ARCHAEOLOGY

Ruins of Crusaders Discovered Beneath Israeli City

One of the richest archaeological sites in a country full of them is just now being uncovered: the walled port of Acre, where the busy alleys of an Ottoman-era town cover a uniquely intact Crusader city.

workers in a section of the Crusader town

June, 19, 2011: Workers in a section of the Crusader town underneath the old port city of Acre, on the Mediterranean coast in northern Israel. Off the track beaten by most Holy Land tourists lies one of the richest archaeological sites in a country full of them: Acre, where the busy alleys of an Ottoman-era town cover a uniquely intact Crusader city now being rediscovered.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Tunnel Built by Knights Templar

June, 19, 2011: A tunnel built by knights of the Templar order under the old port city of Acre, on the Mediterranean coast in northern Israel. "It's like Pompeii of Roman times -- it's a complete city," said Eliezer Stern, the Israeli archaeologist in charge of Acre. He called the town "one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology."

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Youths stand on wall surrounding Acre

June, 19, 2011: Israeli Arab youths stand on the wall surrounding the old port city of Acre. Today, old Acre is a picturesque enclave jutting into the Mediterranean, home to 5,000 Arab citizens of Israel who live in dense warrens of homes that are themselves historic artifacts. Most residents are poor.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Youth jumps off the seawall surrounding Acre

June, 19, 2011: An Israeli Arab youth jumps off the 250-year-old seawall surrounding the old port of Acre. The newly excavated area, part of a Crusader neighborhood, is set to open later this year.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

the old port city of Acre on the Mediterranean coast

June, 19, 2011: The old port city of Acre on the Mediterranean coast in northern Israel. In 2001, Acre became Israel's first UNESCO World Heritage site. But whether because of its out-of-the-way location in the country's north or simply because it must compete with better-known sites like Jerusalem and the desert fortress of Masada, Acre has been overshadowed.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Ottoman era inn known as Khan al-Umdan

June, 19, 2011: The Ottoman-era inn known as Khan al-Umdan in the old port city of Acre. Acre has existed for at least 4,500 years, but reached the height of its importance with the Crusader conquest in 1104.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

graffiti left by a medieval traveler

June, 19, 2011: Etched in plaster on one wall was a coat of arms -- graffiti left by a medieval traveler. Nearby was a main street of cobblestones and a row of shops that once sold clay figurines and ampules for holy water, popular souvenirs for pilgrims..

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Ruins of Crusaders Discovered Beneath Israeli City

One of the richest archaeological sites in a country full of them is just now being uncovered: the walled port of Acre, where the busy alleys of an Ottoman-era town cover a uniquely intact Crusader city.

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