Researchers have unearthed the remains of massive ancient fortifications that once helped protect an Assyrian harbor.
The fortifications were found in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, just south of Tel Aviv, and have at the foundation a mud-brick wall up to more than 12 feet wide and 15 feet high.
The fortifications, when fully built in the eight century B.C., formed “a daunting crescent-shaped defense for an inland area covering more than 17 acres,” according to the Tel Aviv University researchers, led by Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of the university’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures.
When the walls were built, the Assyrians ruled the southeastern part of the Mediterranean basin, including parts of Africa and the Middle East.
The fortifications were so extensive that it took “an amazing amount of time and energy” to put them up said Fantalkin in a statement.
The researchers also found more recent ruins, from the Hellenistic period between the fourth and second centuries B.C., on top of the Iron Age fortifications. They were likely destroyed by an earthquake in the second half of the second century B.C.
The 3-D reconstruction seen in the rendering above was made possible through a new digital technique called photogrammetry.