What is in a name? 'Akko - Ptolemais - 'Akka - Acre

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The modern city of 'Akko in Israel has borne many names over the centuries of its extended settlement. The name Acre, as it is known in the Western World, is the remnant of the name, St. Jean d'Acre, given to it by its Crusader settlers in the 12th century CE. However, the name 'Akko and its derivatives has a long history. It appeared as such already in written sources at the beginning of the 2nd Millennium BCE when the first urbanization of the site took place. It remained as 'Akko, 'Ake, etc... throughout the subsequent centuries, despite attempts by its varied rulers to change it. The settlement shifted, following the changes of the coastline and the Na'aman (Belos) River, from the ancient Tel Akko, to the bay, where an artificial harbor was established, re-constructed and repeatedly renovated during the 2000 or more years. The first known name of the original site of the settlement, the tell, is dated to the Crusader period. It experienced alteration of name, echoing the transformation of 'Akko's history, in which the Western (European) intervention played a major role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Akka
  • Crusaders
  • Napoleon
  • Ptolemais
  • Saint Jean d'Acre
  • Tel Akko

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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