harbor, Philistine capital, Hellenistic polis, fortified Crusader city.
The only ancient city located on the sea
coast in the Southern Coastal plain. The name is of Western-Semitic origin, from
the word "Shekel" - maybe an allusion to one of the Philistine tribes.
Neolitihic Period - beginning of
Second Millennium BCE - Under Egyptian rule. Mentioned in the El
Amarna letters, 19th century BCE.
!3th Century BCE- Conquered by Ramses II after rebelling against Egypt.
Mentioned in the Israel Astelae, as a city conquered by Merneptah, together with
Gezer and Yinoam.
Israelite Period - Conquered by the tribe of Judah (Judges 1:18).
According to the Septuagint Ashkelon was not captured.
12th Century BCE - The Phiistines
conquer southern coast of the Land of Israel. Ashkelon becomes one of the five
main Philistine cities (Seren, Joshua 13:3). Samson kills 80 Philistines from
Ashkelon (Judges 14:19). David mentions Philistine Ashkelon in his lament over
Saul and Jonathan (II Samuel 1:20).
734 BCE - Ashkelon rebels against
Assyria, together with Aram and Israel. Her king is deposed.
701 BCE - Base for the Assyrian
armies on their campaign to conquer Egypt.
Babylonian Period - Ashkelon rebels
against Babylonian. Her nobles are exiled (Zafaniyah 2:4, Jeremiah 47:5).
Persian Period - Port city under
the rule of Tyre.
Hellenistic Period - Independent
polis, Hellenistic culture with Egyptian characteristics.
200 BCE - Conquered by Seleucids.
2nd Century BCE - Ashkelon is not
involved in battles with Hasmoneans. With the decline of the Seleucids becomes
104 BCE - Beginning of "year count"
for independent Ashkelon.
Roman Period - City remains
independent, except for short period during the reign of Cleopatra. Is not part
of Herod's kingdom but he takes the city under his patronage and erects palaces
and edifices in the city.
66-70 - Battles between Jews and
Pagans in the city. Jewish community continues to flourish in the city after
rebellion of jews against the Romans.
Late Roman Period - Independent
colony allied with Rome.
Byzantine Period - Important
commercial center. Surrounded by a wall. Appears on the Madeba map. Pagan city
not included in the Talmudic "Borders of the Babylonian Return".
Moslem Period - Remains important
center after Arab conquest. Jewish, Samaritan, Karaite, Christian and Moslem
communites live in the city - often fighting each other. According to Cairo
Genizah Jewish community had strong ties with Jews of Egypt.
Crusader Period - Fatamid outpost.
Conquered only in 1153 by Baldwin III. Crusaders built a castle in the city.
Remains are still visible today.
1187 - Saladin conquers city and
destroys its walls.
1190 - Richard Lion-Heart conquers
1240 - Richard of Cornwall, King of
England, fortifies city.
1270 - Baybars destroys the city.
Site is abandoned.
18th Century - Antiquities of
Ashkelon used as building material for Jaffa and Acre.
19th Century - East of remains of
ancient city Arab town of Migdal is established. A number of villages are formed
around the city. Inhabitants of town and villages are immigrants from Egypt.
British Mandate - British erect
fortified police station in the city and a marine police station on the beach to
stop illegal Jewish immigration.
War of Independence - Ashkelon
becomes forward position of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force based in Gaza.
5 November 1948 - Israel's Givati
Brigade conquers Magdal. Arab population flees city and surrounding villages to
Gaza together with retreating Egyptian Army.
1950 - Jewish Ashkelon is created.
Settled by new immigrants. City numbers today 60,000 inhabitants.
Lady Hester Stanhope.
1920-21 - Garstang and Adams.
1955 - Perot
1967 - Vasilios Zafirris
1972 - Two marble sarcophagi uncovered.
1985 - American Expedition. Still excavating.