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A presentation of old Jaffa

Old Jaffa development Co. Ltd.--- Israel antiquities authority



Jaffa, in the Southern Sharon region of Israel, is one of the ancient port cities on the
eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Old Jaffa is built upon a cliff, at the foot of which
the ancient port stretches out, protected by a rocky reef. Tradition says that the city was
established after the Flood, and that Japheth, son of Noah, was the eponymous founder.
The name of the city in Arabic is Yafa el-'Abqa ("Old Jaffa") or al-Qal'a ("The Fortress").
At Tel Yafo (the archaeological mound at Jaffa), a number of levels of ancient dwellings
were unearthed, the remnants of which were preserved over seve~al extensive areas (see
table, Tel Yafo, p. 12). Continuity of settlement began in the 18th century B.C.E. and has
carried through to the present, rising and falling in accordance with the changing political
At the foot of the Tel, on its south side (at the intersection of Yefet and Louis Pasteur
Streets), remnants were excavated of a cemetery which included burial chambers dug
into the ground or hewn out of solid rock, as well as burial caves also chiseled out of
rock. The tombs have been dated to the Persian, Hellenistic, Early Roman, Late Roman
and Byzantine periods. Tombs hewn out of rock have also been unearthed at nearby Abu
Kabir (Giv'at Herzl), going back to the 1st-5th centuries C.E. (Late Roman and Byzantine

History of Jaffa