Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

First Advisor

Bridget Buxton

Abstract

In 2001, the Old City of Akko in northern Israel was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. This designation was based on the Old City's well-preserved Ottoman and Islamic-era town and the partly subterranean ruins of the once-thriving Crusader port. Five years of excavation, from 2009 to 2014, have uncovered more of Akko's history as a strategic naval outpost for several iterations of Mediterranean Sea power, particularly during the Hellenistic Age. However, evidence for Akko's harbor operations during the Byzantine period is still being uncovered. In light of recent discoveries in geoarchaeology, scientists have learned that part of Akko's Byzantine history includes the tsunami of 551 CE, which struck the port cities of the Levantine coast from as far north as Beirut to the port of Caesarea Maritima, 64 kilometers to the south. This tsunami had substantial and meaningful consequences for Akko's harbor and the surrounding town, which led to long-term effects on the city following the disaster.

Comments

In 2001, the Old City of Akko in northern Israel was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. This designation was based on the Old City's well-preserved Ottoman and Islamic-era town and the partly subterranean ruins of the once-thriving Crusader port. Five years of excavation, from 2009 to 2014, have uncovered more of Akko's history as a strategic naval outpost for several iterations of Mediterranean Sea power, particularly during the Hellenistic Age. However, evidence for Akko's harbor operations during the Byzantine period is still being uncovered. In light of recent discoveries in geoarchaeology, scientists have learned that part of Akko's Byzantine history includes the tsunami of 551 CE, which struck the port cities of the Levantine coast from as far north as Beirut to the port of Caesarea Maritima, 64 kilometers to the south. This tsunami had substantial and meaningful consequences for Akko's harbor and the surrounding town, which led to long-term effects on the city following the disaster.

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