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by Sarah Kammer

When I was younger, I watched a documentary on a city called Caesarea. From then on out, I was fascinated by the place. Caesarea has an intriguing back story, and was a massive marvel of human engineering in its prime. Herod the Great built the site essentially as an apology present to the Roman emperor Augustus in the hope that Augustus would forgive him for fighting on the side of Mark Antony and Cleopatra when they lost.

Thus, Herod created Caesarea around 22-10 BCE in the spirit and image of a Roman city with the full intent of it becoming an important center for trade and commerce for the Roman Empire. Part of why Caesarea is such an amazing feat of human ingenuity, besides the sheer massive size of the city, is that it included a fully manmade harbor. The artificial harbor created another place where maritime trade could flourish than in the natural bays of Akko and Haifa. Many important historic things happened in the city, including, allegedly, St. Paul’s imprisonment.

Years after watching that fateful documentary, I loved, and still love, anything that even remotely has to do with Caesarea. It was a place of wonder that I enjoyed considerably more than your average person, and even more so now after our visit to the site.

One of the best parts of the day of our trip was getting to speak with a current excavator of Caesarea. She showed me that there is still a lot to be learned from a place I love. Every year new discoveries are being made that shape what we know about the city itself, as well as the entire coast of Israel.

Being able to come to Israel has been a wonderful experience and our adventure to one of my top desired cities to visit was one of the happiest moments I have had on this month-long trip. However, being led around by one of the original excavators of the site was icing on the cake for me. It gave me so much more insight into a place I already loved, that I will be forever grateful for Martha Risser, one of the ceramic specialists of the Tel Akko excavation, for showing us around a city she clearly still holds close to her heart.

I never expected I would be able to visit Caesarea in person because of where it was – Israel. Until last fall, the idea of going to Israel had never crossed my mind. Though I yearned to visit Caesarea and several other sites, I didn’t believe it was going to be a possible endeavor for me for several reasons, a major one being the current political climate in the country. Yet here I sit, on the outskirts of the Old City of Akko, Israel. Moral of the story? Dreams, no matter how impossible they seem at one point in life, really can come true.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Timeline of Caesarea's History
This was later used as a fish farm
Herod's Pool in the Palace
Where the harbor would have been - it is completely underwater now
This was the last stop. We were able to go up on it!
Aqueduct for Caesarea
Sarah Kammer
About Sarah Kammer

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Dreams Really Do Come True