From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the site near Haifa, see Tel Afek.
Antipatris aerial view Feb 2014.JPG
Aerial view, 2014
Antipatris is located in Israel
Shown within Israel
Alternate name Tel Afek
Location Central District, Israel
Region Levant
Coordinates 32°06′18″N 34°55′49.5″E / 32.10500°N 34.930417°E / 32.10500; 34.930417Coordinates: 32°06′18″N 34°55′49.5″E / 32.10500°N 34.930417°E / 32.10500; 34.930417
Type Settlement
Site notes
Condition In ruins

Antipatris (Ancient Greek: Αντιπατρίς), one of two places known as Tel Afek (Hebrew: תל אפק‎), is an archaeological site in Israel. It was inhabited from the chalcolithic time to the late Roman period,[1] but is named after Antipatris, a city built in the site by Herod the Great, and named in honour of his father, Antipater II of Judea. An Ottoman fortress was built in its place in the 16th century. It lays between Caesarea Maritima and Lydda, two miles inland, on the Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem.[2]

Tel Afek lies east of Petah Tikva and west of Kafr Qasim and Rosh HaAyin, near the source of the Yarkon River.[3]


Tel Afek[edit]

Prior to the establishment of classic Antipatris, Tel Afek had earlier served as a fortress and major strategic points in battles between the Egyptians, Israelites and Philistines in the Bronze and Iron Age, until it fell into ruin prior to Herod's rebuilding. Afek is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an organization point of Philistines during the struggle with Israelites.

The Bronze Age saw the construction of defensive walls, 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) to 3.5 metres (11 ft) wide, and a series of palaces. On e of these is described as an Egyptian governor residence of the 15th century BC, and within, an array of cuneiform tablets were found. Philistine ware is found in the site in 12th century BC layers.[1]

Establishment of Antipatris[edit]

Antipatris was a city built by Herod the Great, and named in honor of his father, Antipater II of Judea. It lay between Caesarea Maritima and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem.[2]

Paul the Apostle was brought by night from Jerusalem to Antipatris and next day from there to Caesarea Maritima, to stand trial before the governor Antonius Felix.<refLof the Apostles&verse=23:31-32&src=ESV Acts of the Apostles 23:31-32.

Only one of the early bishops of the Christian bishopric of Antipatris, a suffragan of Caesarea, is mentioned by name in extant documentation: Polychronius, who was present both at the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451.[4] No longer a residential bishopric, Antipatris is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[5]

In 363, the city was badly damaged by an earthquake.

Ottoman Ras al-Ayn[edit]

Ras al-Ayn, the Ottoman fortress at the head of the Yarkon River

Ottoman records indicate that a Mamluk fortress may have stood on the site.[6] However, the Ottoman fortress was built following the publication of a firman in 1573 CE (981 H.):

"You have sent a letter and have reported that four walls of the fortress Ras al-Ayn have been built, [..] I have commanded that when [this firman] arrives you shall [..have built] the above mentioned rooms and mosque with its minaret and have the guards remove the earth outside and clean and tidy [the place].[7]

The fortress was built to protect a vulnerable stretch of the Cairo-Damascus highway (the Via Maris), and was provided with 100 horsemen and 30 foot soldiers. The fortress was also supposed to supply soldiers to protect the hajj route.[8] The fortress is a massive rectangular enclosure with four corner towers and a gate at the centre of the west side. The south-west tower is octagonal, while the three other towers have a square ground plan.[9] There had also been an Arab peasant village at the site which, however, became deserted in the 1920s.[10]

Yarkon-Tel Afek national park[edit]

Currently, the site of Antipatris is included in the national park "Yarkon-Tel Afek", incorporating the area of the Ottoman fortress, the remains of the Roman city and the British water pumping station.


  1. ^ a b Kochavi, 1997, p. 147-151
  2. ^ a b  Easton, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. III, coll. 579-582
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 834
  6. ^ Heyd, 1960, p.108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  7. ^ Heyd, 1960, p. 107-108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  8. ^ Heyd, 1960, p. 106. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
  9. ^ Petersen, 2002, p.255
  10. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p396


External links[edit]