|Stunning view from cliff|
I was astounded by the size of the flowers next of the century plant. I'm the tiny blue person in the photo below. We may have seen something this size at the Desert Museum in Tucson but I'm not sure that they were this big.
Notice we are both wearing hats to protect us from the sun.
Apollonia is located on a cliff made of calcareous sandstone, read loam, and sand. This area was first settled about 2500 years ago by the Phoenicians at the end of the sixty century BCE (the Persian period).
During the Hellenistic period from about 332 to 63 BCE, the town was renamed Apollonia as the residents identified Reshef with the God Apollo. Later the town and more of the Coastal Plain was captured by the Hasmoneans. Josephus mentioned it saying it was one of the coastal cities ruled by Alexander Janneus.
During the Roman period from 63 BCE to 324 CD, Apollonia flourished and became a real city, with both a Samaritan community and perhaps a Jewish community here in the Roman and Byzantine periods. During the 5th and 6th centuries CE, the city (now called Suzussa) became the main port city for the southern Sharon Plain, and was over 70 acres big. It had wine and oil presses and a well-developed glass industry. The villa below was found under the Crusader walls when excavated. It had a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea.
|Roman Villa in use during first and second centuries CD|
|Artist rendering of Roman villa|
|Water Pool in town|
The Crusaders took Jerusalem in 1099 but could not conquer Arsuf until the spring of 1101 with the aid of the Genoan fleet. They renamed the area Arsour. In the mid-12th century, the entire area of the southern Sharon Plain was awarded to a noble Crusader family, and Arsour became the regional capital. The Crusaders strengthened the walls of the former Muslim city, digging a dry moat around the town for additional protection.
|Moat around town|
|Crusader Wall Overlooking Ocean|
|Fisherman in top right corner|
|Fortress from Afar|
|Model of Crusader fortress|
|Artist Depiction of Fort entrance/Keep|
Plant life: There are very strong winds on the cliff where Apollonia stands and salt spray comes up from the ocean.
|a succulent that was in abundance here in the summer during our visit|
The plants growing on the ridge above the cliff are highly resistant to the salt spray and the sand that blows on top of them.
|A thorny bush with weed-like flowers|
Shrubby slatbush, lavender, prickly dorp-seed grass, and evening primrose grow well here. The purple lavender flowers were in abundance.
In 2003, World Monuments Watch declared Apollonia endangered by development, one of 100 such sites around the world so-named in that year, including the Great Wall of China and the city of Batsra in Syria. The full list of sites can be found on http://www.wmf.org/.