Battle of Arsuf between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart

Though the site is dominated by the ruins of a substantial 13th-century Crusader fortress, over 30 years of near-continuous excavations have revealed an impressive port city with roots dating back to the time of the Phoenicians and continuing through the Islamic Period.

The 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons of excavations were focused on the Crusader Town of Apollonia/Arsur in collaboration between the University of Tuebingen (Germany) and Tel Aviv University (Israel). Given the broad range of new cultural experiences to which the Crusaders were exposed in their new environment in the Holy Land, this project aims at a better understanding of the European and local cultural influences that dictated the structure and organization of the town of Arsur and its hinterland. Muslim Arsuf was conquered by the Crusaders in 1101 and re-conquered by the Mamluks in 1265. The presence of the Crusaders left its mark on the town. Large parts of it were re-planned, while extensive fortifications, private and public buildings, as well as a castle were erected.

The town’s abandonment after its Mamluk destruction led to a unique archaeological setting in which the Crusader layers were left largely undisturbed by later settlement activities and thus are highly suitable for intensified archaeological research.


How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. Learn more >>


Geographic Location

Six miles north of Tel Aviv, on the shores of Herzlia, Israel

Periods of Occupation

Roman, Byzantine, Early Arab, Crusader


Oren Tal

Dr. Oren Tal is a full professor of classical, Near Eastern archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. In 2007, he took over directorship of the Apollonia-Arsuf excavations from long-time director professor Israel Roll.


Ilan Shachar
c/o Professor Oren Tal, Chair
The J.M. Department of Archaeology & ANE Cultures
Institute of Archaeology
Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
Phone: 011-972-3-640-6914
Fax: 011-972-3-640-6883
[email protected]
Apollonia-Arsuf Web Site