Courtesy ©2003 Arie Shomer (resides in Jerusalem, Israel), solely for this page.
Caesarea Obelisk

Location: Hippodrome (Eastern Circus), Caesarea, Israel
Pharaoh: Unknown. Probably Romans.
Height: 12 meters (Originally 15 meters)
Weight: About 100 tons
Stone: Red granite

Caesarea is a town facing the Mediterranean Sea, 50 km north of Tel Aviv. The King Herod the Great (Herodes) [reigned B.C. 37 - B.C. 4] who built this town named it "Caesarea" in honor of his Roman patron, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (or the first Roman Emperor Augustus). But the town fell into decline after the Muslim conquest in 7th Century, and then the town came alive again during the Crusader period in 13th Century. They reconstructed and fortified the town, but soon conquered by Sultan Baybars (Mamluk Sultan of Egypt and Syria) and the town went once more into steady decline. Now the town serves as ruins, and Roman aqueducts, amphitheatre, hippodrome, and crusader's fortress remain. The railroad station (Binyamina Station of Israel Railways) is located inland.
(Note) Caesarea is also spelled as Caesaria, Qaisariyeh, Qaysariyah, Qesari, etc.
(Note) This town is often called "Caesarea Maritima" or sometime "Caesarea Palestine (Caesarea Palaestinae)", "Herodian Caesarea" in order to distinguish it from Caesarea Philippi in Syria.

Caesarea Obelisk Courtesy ©2003 Arie Shomer (resides in Jerusalem, Israel), solely for this page.
 

Provenance: Since this obelisk was discovered from the underground of the ruin of hippodrome, this was originally erected as the decorative centerpiece of the hippodrome, which was built in the 2nd century. Refer to the signboard on the side of obelisk.

The obelisk fell down sometime between the 7th and 13th centuries, most probably in the beginning of the 7th century after the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquest of the region around the year 640 A.D.
It was discovered in 1980s broken in three separate pieces. This obelisk must have been discovered before 1974. One American who has worked on an archaeological excavation at the hippodrome site of Caesarea in 1974 testified that the broken obelisk was lying in full view, above ground, in the middle of the hippodrome site. It was once proposed to set it up in the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, but it was decided to re-erect it at the original cite - hippodrome in Caesarea. The obelisk was put back together with titanium pins and epoxy adhesives and missing pieces of the obelisk were replaced with concrete to complete the restoration. This project was carried out by IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority)'s Department of Conservation, and it was officially erected on June 18, 2001.

Therefore, the obelisk stands at hippodrome (Eastern Circus) at seaside Caesarea at present.

How to Get There: From Tel Aviv [any station: HaHagana, HaShalom, Savidor Center, or University] of Israel Railways, get off at Binyamina Station, then take a taxi. No licensed taxi is available at Kesariyya-Pardes Hanna [Keisarya/Caesarea Pardes Khana] Station which is one station before Binyamina Station. Here are relevant maps for this obelisk. click here


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