Underwater Park  >  Archeological Research And The Underwater Trails

Herodís plan in building Sebastos, the harbour of Caesarea Maritima, was to create in his kingdom a major port for the transit trade of luxury goods from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The demand for these goods (spices, including preservatives, drugs and cosmetics, fine textiles, precious stones) had increased considerably since his benefactor Augustus Caesar came to power in Rome. Within twelve years (22-10 BC), Herod built the port and the city, which became shortly after the economic and political capital of the country. History brought many changes, but while the site of the city was always known, the port slipped into complete oblivion. It was only in 1960 that the harbour was rediscovered. The main underwater research started in 1975 by the Center of Maritime Studies at Haifa University, under Prof. Avner Raban, and continued successively until his untimely death in 2004.

Prof. Raban initiated the project of the underwater park in 1992, and 13 years later it was revived. This leaflet is based on his many publications and dedicated to his memory. Four tracks marked underwater* lead to 28 signs, pointing to sites of interest, which embody the wonders of Roman marine engineering and tell the story of two millennia of the harbourís existence. Two main written sources are the basis for research: the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus described the harbour exactly as he saw it, but the underwater parts and the methods of construction had escaped him. The construction of the harbour was best described by the Roman architect Vitruvius, Herodís contemporary. Caesarea is the oldest known harbour to be built according to Vitruviusí specifications, thus being the first large scale artificial harbour in history, the biggest and most modern harbour in the whole Roman Empire at the time. 

                          Aerial photograph of the submerged harbour 

* The numbers in brackets refer to points marked on the four tracks of the underwater cicuit. The detailed description of the tracks may be found in the local diving center 
 Writing: Sarah Arenson
Consulting: Yossi Turkaspa, Chris Brandon
Illustration: Sapir Haad
Editing: Micha Livneh
Photography: Itamar Grinberg
Aerial Phot.: Ofek 

...Divers floating a h
...The late Prof. Avne
...A map of the marked
Diving Center News!!

View Sea Conditions  
Underwater Archeological Park  

   LUCH - Web Design

     Old Caesarea Diving Center, divingc@inter.net.il, 972-4-6265898

   Home      About Us   About Caesarea Diving Center   Directions   Our Team         Diving Services   Introductory Dives   Guided Dives   Guided Snorkeling   Gear Rentals   Independent Snorkeling   Refresh Dive   Night Dives   Diving Insurance   Gear Maintenance   Group Activities          Diving Courses   Open water diver   Advanced Open Water Diver    Rescue Diver   Dive Master   Nitrox   Combat Diver         Diving Sites      Underwater Park   Archeological Research And The Underwater Trails   The Port And Its Components   Building Methods And Unique Characteristics   The Decay Of The Port And Later Developments   The Anchors         Store       Gallery       Info   Opening hours         Contact    

Underwater Archeological Park of Caesarea - Archeological Research And The Underwater Trails

Underwater Archeological Park Herodís Submerged Port of Caesarea