The recent storms in the eastern Mediterranean have caused considerable damage along the coast. At Ashkelon, located on Israel’s southern Mediterranean coast, the high waves uncovered a Roman-era statue.
France 24 International News reports here,
A massive storm that battered the eastern Mediterranean caused the collapse of a cliff in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, revealing a rare Roman-era marble statue, officials said on Tuesday.
“The big storm earlier this week caused the cliff to collapse and a statue from Roman times was found by a passer-by,” said Yoli Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The white marble statue of a woman, which weighs about 200 kilogrammes (440 pounds) and stands 1.2 metres (nearly four feet) tall, has been removed from the site by the authority, which is studying it, she said.
The statue was missing its head and arms, apparently from earlier damage, but had “delicately carved sandals,” Schwartz told AFP.
The storm that hit the eastern Mediterranean earlier in the week with winds of over more than 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) whipped up enormous waves, some as high as 12 metres (40 feet), that caused widespread damage.
While the collapse of the cliff in Ashkelon led to the discovery of the statue, the storm also endangered other important archaeological sites along the coast.
The reports I have read do not make it clear if this discovery was made at Tel Ashkelon. The port is mentioned. Damage to archaeological sites, both natural and man-made, are not uncommon. In fact Tel Ashkelon has been severely eroded by the wind and the waves over the years. This photo shows the location of the tel as we look north. Some of the buildings of modern Ashkelon may be seen in the distance.
Take a look at the erosion in the west side of the tel. Shards of pottery may be seen in the exposed portion of the tel and along the beach. Some shards show evidence of having been repeatedly washed out and in.
Ashkelon was one of the main cities of the Philistines. The LORD spoke against the Philistine cities through the prophet Jeremiah (ch. 47). These verses caught my attention.
How long will you cry out, ‘Oh, sword of the LORD, how long will it be before you stop killing? Go back into your sheath! Stay there and rest!’ But how can it rest when I, the LORD, have given it orders? I have ordered it to attack the people of Ashkelon and the seacoast. (Jeremiah 47:6-7 NET)
HT: Joseph I. Lauer