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2,000-year-old basilica unearthed in Ashkelon

The remains of a magnificent Roman basilica, the largest in Israel, have been uncovered in Ashkelon in an excavation conducted by the Antiquities Authority (IAA) within a development project of the Tel Ashkelon National Park and will soon be accessible to the public, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) announced on Monday.

Located just a few meters from the seashore, the structure, a public building, was divided into three sections: a main hall and two side parts. According to the archaeologists, the main hall was surrounded by massive marble columns as high as 13 m. and ornate with elaborated capitals, featuring plant motifs and in some instances an eagle – a Roman symbol. Their remains offer an insight into the splendor of the original building.

“The basilica was first discovered in the 1920s by British archaeologist John Garstang who then covered it once again,” said Dr. Rachel Bar Nathan, IAA director of excavation.

From an article in the Jerusalem Post

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