For over five millennia, Akko served as a major urban and maritime center located on the Mediterranean’s Levantine coast.
The tell, located east of the modern city of Akko, was inhabited from the Early Bronze Age into the Hellenistic period. By the middle of the Hellenistic period, however, settlement had shifted from the mound towards the natural Bay of Akko, under what is now the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Acre and the adjacent modern city.
Renewed excavations on Tel Akko commenced in 2010 under the co-direction of Ann E. Killebrew and Michal Artzy and include the Claremont Colleges as part of the consortium.
The current project incorporates an integrated, ‘total archaeology’ approach to the region’s heritage past and present. Our goals at Tel Akko, today a municipal park, include:
1. An intensive survey of the mound and the documentation of previously unpublished excavations conducted by Mosche Dothan.
2. The investigation of Bronze and Iron Age Akko and its role as the major Canaanite and Phoenician urban center in the Plain of Akko.
3. The development of Akko/Ptolemais and the impact of empire during the late Iron (Assyrian), Persian, and Hellenistic periods.
4. The development of new documentation technologies.
5. A state-of-the-art field school that incorporates excavation, survey, GIS, on-site conservation, underwater archaeology, and community outreach.
As one of the few safe anchorages along the southern Levantine coast, Akko has served throughout much of its history as a maritime center and major cross-roads between east and west.
The earliest inhabitants of Akko settled on a low kurkar hill overlooking the fertile Akko plain, just north of the historic Belus (or modern Na‘aman) River.
Today the 22-hectare tell is a municipal park, situated to the east of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Crusader and Ottoman-period Acre.
From the excavation site to the lab, at Akko traditional archaeology meets cutting-edge technology.
The Akko excavation makes extensive use of daily site photography and remote sensing to create photo-realistic, spatially accurate 3D models that help archaeologists document minor site changes over time.