June 16, 2011, Updated September 12, 2012
Old Acre

Photo by Skyview Company, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
An aerial photograph of the excavation site in Akko.

Archaeologists have uncovered a 1,500 year old building in the northern Israeli port city of Acre (Acco). The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) says this is the first time a public building dating back to the Byzantine Period has been found in Acre.

The building was discovered in an archaeological excavation site just west of Tel Acre, and it is believed that it may have been used as a church.

“Until now, the city was known from Christian sources which mention its bishop who took part in formulating the new religion. Now, the first tangible evidence is emerging in the field. This is an important discovery for the study of Acre because until now no remains dating to the Byzantine period have been found, save those of a residential quarter situated near the sea,” said Nurit Feig, excavation director. “This is the first time that remains of a public building from the Byzantine Period period have been uncovered in Acre.”

The excavation exposed a large ashlar-built public edifice. The size of the building, the impressive construction, as well as the finds – an abundance of roof tiles, parts of marble ornamentations, the pottery and coins – all point to a public structure that served the Bishop of Acre’s city in the Byzantine period.


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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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