Courtesy of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon

ENTREPÔT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN. Ashkelon’s excavations have revealed the only archaeologically demonstrated marketplace ever uncovered in the ancient Near East. Unlike many other coastal cities that had a port separate from the city, Ashkelon was situated directly on the sea, with its marketplace overlooking the Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, the economy of Ashkelon was based on maritime trade. Excavations have uncovered four buildings in the marketplace, including a grain shop, a warehouse and a row of shops.