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Forging history - Penn State News Feature

Archaeologists recreate an Iron Age smithy in northern Israel.
Forging history - Penn State News Feature

he harbor and Old City of Akko (also called Acre), a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the shores of the Mediterranean in far northern Israel. IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES/RUSLAN DASHINSKY

On the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, in far northern Israel, sits Akko, a city of layers going back thousands of years. Its “Old City,” with beautiful Ottoman architecture built on the best-preserved Crusader city in existence, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Akko today gracefully blends old with new, eastern with western, religious with secular. Twenty-six religions are represented here; it is among the holiest sites in the Bahá'í and Sufi faiths. “It’s a very spiritual and cosmic place,” says Penn State archaeologist Ann Killebrew. “People who come here want to come back.”

Some of those who come back time after time are archaeologists trying to understand the previous inhabitants, who included the biblical Canaanites and Phoenicians, by unearthing and examining what they left behind. Some explore the historic old town. Others, like Killebrew, work at Tel Akko, “the hill of Akko,” a 60-80-foot-tall mound a mile east of the Old City.

Read the rest of the feature by Cherie Winner here.

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