

16 (1966), 135-141

20 (1970), 203-208

id., The Teacher's Yoke (H. Trantham Fest.), Waco, Texas 1964, 46-57

A. Negev, CNI 11/4 (1960), 17-22

id.,IEJIO (1960) 127, 264-265

II (1961), 81-83

13 (1963), 146-148

14 (1964), 237- 249

id., BTS 41 (1961), 6-15

id., ILN (Oct. 26, 1963), 684-686

(Nov. 2, 1963), 728-731

id., Ariel!6 (1966), 19-22

id., RB 78 (1971), 247-263.

The Theater

Main publications

A. Frova, Caesarea Maritima, Milan 1959

id. et al., Scavi di Caesarea Maritima, Milan 1965, 55-244

F. P. Parten Palange, Le Lucerne del Teatro di Caesarea Maritima, Rome (in prep.).

Other studies

A. Frova, Annvario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene 39-40 (1961-1962), 649-657

id., Note alia Va campagna di scavo, Rend. 1st Lombardia, Milan 1963

id., Quattro campagne di scavo della Missione Milanese a C.M., La Lombardia e !'Oriente, Milan 1963

id., ILN (April4, 1964), 524-526

A. Albricci, Bol/etino d'Arte 1962

H. Plommer, Levant 15 (1983), 132-140

A. Segal, Scripta Classica Israe/ica 8-9 (1985-1988), 145-165.

The circus

J. Jeremias, ZDPV 54 (1931), 279-289

B. Lifshitz, Revue des Etudes Grecques, 70/329-330 (1957), 118-130

J. H. Humphrey, BASOR 213 (1974), 2-45

218 (1975), 1-24

id., Roman Circuses, London 1986, 477-491

J. Riley, BASOR 218 (1975), 25-63

K. Vine and G. Hartelius, The Archaelogy of Jordan and Other Studies (S. H. Horn Fest.), Berrien Springs, Mich. 1986, 365-428.

The synagogue

E. L. Sukenik, Rabinowitz Bulletin I (1949), 17

2 (1951), 28-30

M. Schwabe, IEJ I (1950-1951), 49-53

3 (1953), 127-130

M. Avi-Yonah, Rabinowitz Bulletin 3 (1960), 44-48

id., IEJ6 (1956), 260-261

12 (1962), 137-139

13 (1963), 146-147

id., The Teacher's Yoke (Trantham Memorial Volume), Waco, Texas 1964, 46-57

B. Lifshitz, RB 72 (1965), 106-107

L. I. Levine, Roman Caesarea (Qedem 2), Jerusalem 1975, 40-45.

The aqueduct

H. Hamburger, IEJ9 (1959), 188-190

A. Negev, ibid. 14 (1964), 237-249

22 (1972), 52- 53

D. Barag,ibid. 14(1964), 250-252;J. Ringel, RB81 (1974), 597-600

Y. Olami (andY. Ringel), IEJ25 (1975), 148-150

id. (andY. Peleg), ibid. 27 (1977), 127-137

Y. Peleg, Leichtweiss-Institut Mitteilungen 82 (1984), 1-6

89 (1986), 1-15

Y. Nir, Harbour Archaeology (ed. A. Raban), Oxford 1985, 185-194; P. Mayerson, IEJ 36 (1986), 269-272

Y. Porath (and S. Yankelevitz), ESI 9 (1989-1990), 130-131.

Bibliography from Stern et al (2008)

Main publications

Caesarea Papers: Straton’s Tower, Herod’s Harbour, and Roman and Byzantine Caesarea (JRA Suppl. Series 5

ed. R. L. Vann), Ann Arbor, MI 1992

Caesarea Papers, 2: Herod’s Temple, The Provincial Governor’s Praetorium and Granaries, The Later Harbour, A Gold Coin Hoard and Other Studies (JRA Suppl. Series 35

eds. K. G. Holum et al.), Portsmouth, RI 1999

ibid. (Review) AJA 106 (2002), 107–110

Caesarea Papers, 3 (JRA Suppl. Series

eds. K. G. Holum & A. Raban), Portsmouth, RI 2003 (in press)

Y. Roman, Herod’s Masterpieces: Eretz Guide to the Caesarea National Park, Givatayim 1992

A. Raban et al., The Combined Caesarea Expeditions: Field Report of the 1992 Season, 1–3 (The Recanati Center for Maritime Studies Publications 4), Haifa 1993

The Harbours of Caesarea Maritima: Results of the Caesarea Ancient Harbour Excavation Project 1980–1985, II: The Finds and the Ship (University of Haifa, Center for Maritime Studies Publication 5

BAR/IS 594

ed. J. P. Oleson), Oxford 1994

Caesarea: A Mercantile City by the Sea (Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum Catalogue 12), Haifa 1995

E. E. Myers, Caesarea Maritima: A Bibliography, Toronto 1995

R. J. Painter, Mithraism and the Religious Context at Caesarea Maritima (Ph.D. diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1994), Ann Arbor, MI 1995

Y. Arnon, International Commercial Activity of Caesarea during the Early Islamic II Period (749–969 C.E.) According to the Ceramic Evidence (M.A. thesis), Haifa 1996 (Eng. abstract)

Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia (Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui 21

eds. A. Raban & K. G. Holum), Leiden 1996

ibid. (Reviews) BASOR 308 (1997), 108–110. — IJNA 26 (1997), 263–264. — Minerva 9 (1998), 52–53. — PEQ 130 (1998), 84–85. — BAR 25/2 (1999), 59. — JRA 13 (2000), 671–677

M. A. Fitzgerald, A Roman Wreck at Caesarea Maritima, Israel: A Comparative Study of its Hull and Equipment (Ph.D. diss., Houston 1995), Ann Arbor, MI 1996

Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority, Caesarea: Queen of the Coast (National Parks of Israel), Ramat-Gan 1996

R. Linn, Scientific Investigation of the Roman and Early Byzantine Wall Paintings of Caesarea, Israel (M.A. thesis), London 1996

R. Toueg, The Inner Harbour Basin of Caesarea (M.A. thesis), Haifa 1996 (Eng. abstract)

E. Black, Maritime Archeology: From Site to Presentation—The Case of Caesarea Maritima, Israel (M.A. thesis), York 1997; D. M. Everman, The Water Supply System of Caesarea Maritima: A Historical Study (Ph.D. diss.), College Park, MD 1997

A. Zemer, From the Treasures of Caesarea (National Maritime Museum Catalogue), Haifa 1997

The Richness of Islamic Caesarea (Reuben & Edith Hecht Museum Catalogue 15

ed. A. Raban), Haifa 1999

The Sdot-Yam Museum Book of the Antiquities of Caesarea Maritima (ed. R. Gersht), Tel Aviv 1999 (Eng. abstracts)

C. M. Lehmann & K. G. Holum, The Greek and Latin Inscriptions of Caesarea Maritima (The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima Excavation Reports 5), Boston, MA 2000

ibid. (Reviews) SCI 21 (2002), 323–327. — JRA 16 (2003), 665–668. — LA 53 (2003), 491–493. — AJA 108 (2004), 299–300. — JAOS 124 (2004), 414–416

I. Miran, Combining Magnetometry and 3-D Ground Penetration Radar (GRP) Imaging for Archaeological Mapping in Caesarea, Israel (M.A. thesis), Tel Aviv 2000

Religious Rivalries and the Struggle for Success in Caesarea Maritima (ed. T. L. Donaldson), Waterloo, ONT 2000; Y. Turnheim & A. Ovadiah, Art in the Public and Private Spheres in Roman Caesarea Maritima: Temples, Architectural Decoration and Tesserae (Rivista di Archeologia Suppl. 27), Roma 2002

Y. D. Arnon, Alternation and Continuity in the Early Islamic Pottery Types from the 7th Century to the 12th Century ce: The Caesarea Data as a Study Case (Ph.D. diss.), Haifa 2003

E. Ayalon, The Assemblage of Bone and Ivory Artifacts from Caesarea Maritima, Israel, 1st–13th Centuries ce, 1–2 (Ph.D. diss.), Ramat-Gan 2003 (Eng. abstract)

The Israel Antiquities Authority Excavations at Caesarea 1992–1999 (ed. Y. Porath), 1: Herod’s Circus at Caesarea

2: The W2S3 Bath-House and the Roman Domus

3: The Praetorium of Roman Judea/ Palestina at Caesarea, Jerusalem (in prep.).

Studies

R. J. Bull, BASOR Suppl. Studies 27 (1991), 69–94

id. (et al.), AASOR 51 (1994), 63–86

id., AJA 100 (1996), 370

R. Gersht, IEJ 41 (1991), 145–156

id., The Roman and Byzantine Near East, 1, Portsmouth, RI 1995, 108–120

id., ASOR Newsletter 46/3 (1996), 19

id., Assaph B/2 (1996), 13–26

B/6 (2001), 63–90

id., ‘Atiqot 28 (1996), 99–113

id., Classical Studies (D. Sohlberg Fest.

ed. R. Katzoff), Ramat-Gan 1996, 433–450

id., Homenaje a José M. Blazquez, Jerusalem 1996, 51–73

id., Michmanim 16 (2002), 43*–44*

N. Amitai-Preiss, ‘Atiqot 21 (1992), 171–172

R. L. Hohlfelder, ABD, 1, New York 1992, 798– 803

K. G. Holum, BASOR 286 (1992), 73–85

id., BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 697–702

id., ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 19

46/3 (1996), 17

id., Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum Ergänzungsband 20 (1995), 849–854

id., HUCMS News 23 (1996), 13–14

id., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, 1 (ed. E. M. Meyers), New York 1997, 398–404

id. (et al.), AJA 102 (1998), 792

id., Religious and Ethnic Communities in Later Roman Palestine (Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture 5

ed. H. Lapin), Bethesda, MD 1998, 155–177

id., ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 21; ASOR Annual Meeting 2004, www.asor.org/AM/am.htm

id., BAR 30/5 (2004), 36–45, 47

id., NEA 67 (2004), 184–198

E. Krentz, JNES 51 (1992), 157–158, 220–221 (Reviews)

A. Mazar, ‘Atiqot 21 (1992), 105–108

MdB 75 (1992), 29

M. Peleg & R. Reich, ‘Atiqot 21 (1992), 137–170

Y. Roman, Eretz Magazine 7/3 (1992), 35–58

Eveline J. Van der Steen, PEQ 124 (1992) 66 (Review)

A. Ziegelmann & Y. Ne’eman, ‘Atiqot 21 (1992), 177–178

E. U. Hübner, ZDPV 109 (1993), 182–183 (Review)

R. R. Stieglitz, ibid., 646–651

A. Van der Heyden, Ariel, Eng. Series 93 (1993), 15–28

T. Rajak, BAIAS 13 (1993–1994), 68–70

id., The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture, 1 (Texte und Studien zum antiken Judentum 71; ed. P. Schäfer), Tübingen 1998, 349–366

id., The Jewish Dialogue with Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Arbeiten zur Geschichte des Antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums 48), Leiden 2001

J. Chase, ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

A. Flinder, PEQ 126 (1994), 169–170 (Review)

F. L. Horton, Jr., ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

id., Fest. E. W. Hamrick (eds. J. M. O’Brien & F. L. Horton, Jr.), Lewiston, NY 1995, 150–166, 170–173

id., Galilee through the Centuries, Winona Lake, IN 1999, 377– 390

J. Patrich, ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

46/3 (1996), 16–17

id., AJA 100 (1996), 758–760

id., Annual Byzantine Studies Conference Abstracts, 24 (University of Kentucky 1998), 41

id., ESI 17 (1998), 50–57

id., LA 50 (2000), 363–382

52 (2002), 321–346

id., Proceedings of the 12th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, 29.7–5.8.1997, Division B: History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem 2000, 35*– 44*

id., Cathedra 102 (2001), 209

107 (2003), 213

id., JRA 14 (2001), 269–283

16 (2003), 456–459

id., MdB 136 (2001), 57

id., Urban Centers and Rural Contexts in Late Antiquity (eds. T. S. Burns & J. V. Eadie), East Lansing, MI 2001, 77–110

id., Welt und Umwelt der Bibel 6/21 (2001), 76–77

8/30 (2003), 66–69

id., Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology 1 (2002), 21–32

id., What Athens Has to Do with Jerusalem, Leuven 2002, 29–68

Y. Porath, ‘Atiqot 25 (1994), 188

id., ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 17

id., The Roman and Byzantine Near East 1, Ann Arbor, MI 1995, 15–27, 269–272

id., ESI 17 (1998), 39–49; 112 (2000), 38–46

113 (2001), 131*

116 (2004), 23*–24*

id., Michmanim 14 (2000), 17*–18*

id., JRA 16 (2003), 451–455

id., BAR 30/5 (2004), 24–35

id., SCI 23 (2004), 63–67

M. K. Risser, AJA 98 (1994), 324

101 (1997), 340

103 (1999), 301 (& J. DeRose Evans)

id., BA 59 (1996), 240

S. Sachs & R. J. Bull, ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

Archaeology in the Biblical World 3/1 (1995), 5

Y. Arnon, ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 18

46/3 (1996), 19

47/2 (1997), 22

id., HUCMS 24–25 (1998), 5–8

J. A. Blakely, ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 19

C. Christian & B. Heese, ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 18

M. Immerzeel, Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum Ergänzungsband 20 (1995), 855–864

A. Kushnir-Stein, The Roman and Byzantine Near East, 1, Ann Arbor, MI 1995, 8–14

C. M. Lehmann, Preliminary Excavation Reports: Sardis, Bir Umm Fawakhir, Tell el-Umeiri, The Combined Caesarea Expeditions and Tell Dothan (AASOR 52

ed. W. G. Dever), Philadelphia 1995, 121–131

J. Magness, ibid., 133–145

id., ASOR Newsletter 47 (1997), 10

A. L. Slayman, Archaeology 48/2 (1995), 16

D. Strong, HUCMS 22 (1995)

V. Sussman, IEJ 45 (1995), 278–282

E. Adams, Archaeology 49/1 (1996), 32

M. R. Buyce, ASOR Newsletter 46/3 (1996), 17; C. Cope, ibid., 19

id., Archaeozoology of the Near East 5 (eds. H. Buitenhuis et al.), Groningen 2002, 316– 319

M. L. Fischer (& Z. Grossmark), EI 25 (1996), 106*–107*

id., Marble Studies, Konstanz 1998

R. Förtsch, Judaea and the Greco-Roman World in the Time of Herod in the Light of Archaeological Evidence, Göttingen 1996, 9–25

L. C. Kahn, ASOR Newsletter 46/4 (1996), 11

id., AJA 102 (1998), 406

id., Hellenic and Jewish Arts: Interaction, Tradition and Renewal. The Howard Gilman International Conference 1, Delphi, 1995 (ed. A. Ovadiah), Tel Aviv 1998, 123–143

Y. Ne’eman, ESI 15 (1996), 52–54

A. Ovadiah & S. Mucznik, LA 46 (1996), 375–380

P. Richardson, Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans (Studies on Personalities of the New Testament), Columbia, SC 1996

id., City and Sanctuary: Religion and Architecture in the Roman Near East, London 2002, 103–128

F. H. Stanley, Jr., ASOR Newsletter 46/2 (1996), 19

id. (et al.), Archeologia Viva 16 (1997), 20–34

id., AJA 104 (2000), 326

H. Von Hesberg, Judaea and the Greco-Roman World in the Time of Herod in the Light of Archaeological Evidence, Göttingen 1996, 9–25

A. G. Walmsley, Towns in Transition: Urban Evolution in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (eds. N. Christie & S. T. Loseby), Aldershot 1996, 126–158

F. E. Winter, Archaeology 49/6 (1996), 22

A. Bankoff, ASOR Newsletter 47/2 (1997), 22

A. M. Berlin, BA 60 (1997), 2–51

H. Bolewski & J. Bremer, Jüdischer Almanach 1996 (1997), 129–140

J. Geiger, ZDPV 113 (1997), 70–74

id., Cathedra 99 (2001), 208–209

Le opere fortificate de Erode il Grande, Firenze 1997

A. J. Boas, ESI 17 (1998), 77– 79

J. DeRose Evans (et al.), AJA 102 (1998), 405

103 (1999), 259, 301

P. Melmuk, ASOR Newsletter 48/1 (1998), 23

R. Polak, Annales du Congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre 14 (1998), 238–242

B. Rochman, BAR 24/1 (1998), 18

D. W. Roller, The Building Program of Herod the Great, Berkeley, CA 1998

Z. Safrai, The Missing Century: Palestine in the 5th Century—Growth and Decline (Palestine Antiqua N.S. 9), Leuven 1998, (index)

N.Yaari, Journal of Mediterranean Studies 8 (1998), 73–83

U. ‘Ad, ‘Atiqot 38 (1999), 228–229

D. M. Jacobson, BAIAS 17 (1999), 67–76

A. Lester & Y. D. Arnon, L’Egypte Fatimide: son art et son histoire. Actes du Colloque, Paris, 28.4.-3.5.1998 (ed. M. Barrucand), Paris 1999, 233–248

A. Lichtenberger, Die Baupolitik Herodes des Grossen (Abhandlungen des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 26), Wiesbaden 1999

V. Shalev, Historical Context, Structure and Function in the Churches of Palestine in Late Antiquity (Ph.D. diss.), Tel Aviv 1999 (Eng. abstract)

A. M. Vaccaro, Archéo 16/11 (189) (2000), 90–97

R. Pummer, Samaritan Researches: Proceedings of the Congress of the Société d’Etudes Samaritaines V/3, Sydney 2000, 29–53

A. Iamim, ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 21

L. Lavan, Recent Research in Late-Antique Urbanism (JRA Suppl. Series 42

ed. L. Lavan), Portsmouth, RI 2001, 39–56

D. Moy, ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 22–23

E. M. Smallwood, The Jews Under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian: A Study in Political Relations, Boston 2001 (index)

J. Stabler, ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 21

ASOR Annual Meeting 2004, www.asor.org/AM/am.htm

E. Ayalon (& Y. Dray), Michmanim 16 (2002), 39*–40*

id., From Hooves to Horns, From Mollusc to Mammoth: Manufacture and Use of Bone Artefacts from Prehistoric Times to the Present. Proceedings of the 4th Meeting of the ICAZ Worked Bone Research Group, Tallinn, 26–31.8.2003 (eds. H. Luik et al.), Tallinn 2005, 228–246

V. Noam, Cathedra 104 (2002), 189

M. Rosen-Ayalon, Art et archéologie islamiques en Palestine (Islamiques), Paris 2002, 79–84

S. Scham, Archaeology 55/5 (2002), 30

S. Shalev & M. Freund, Bulletin of the Israeli Academic Center in Cairo 25 (2002), 21–30

id., Metals and Society (BAR/IS 1061

eds. B. S. Ottaway & E. C. Wager), Oxford 2002, 83–97

R. Talgam, Michmanim 16 (2002), 39*

D. Jones, Minerva 14/1 (2003), 22– 24

Y. Elitzur, Ancient Place Names in the Holy Land: Preservation and History, Jerusalem 2004, 23–28

L. B. Kavlie, NEAS Bulletin 49 (2004), 5–14

E. Lefkovitz, Artifax 20/4 (2005), 5

A. Lewin, The Archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine, Los Angeles, CA 2005, 148–155

J. Pastor, For Uriel: Studies in the History of Israel in Antiquity (U. Rappaport Fest.

eds. M. Mor et al.), Jerusalem 2005, 77*–89*

A. Spaer, The Numismatic Chronicle 165 (2005), 285–286

J. Sudilovsky, BAR 31/6 (2005), 17

E. Netzer, The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder, Tübingen (forthcoming).

The Coins

D. R. Schwartz, Studies in the Jewish Background of Christianity (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 60), Tübingen 1992, 167–181

D. M. Metcalf & L. Holland, INJ 12 (1992–1993), 94–103; 13 (1994–1999), 156–162

R. J. Bull & O. J. Storvick, BA 56 (1993), 116–120

J. Meshorer, BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 141–146

id., Ancient Means of Exchange, Weights and Coins (Haifa, Reuben & Edith Hecht Museum Collection A), Haifa 1998

id., A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar-Kochba, Jerusalem 2001

J. DeRose Evans, American Journal of Numismatics 5–6 (1993–1994), 97–104

id., AJA 98 (1994), 312

id., ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 17

id., BA 58 (1995), 156–167

P. Lampinen, ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

id., ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 20–21

S. L. Dyson, Archaeology 51/2 (1998), 6

A. Burnett et al., Roman Provincial Coinage II/1: From Vespasian to Domitian (AD 69–96), London 1999, 96

M. S. K. Prieur, A Type Corpus of the Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and Their Fractions from 57 BC to AD 253, London 2000

A. Eidelstein, INJ 14 (2000–2002), 245–247

M. G. Abramzon, Revue Numismatique 159 (2003), 243–256

H. Gitler & D. Weisburd, Les villages dans l’empire byzantin (IVe–XVe siècle) (Réalités Byzantines 11

eds. J. Lefort et al.), Paris 2005, 539–552

The Inscriptions

G. Labee, Revue des Etudes Anciennes 93 (1991), 277–297

L. Di Segni, ‘Atiqot 22 (1993), 133–136

id., Dated Greek Inscriptions from Palestine from the Roman and Byzantine Periods (Ph.D. diss.), 1–2, Jerusalem 1997

id., Atti della 11. Congresso Internazionle de Epigrafia Greca e Latina, Roma, 18–24. 9. 1997, Roma 1999, 625–642

id., LA 50 (2000), 383–400

id., Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology 1 (2002), 33–38

C. M. Lehmann, BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 679–686

D. Barag, ‘Atiqot 25 (1994), 179–181

L. Boffo, Iscrizioni greche e latine per lo studio della Bibia (Biblioteca di storia e storiografia dei tempi Biblici 9), Brescia 1994

K. G. Holum, The Roman and Byzantine Near East, 1, Portsmouth, RI 1995, 333–345

W. Horburg, PEQ 129 (1997), 133–137

A. Lajtar, Materialy Archeologiczne (Krakow) 30 (1997), 61–65

B. Burrell, NEA 61 (1998), 127–128

G. Alföldy, SCI 18 (1999), 85–108

21 (2002), 133–148

H. M. Cotton & W. Eck, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Proceedings 7 (2001), 215–240

id., What Athens Has to Do with Jerusalem, Leuven 2002, 375–391

B. Isaac, JRA 16 (2003), 665–668.

The Promontory Palace

K. L. Gleason (et al.), AJA 96 (1992), 345

id. (& B. Burrell), ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

45/2 (1995), 19; 46/2 (1996), 18–19

46/3 (1996), 10–11

id., Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia (op. cit.), Leiden 1996, 208–228

id., JRA 11 (1998), 23–52

B. Burrell & K. Gleason, AJA 97 (1993), 342

99 (1995), 306–307

101 (1997), 339–340

102 (1998), 405

106 (2002), 107–110

id. (et al.), BAR 19/3 (1993), 50–57

id., ESI 14 (1994), 75

id., Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia (op. cit.), Leiden 1996, 228–247

I. Nielsen, Hellenistic Palaces: Tradition and Renewal (Studies in Hellenistic Civilization 5), Aarhus 1994

E. Robinson, ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 17

E. Netzer, Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia (op. cit.), Leiden 1996, 193–206

id., Judaea and the Greco-Roman World in the Time of Herod in the Light of Archaeological Evidence, Göttingen 1996, 27–54

id., Die Paläste der Hasmonäer und Herodes’ des Grossen (Antike Welt Sonderhefte

Zaberns Bildbände zur Archäologie), Mainz am Rhein 1999

id., The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder, Tübingen (forthcoming)

L. L. Taylor, AJA 102 (1998), 405–406

Y. Turnheim & A. Ovadiah, Assaph B/4 (1999), 21–34

J. Ramsay, ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 22

J. G. Schryver, ASOR Newsletter 52/3 (2002), 14–15

J. Neguer, Mosaics Make a Site: The Conservation in Situ of Mosaics on Archaeological Sites. Proceedings of the 6th Conference of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics, Nicosia, 24–28.10.1996 (ed. S. Michaelides), Rome 2003, 375–378

id., Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 6/3–4 (2004), 247–258

K. G. Holum, BAR 30/5 (2004), 36–45, 47

J. A. Stabler, ASOR Annual Meeting 2004, www.asor.org/AM/am.htm

Y. Olami et al., Map of Binyamina (48) (Archaeological Survey of Israel), Jerusalem 2005, 37*, 41*–43*.

The Synagogue

I. L. Levine, BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 666–678

id., Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia (Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui 21

eds. A. Raban & K. G. Holum), Leiden 1996, 392–400

id., The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years, 2nd ed., New Haven, CT 2005, 68

M. Govaars, ASOR Annual Meeting 2004, www.asor.org/AM/am.htm.

The Water Supply

Y. Porath (et al.), ESI 9 (1980–1990), 130–131

12 (1993), 28–29

112 (2000), 34*–40*

id., ‘Atiqot 30 (1996), 126–127

id., The Aqueducts of Israel, Portsmouth, RI 2002, 105–129

J. Peleg, Geschichte der Wasserwirtschaft und des Wasserbaus im Mediterraneen Raum. 8. Internationalen Symposium, 12–20.10.1991, Merida, Spanien. (Mitteilungen Leichtweiss-Institut für Wasserbau des Technischen Universität Braunschweig 117), Braunschweig 1992, 141–156

id., Caesarea Papers, 2 (op. cit.), Portsmouth, RI 1999, 361–367; id., The Aqueducts of Israel, Portsmouth, RI 2002, 141–148

U. ‘Ad, ‘Atiqot 38 (1999), 228

K. K. A. Lonnqvist, Klio 82 (2000), 459–474

A. Siegelmann, The Aqueducts of Israel, Portsmouth, RI 2002, 130–140

J. Häser, SHAJ 8 (2004), 155–159

D. Sivan et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters 222 (2004), 315–330; Y. Olami et al., Map of Binyamina (48) (Archaeological Survey of Israel), Jerusalem 2005, 37*, 41*–43*.

Maritime Caesarea

A. Raban (& K. G. Holum), ESI 10 (1991), 109–112

17 (1998), 58–76

20 (2000), 34*–36*

id., Thracia Pontica 4 (1991), 339–366

5 (1994), 241–268

6 (1997), 207–244

id., HUCMS 19 (1992), 4–7

20 (1993), 1–4, 5–6

21 (1994)

22 (1995)

23 (1996), 10–13

24–25 (1998), 31–33

26 (1999), 9–12 (& K. G. Holum); 27 (2000), 6–11

29 (2002–2003), 11–14

30 (2004), 14–17

id., IJNA 21 (1992), 27–35, 111–124

29 (2000), 260–272

id., The Maritime Holy Land: Mediterranean Civilization in Ancient Israel from the Bronze Age to the Crusaders, Haifa 1992, 71–79

id. (et al.), IEJ 43 (1993), 29–34

id. (et al.), AJA 98 (1994), 506–509; 105 (2001), 299

id., ASOR Newsletter 44/2 (1994)

45/2 (1995), 17

id., Sefunim 8 (1994), 45–59

id., Antike Welt Sondernumer 26 (1995), 14–29

id., Michmanim 8 (1995), 15*–16*

id., Cyprus and the Sea: Proceedings of the International Symposium, Nicosia, 25–26 Sept. 1993 (ed. V. Karageorghis & D. Michaelides), Nicosia 1995, 139–188

id., BAR 23/3 (1997), 42–45

id., Archeologia Subacquea: come opera l’Archeolgo storie dalle acque (Ciclo di lezioni sulla ricerca in archeologia certosa di pontignago 8

ed. G. Volpe), Firenze 1998, 217–273

id., ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder CO 2001, 21–22

id., For Uriel: Studies in the History of Israel in Antiquity (U. Rappaport Fest.

eds. M. Mor et al.), Jerusalem 2005, 181*–187*

id., Building Projects of Herod the Great, London (in press)

id. (et al.), Journal of Coastal Geomorphology (in press)

id., The World of the Herods (ed. N. Kokkinos), London 2003 (in press)

Y. Hirschfeld, JRA 5 (1992), 445–449 (Review)

R. L. Hohlfelder, ABD, 1, New York 1992, 798–803

id., AJA 97 (1993), 342

id., BASOR 290–291 (1993), 95–107

317 (2000), 41–62

id., BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 687–696

id., Ancient History in a Modern University, 1 (eds. T. W. Hillard et al.), Grand Rapids, MI 1998, 316–327

id., IJNA 28 (1999), 154–163

id., JNES 59 (2000), 241–253

J. P. Oleson & G. Branton, Geschichte der Wasserwirtschaft und des Wasserbaus im Mediterraneen Raum. 8. Internationalen Symposium, 12–20.10.1991, Merida, Spanien (Mitteilungen Leichtweiss-Institut für Wasserbau des Technischen Universität Braunschweig 117), Braunschweig 1992, 387–420

Galili et al., IJNA 22 (1993), 61–77

Y. Mart, HUCMS 20 (1993), 4

id. (& I. Percecman), Tectonophysics 254 (1996), 139–153

R. L. Vann, BAT II, Jerusalem 1993, 653–665

id., IEJ 43 (1993), 29–34

id., Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum Ergänzungsband 20 (1995), 1239–1246

id., JRA 13 (2000), 671–677

C. Brandon, Thracia Pontica 6 (1994), 45–68

id., Cahiers d’Archéologie subaquatique 13 (1997), 13–34

id., Res Maritimae: Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean from Prehistory to Late Antiquity (CAARI Monograph Series 1

ASOR Archaeological Reports 4

eds. S. Swiny et al.), Atlanta GA 1997, 45–58

E. G. Reinhardt, AJA 98 (1994), 340–341

id. (et al.), Journal of Foraminiferal Research 24 (1994), 37–48

id. (et al.), Revue Paléobiologique 17 (1998), 1–21

id. (& A. Raban), Geology 27 (1999), 811–814; id., ASOR Annual Meeting Abstract Book, Boulder, CO 2001, 22

B. Yule, ASOR Newsletter 45/2 (1995), 17

id., Levant 28 (1996), 210

S. A. Kingsley, AJA 100 (1996), 765

id. (& K. Raveh), The Ancient Harbour and Anchorage at Dor, Israel: Results of the Underwater Surveys 1976–1991 (BAR/IS 626), Oxford 1996; id., Recent Research in Late-Antique Urbanism (JRA Suppl. Series 42

ed. L. Lavan), Portsmouth, RI 2001, 69–87

id., Minerva 16/5 (2005), 14–15

Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology (ed. J. P. Delgado), London 1997, 80–81

T. W. Hillard & J. L. Beness, Res Maritimae (op. cit.), Atlanta, GA 1997, 135–151

M. Maischberger, Marmor in Rom: Anlieferung, Leger-und Werkplätze in der Kaiserzeit (Palilia 1), Wiesbaden 1997

R. Toneg, HUCMS 24–25 (1998), 16–18

D. Gil, Annual Meeting, Israel Geological Society, Jerusalem 1999

C. Nixon, HUCMS 28 (2001), 4–9

J. A. Toth, Acta Archaeologica (Budapest) 53 (2002), 85–118

L. Brink, ASOR Annual Meeting 2004, www.asor.org/AM/am.htm

K. G. Holum, BAR 30/5 (2004), 36–45, 47

D. Sivan et al., Earth and Planetary Science Letters 222 (2004), 315–330

J. I. Boyce et al., IJNA 33 (2004), 122–136

B. N. Goodman & E. Reinhardt, 31st Archaeological Conference in Israel, Tel Aviv, 20–21.4.2005: Abstracts of Papers, Jerusalem 2005, 12.

Notes from Ambraseys (2009) on the 551 CE Earthquake

Caesarea Maritima, 80 km south of Tyre and on the coast, suffered severe damage in AD 614 and 640 according to stratigraphic and historical evidence (Russell 1985, 23). Russell argues that the destruction is too severe to be the result of a Persian invasion, as [Toombs (1978)] has said, so it must be due to the AD 551 and 632/3 earthquakes. It is certainly geographically possible, he adds, that Caesarea suffered in this event, being only about 100 km south of Tyre and the same distance (as Tyre) from the Dead Sea fault.

Was there Liquefaction at Area LL during the mid 8th century CE Earthquake ? - Photos and Notes by JW

Maps, Photos, Sections, and Plans

Maps, Photos, Sections, and Plans

  • Fig. 2 Aerial view of site LL from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 3 Early phases Plan of Area LL from Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 4 Building remains and Roman floors in a probe, looking north Ad et al (2018)
  • Fig. 8 Wall Collapse in Stratum VI (Umayyad) from Ad et al (2018)
  • Sandy Deposits Just north of Area LL
  • View into room below warehouses
  • Beach and Western Wall of the Warehouses in Area LL - View from South
  • Beach and Western Wall of the Warehouses in Area LL - View from North

Discussion

The warehouses of Area LL were built on the beach in the north part of the harbour of Caesarea. The underlying sediments are loose unconsolidated and fully saturated beach sands. There are un-excavated rooms beneath the warehouses in Area LL. Some of the sands above the beach are exposed so I examined them. They are soft, loose, and unconsolidated. This location should be highly susceptible to liquefaction during seismic shaking. I do not know how deep the original foundations were sunk.

Toe failure at northwest corner of Crusader Wall - Photos by JW

Photos

  • Toe Failure at Northwest Corner of Crusader Wall - Long shot - View from North
  • Toe Failure at Northwest Corner of Crusader Wall - A closer Long shot - View from North
  • Toe Failure at Northwest Corner of Crusader Wall - Medium shot - View from North
  • Toe Failure at Northwest Corner of Crusader Wall - Closeup - View from North

Wikipedia page for Caesarea



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