(JNS.org) The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, Caesarea Development Corporation, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Israel Nature and Parks Authority jointly announced Wednesday an unprecedented project to expose, conserve and renovate the ancient town of Caesarea.
“The aim is to enrich and expose the centers of archaeological, cultural and religious content throughout ancient Caesarea…and turn them into the main tourism site in Israel, together with Jerusalem,” stated Michael Karsenti, CEO of the Caesarea Development Corporation, adding that the initiative will “change the reality and transform the entire area into an international tourist destination.”
The project involves a total investment exceeding 100 million shekels ($27 million) by the Rothschild Foundation and the Caesarea Development Corporation.
The IAA said the project aims to enhance “the visitor’s experience in Caesarea National Park as the foremost antiquities site in Israel” alongside Jerusalem and will be implemented “as part of realizing the vision of 3 million tourists in Caesarea by the year 2030.”
Current archaeological excavations in Caesarea, which represent a continuation of excavations from the 1990s, have uncovered ancient artifacts and ruins dating back to the time of King Herod, 37–4 B.C., until the Crusader period, 1095-1291 A.D.
“This enormous project has unprecedented archaeological significance…The ancient Jewish past of [Caesarea], of Rabbi Akiva and the Ten Martyrs, is revealed before our very eyes,” said Guy Swersky, vice chairman of the Rothschild Foundation.