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Fortress between Tel Aviv, Ashdod was Islamic power's stronghold rather than harbour.

Tel Aviv, Sept 15(ANI): Tel Aviv University(TAU) researchers have revealed that an archaeological site between Tel Aviv and Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast, Yavneh-Yam, was the Islamic power's stronghold rather than a functional harbour from the second millennium B.C. until the Middle Ages.

TAU's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Culture Professor Moshe Fischer said the discovery of an Early Islamic period bath house, which used Roman techniques such as heated floors and walls, suggests that Arabic rulers controlled the Yavneh-Yam site until the end of the Early Islamic period in the 12th century AD.

Researchers have launched for the first time, an in-depth study into the site's promontory, the piece of land protruding into the sea, which made the site a natural harbor.

They discovered that the site's main structures, fortification systems including a tower and strong walls, were built in Early Islamic style.

The Roman baths excavated within the fortress suggests Arabs rather than Christian crusaders occupied the site, Professor Fisher said.

"This is an outstanding and rare find.You don't see these installations again until the revival of such techniques by modern technology during the 19th century.This marked the finale of the use of a traditional Roman bath house in 12th century architecture," Fisher said

The fortress served as a lookout location to protect Arab strongholds against invasions.

By linking archaeological findings with historical evidence, "we get a nice picture of the complex relationship that existed in the Holy Land between a handful of Muslim enclaves, connected with the Arab rule in Cairo, surrounded by crusaders," Fisher said. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Sep 15, 2011
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