Via Dolorosa - POB 19424, 91193 - JERUSALEM Tel. +972 2-6282936, +972-2-6280271;
Fax: +972-2-6264519
















Jaffa, Tel Qasileh, Eretz Israel Museum, Ramleh, and Lod
(November 25, 2004)

Jaffa, Joppa

Jaffa, meaning the Beautyful in Hebrew. Here one can see the Panorama of the hill on which the old city of Jaffa is situated. According to the Greek mythology, Andromeda had been tied there on a rock, to be devoured by a marine monster. The beauty of this place has produced the myths of Eolus and Jafeth. In the Book of Jonah, it is written that the Prophet embarked here to escape God's command to preach to the city of Nineveh (Jonah 1:3).

View of the present, small harbour of Jaffa.

The natural inlet of Jaffa yielded to the establishment of a port city since the 2nd millennium B.C., mentioned by Tutmosis III and other ancient sources (Sennacherib, Eshmunazar of Sidon, Pseudo-Schylax, Zeno of Alexandria). King Solomon brought a quantity of timber from Lebanon by sea to Jaffa for the purpose of building the Temple and his house in Jerusalem (2Chr 2:16). The Romans made use of this harbor during the Jewish War; it was also used by the Crusaders, who under Godfrey of Bouillon rebuilt the city walls and renewed the harbor with help of the Pisan sailors.

The archaeological garden on the Jaffa promontory. The excavations were carried out by P.O. Guy (1948-1950), and J. Kaplan (1955-1968).

A portal from Ramses' palace. The city of Jaffa was situated along the Via Maris (the road by the sea). During the Late Bronze Period, the city was subjected to the pharaohs (Letters of el-Amarna, Papirus Anastasi I).

Panoramic view of Tel Aviv, the vast, modern metropolis located alongside Old Jaffa.

Tel Qasileh

Sketch plan of Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, which includes prominently Tell Qasileh. In the Museum, many objects, both ancient and modern alike, are displayed. Worthy of notice are the industrial complexes for the making of oil and wine; the mosaic of the Samaritan Synagogue found on Tel Qasileh with other mosaics brougth here from Beit Jibrin and Ramleh.

A. Museum
B. Park
C. Tell Qasileh
1. Kadman Numismatic Pavillion
2. Glass Pavillion
3. Nechushtan Pavillion (bronze works)
4. Ceramic Pavillion
5. Postal and Philatelic Museum
6. Excavations of Tell Qasileh
7. Biblical House (reconstruction)
8. Judaic and Ethnographic Pavillion
9. Pre-industrial oil-press
10. "Jotham parable" Garden
11. Planetarium
12. Mosaics Exibition

Glass from Eretz Israel Museum Collection.

Elegant pottery vase from the Hellenistic Era.
Below. Philistine crater and anthropoid sarcophagus on display in the Ceramic Pavillion. A lot of ceramic objects were dug up during Tell Qasileh excavations. The different form of Philistine painted pottery (zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, craters, dippers, kernoi, rithon) are unknown to the local (cananaean or israelite) ceramic traditions.

Philistine sanctuary of Tell Qasileh, possibly consecrated to Dagon. The excavations begun by B. Mazar in 1948, were completed by his son A. Mazar in 1982-1984. The temple passed through three different occupation phases in the 12th and 11th cent. B. C. The final phase includes an entrance, a cell with a platform, steps, and pillars, and also a storage room.

The peculiar silhouette of Tel Yonah, whose name recalls to mind the story described in the Book of Jonah. This site is mentioned in the Madaba Mosaic Map as The place of Saint Jonah.


Al-Ramleh (grain of sand): the façade of the Latin parish Church dedicated to St. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Beside it stands the Franciscan Monastery on the right.

Interior view of the Latin church at Ramleh. This town was founded by the Umayyad caliph Suleiman Ibd Abd al-Malik around the year 715 A.D. as the capital of the province of Palestine.

A room inside the Franciscan Monastery, which is said to have been used by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1792.

On the right, the main mosque of Ramleh, which was formerly church of the Crusaders. Below is the main portal and posterior view.

The Tower of the Forty at Ramleh was built by the Mamelukes in the 14th cent. A.D.

Below. A Byzantine pillar re-employed in the tower’s stairwell.

Panoramic view of the Mameluke khan as seen from the top of the Tower of the Forty.


Lod and Lydda. Here we have the icon of St. George and the vignette representing the city of Lod/Diospolis in the Madaba Mosaic map.

We know that the origins of the city of Lod are from the 2nd millennium B.C. because it appears mentioned on the list of Tutmosis III at Karnak, dating back to that period; it has been re-occupied by the Jews returning from exile in Babylon (Esd 2:33; Neem 6:1-4; 11:35). As a city of the Roman Empire, Lod was named Diospolis (Colonia Lucia Septimia Severia Diospolis), while during the byzantine era, it took the name of Georgiopolis because of the famous shrine of St. George built there.

Interior view of the Crusader basilica of St. George at Lydda. Today, it serves as the parish church of the Greek Orthodox Community.

The crypt od St. George beneath the Crusader basilica. According to his Passion, the saint was martyred in Nicomedia around 250 A.D.

The present day cover of St. George’s sarcophagus. In the iconography, St. George is represented on horseback and with the spear because he is considered the defender of the Christians in all the Orient.

Plan of the entire complex of the sacred edifices of Lod, including the Crusader basilica and the Mameluke mosque. The latter comprises remains of the Byzantine church.
A. Mosque
B. Greek Orthodox Church
I. Byzantine church (6th cent.)
II. Crusader Church (12th sec.)

Courtyard of the Mar Girgis / al-Khader Mosque built upon the premises of the Crusader Church.

Interior view of the Mosque.

Click on photos to enlarge.

External Links

Tel Yafo (Old Jaffa) Excavations (Tel Aviv University)

Tel Qasileh Mazar Excavations (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Eretz Israel Museum Tel-Aviv Homepage

The Place of St. Yonah - Nabi Yunis (The Madaba Mosaic Map)

Ramla: Arab Capital of the Province of Palestine (Jewish Virtual Library)

Lod also Lydea, called also Diospolis (The Madaba Mosaic Map)

 SBF main, Excursions Index

Biblical Excursions

The Holy Land


Tel Qasileh

Maaleh Adummin


Tell es-Sultan

En Gedi


cyber logo footer
Please fill in our Guest book form - Thank you for supporting us!
Created/updated: Sunday, December 16, 2001 by J. Abela / E. Alliata
This page makes use of Javascript and Cascading Style Sheets - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex