Aaron Wegman

The harbor at Caesarea. This infrared photograph taken in 1960 reveals the remains of Herod’s massive breakwaters (dark brown) now underwater. The white ship in the upper left is the research vessel Sea Cloud of the Link Expedition, the first underwater expedition at Caesarea. Immediately above the ship is the entrance to the ancient harbor and the end of the northern breakwater. At the northwest corner of this breakwater, CAHEP divers found remains of 2,000-year-old wooden beams (shown in the photo below) that formed part of a frame into which concrete was poured for the breakwater’s foundations; unseen in this photograph is the tower block discovered underwater beyond the northern breakwater.

Below the Sea Cloud is the ancient harbor’s curving southern breakwater. The irregular shape of this breakwater is the result of centuries of damage inflicted on the structure by the prevailing southwest currents. By contrast, the inner face of the northern breakwater was well protected and has retained its original form.

Parts of the small modern breakwater appear in white extending from the shore on the right of the picture.