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Ancient Fisherman’s House Discovered in Ashkelon

Archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered buildings used by fishermen along the Mediterranean coast as much as 500 years ago. It is the first time a building that can be attributed with certainty to the fishing industry has been uncovered in the city of Ashkelon.    

Dozens of Israeli students were employed by the Antiquities Authority in the excavation in the northern part of the city, where a new neighborhood is slated to be constructed.

“Two of the buildings seem they were used as a fisherman’s house and a lookout tower, possibly a lighthouse, dating to the Ottoman period,” said excavation co-director Federico Kobrin.

“The tower was situated on a lofty hilltop, and it looks out over the beach and Mediterranean Sea.”

The fisherman’s house had three rooms, and many artifacts related to fishing: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell and even a stone anchor. The building’s entrances were in the north in order to prevent high winds and sea storms from entering.

The fisherman’s house will be preserved for the benefit of the residents and to create a connection between them and those who lived and fished there in the past.

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