Caesarea/Marine Archaeology/Ancient Harbor

Underwater Excavations of Sebastos: King Herod's Harbor


The ancient harbor at Caesarea, Israel is located on the Mediterranean coast midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa near the Kibbutz Sdot Yam (34 deg 53.5 min E 32 deg 30.5 min N). The harbor was commissioned and built by Herod the Great in 21 BC.

Herod used a new Roman building technique which incorporated newly invented material, hydraulic concrete, to build harbor moles out from the coastline. The early history of the harbor is documented by Josephus Flavius, however, the later history is still largely unknown (the harbor is presently submerged 5-7m below mean sea level).

Recent excavations have focused on reconstructing the method of harbor construction and the morphology of the harbor in order to understand how the harbor functioned and how it changed through time.

  • The Reseach

    This site was constructed by Eduard G. Reinhardt. I would like to thank Derek Threinen, Jana Owen and Heather Devine for their input. Many of the photos were provided by Derek Threinen and Nina Hodge. Of course, this site would not have been possible without the directors, the staff, and the volunteers of the Combined Caesarea Excavations who have devoted an incredible amount of time and effort to the project.