Geoarchaeological investigations at Akko, Israel: New insights into landscape changes and related anchorage locations since the Bronze Age

Matthieu Giaime, Christophe Morhange, Nick Marriner, Gloria I. López-Cadavid, Michal Artzy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Since the first archaeological excavations undertaken in the 1970s/1980s, Tel Akko is known to have been an important trade city from the early 2nd millennium B.C. onwards. Even if the site has been intensively excavated, no paleoenvironmental studies looking to understand coastal changes near the tell since the Bronze Age had been undertaken until recently. Our research is based on the study of sediment cores drilled at the foot of the tell and in the Old City of Akko, 1,500 m west of the tell. We validate the coastal changes, already proposed by previous studies, while clarifying the chronology of these changes. We propose that the southern anchorage was located in the river mouth of the Na'aman until the early Persian period. This anchorage shifted to the “open” western coast of the tell during the Persian period before its subsequent relocation to the rocky promontory of Akko in Hellenistic times. We attempted to locate the Hellenistic harbor of Akko by coring in the Old City, in proximity to the modern harbor. At that time, a harbor lay in a semi-protected pocket beach at the foot of the promontory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)641-660
    Number of pages20
    JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The project leading to this publication has received funding from the Excellence Initiative of Aix-Marseille University—A*MIDEX, a French “Investissements d'Avenir” project. Support was also provided by the Institut Universitaire de France (CLIMSORIENT project), the project MISTRALS (Mediterranean Integrated Studies at Regional and Local Scales) Paleomex-Envimed-GEOISRAEL, and by the Hatter Laboratory, Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa. This work was undertaken within the framework of MG's PhD (Aix-Marseille Université, École Doctorale 355). MG acknowledges MOPP-Medflood (INQUA CMP project 1603P) for fruitful discussions. We thank the Eccorev federation and the sedimentology laboratory of the CEREGE (D. Delanghe). We thank all the field technicians for their help during fieldwork, in particular students from Haifa University (Andrew Bar-ronet, Silas Dean, Amanda Holdman, Kyle Murray, Isaac Ogloblin). The authors thank G. Huckleberry, J. Woodward, and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions that improved an earlier version of this manuscript.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


    • Haifa Bay
    • Israel
    • Na‘aman River
    • Tel Akko
    • ancient harbor
    • coastal changes
    • geoarchaeology
    • geomorphology
    • paleogeography

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Archaeology
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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