The Archaeology of Mandate-Period Jaffa: Purpose, Finds, and Contribution
- Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 9, Numbers 1-2, 2021
- pp. 6-28
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Excavations in Jaffa since the 1940s uncovered remains from the city's original inhabitation until the twentieth century. Investigation and analysis focused on the Middle Bronze II to the Byzantine periods. The later phases received far less attention. Ottoman and British Mandate layers were dug through with only basic documentation, if any, being considered irrelevant to archaeology. Yet, changing approaches proved the potential of the systematic study of architecture and artifacts from the recent past, despite and within related textual and illustrated information. Archaeological data provided new perspectives on Jaffa's fast transition from a small eastern Mediterranean backwater, economically dependent on farming and a deficient harbor, into a vibrant and cosmopolitan urban center. The tangible remains of the city's late nineteenth and early twentieth-century history attest to the unprecedented changes and ordeals the Holy Land as a whole experienced during that time.