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, 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.
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 cuniform tablets were found. Philistine ware is found in the site in 12th century BC layers.
Establishment of Antipatris
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. The city was destroyed in 363 CE by an earthquake.
Ottoman Ras al-Ayn
"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].
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. 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. There had also been an Arab peasant village at the site which, however, became deserted in the 1920s.
Yarkon-Tel Afek national park
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.
- Kochavi, 1997, p. 147-151
- Easton, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
- Heyd, 1960, p.108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
- Heyd, 1960, p. 107-108. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
- Heyd, 1960, p. 106. Cited in Petersen, 2002, p.257
- Petersen, 2002, p.255
- Khalidi, 1992, p396
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- Heyd, Uriel (1960): Ottoman Documents on Palestine, 1552-1615, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Cited in Petersen (2002)
- Khalidi, Walid (1992), All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, ISBN 0-88728-224-5
- Kochavi, Moshe (1997). "Aphek". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. ISBN 0195112156.
- le Strange, Guy (1890), Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500, Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund (p.472) Also Cited in Petersen (2002)
- Petersen, Andrew (2002): A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Volume I (British Academy Monographs in Archaeology) P. 255-57
- Book of Acts 23:31