Director: Lawrence E. Stager
Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel
Harvard University


Since 1985, annual excavations have been conducted by a team of professional archaeologists, together with students of archaeology and several dozen volunteers, at the ancient seaport of Ashkelon, located 40 miles south of Tel Aviv, Israel, on the Mediterranean coast. Ashkelon was the capital of Canaanite kings, harbor of the Philistines, and the stomping ground of the biblical hero Samson.

From the Canaanite era, Ashkelon is the oldest and largest seaport yet known in Israel, and a thriving Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 B.C.) metropolis of more thasn 150 acres, with commanding ramparts, including the oldest arched city gate in the world, still standing two stories high.

From the Philistine era (1175-604 B.C.), excavations of the seaport are uncovering remains of the city from the days of Samson and Delilah, and the city's destruction by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.



For further details write:

Professor Lawrence E. Stager
Harvard University
Ashkelon Excavations
The Semitic Museum
6 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-9385