Feb. 11, 2010

Ceasarea (named after Roman emperor Julius Caesar) was chosen by Herod for his palace, center of his government, and harbor. It was rebuilt by various peoples including the Crusaders. It is on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

These links provide further information about Caesarea:
Bible Places

Odest statue of Jesus but defaced statue Caesarea Magnify Left: The oldest known statue of Jesus - in this case baby Jesus. The face has been damaged because of Jewish fears that statues are idols. Other statues in the area have been beheaded.

Below left. Until fairly recently, some scholars thought Pontius Pilot was a myth because no one had found any historical evidence of his existence. Hence there was some excitement when the stone marker was found with his name on it. This is a reproduction of the actual stone.
Below right: The explanation sign next to the stone marker with the inscription on the stone.

Pontius Pilot Sign in Caesarea
Pontius Pilot Marker in Caesarea Magnify
Theater in Caesarea Magnify
Above: The theater Herod built in Caesarea.
Right: Herod loved water games. The post has grooves for a dam so the stage of the theater could be flooded for those activities.
Theater dam for water games in Caesarea
Hippodrome in Caesarea Magnify
The Hippodrome. A sign there contains the following wording:
"This hippodrome (circus, in Latin), was the venue for the Actian Games instituted by King Herod in honor of the Roman emperor Augustus. The games were held every four years, and included horse-and chariot-races, athletics, gladiatorial combat and hunting. ... Historical sources on Caesarea mention a stadium where Jewish, and later, Christian prisoners were sent to their death fighting in the arena as gladiators or as prey for wild beasts."
The structure was 314 by 86 meters in size. During the first century AD, seats were added to the west (sea) side of the structure. But the sea was reclaimed that area.
Toilets in Caesarea
It was necessary to provide toilet facilities for the crowds. These were conveniently located in a main entrance and the users could even view the activities in the stadium while using them.

Oh by the way, no good Jew would attend events here.
Wall in Caesarea
A wall in Caesarea.
Herod's swimming pool in Caesarea
The remains of the fresh water swimming pool below Herod's palace.
Harbor in Caesarea Magnify One side of the harbor Herod built in Caesarea. Paul sailed to this harbor when returning from his second and third missionary journeys and sailed from here on his last journey to Rome. Cradle in Caesarea Can you guess what this is? It is a rocking cradle that has been exposed to the elements for a couple of centuries.
This is a coffin or more correctly a Sarcophagi. The following is taken from a nearby explanation sign.
Sarcophagi (coffins in Greek) made of stone (granite, marble, limestone) lead or wood were widely used among different people including Jews, throughout the Greco-Roman world. Sarcophagus means "flesh eater".... The coffins were decorated with flora, hunting mythological scenes or with geometric shapes for more modest coffins."
It appears this one was for someone who was quite well off. In some cases, after the flesh had decayed completely, the bones were moved to a smaller box so the sarcophagi could be reused.
Coffins in Caesarea
Crusader fort in Caesarea Magnify Crusader moat in Caesarea
Left: This is a structure originally built by the crusaders in the 12th or 13th century and restored in the late 19th century.
Above: The moat around this structure.
These are the remains of the high aqueduct that brought water to Ceasarea. There was a second low aqueduct as well. Aqueduct in Caesarea

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