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Ancient Ashkelon (Ashqelon)
Archaeological site in Palestine on the Mediterranean Sea 15 miles northeast of Gaza. An ancient city settled in the third millennium BC it was taken over by the Philistines in the 12th century BC and became one of their five city-states called the Philistine Pentapolis. It flourished under many rulers as a major port and trade center between Syria and Egypt. Excavation of the city's important remains began in 1920. The modern city is nearby. (AHSFC)
Ashkelon was the capital of Canaanite Kings and the harbor of the Philistines and the stomping ground of the biblical hero Samson. From the Canaanite era Ashkelon is the oldest and largest seaport yet known in Israel and a thriving Middle Bronze Age (2000 - 1550 BC) metropolis of more thasn 150 acres with commanding ramparts including the oldest arched city gate in the world still standing two stories high.
From the Philistine era (1175 - 604 BC) excavations of the seaport are uncovering remains of the city from the days of Samson and Delilah and the city's destruction by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar ......
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