Joint Expedition to Caesarea

The submerged remains of the massive breakwaters from Herod’s harbor appear as a deep-orange circular area in this infrared aerial photograph. A white boat in the upper left corner marks the entrance to the 2,000 year old harbor constructed by Palestine’s master builder. Above the boat is the northern breakwater. Below the boat is the 100 foot long, curved southern breakwater which Josephus accurately described as 200 feet wide. Josephus wrote that Herod built this wall to “break the surge” of water created by the fierce prevailing southwest winds.

The white structures on the right side of the picture are portions of the modern breakwater which extend from the shore. The modern harbor and its breakwater are small, almost tiny, compared to the harbor Herod built. To appreciate the difference, compare Herod’s harbor in this picture with the cover photograph showing the modern harbor. The diagonal sea wall (lower right) in the picture above is the end of the curved southern breakwater of the modern harbor, which is a central feature in the cover picture.