The twilight town. 4.
. harbour of Joppe
South of Joppe there was no natural bay or anchorage available. The distance Dor-Joppe is c.70 km. In between there are hardly anchoages with the exeption of Straton’s Tower, Tell Mikhmoret (Minet Abu Zubura), Apollonia/Arsuf and Makmish (Tel Michal). Most of those place have Phoenician remains. In Joppe itself an inner harbour or a sort of cothon was excavated. This is located east of Joppe on the ancient course of the river Ayalon. This could have been the old
. Furthermore there was a superb
natural harbour on the north-west side of the hill, protected by a chain of
rocks. The basin is called “the Jaffa-sea” in biblical texts recording the
transport of cedars of Lebanon to harbour of Joppe .
The area of
whole basin of the Yarkon is rich with archaeological sites. For instance: N.Avigad
is convinced that Makmish, near Herzliyah, was a Phoenician site (Excavations
at Makmish 1958, Preliminary Report, IEJ 10, 1960). Deserted in the 8th century BC, it
would have been reoccupied in the 5th and 4th century BC
by the Phoenicians with a sanctuary. Here are found votive figurines. Jaffa
Myths, legends or ….
Around Joppa are a lot of myths and stories emerged:
Jonas, who in his flight, boarded a ship at Joppa for Tarshish.
Jona 1:3: But Jonah is preparing to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord; and he came to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down in it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
In the Egyptian period an Egyptian writer with the nickname Mahar visits the surroundings of Yapu and tells us the following story: “During a drive through the gardens, orchards and vineyards around Yapu he lets stop his chariot to go pick fruit along the roadside. There he meets a female guardian of a vineyard, which is not exactly squeamish failed. After a pleasant get-together, he returned to his car and must establish that he was robbed of his weapons and horses.”
“The skeleton of the whale, where, according to myth, Andromeda was delivered to has Marcus Scaurus when he was Ediel, from Joppa in Judaea to Rome be transported and exhibited among other oddities. The skeleton was 40 feet long, the ribs were longer than those of Indian elephants and the spine was one and a half feet thick.”
This myth of Andromeda abandoned to the sea-monster is mentioned by Plinius, Strabo (Geography XVI 2,28), Pausanias (Description of Greece XIV 35,9), Flavius Josephus (The Jewish War III 9,3 par.420), Solinus (Collectanea rerum memorabilium XXXIV 1-2) and St.Jerome (Letter 108,8,2).
Andromeda’s father seems to be Cepheus (derived from Kepa=rock) and he exposed his daughter to the sea-monster to placate Poseidon and she was accordingly chained to the rock. Andromeda’s mother was called κασσιόπη. In the end of her name we read again iopa!
Conon makes the story even more beautiful than it already is: “Cepheus was king of Joppe, which was later called
Pomponius Mela gives yet another twist to the story:
“In Palestine, there is also the not so small Ascalon and moreover Iope, as it is called, which was founded before the flood; that here Kepheus as king ruled that confirm residents by the fact that they have some ancient altars with an inscription with his name and the name of his brother Phineus and they keep this in top worship: So, as a clear track for the saga celebrated in poetry and history, namely, that Andromeda was saved by Perseus and thereby draw attention to the huge bones of the sea monster.”
Some gods/goddesses are mentioned
We encounter an Astarte in the form of Atargis (Attar-Ate) a North-Syrian goddess.
Plinius mentions the worship of the fabulosa Ceto (=Derketo?).
The worship of Ešmun is also possible, but it is not certain.
True or not true?
J.Ringel assures us that Joppe has a Phoenician origin and that is confirmed by a Phoenician inscription from the 3rd century BC, which mentions a temple for Ešmun. (Césarée de Palestine, Paris, Editions Ophrys 1975).
The authors of the article ‘
Jaffa’ in: Archaeology of the
Holy Land, Jerusalem, Keter Publishing House
1974, p.110) does not hesitate either: “A Sidonian stone dedicatory inscription
was discovered in
and mentions the establishment of a Sidonian temple in the city.” Those two
previous publications are based on the findings and publication much earlier in
1892 by C.R.Conder (“The Prayer of Ben Abdas on the Dedication of the Jaffa ” in Pal.Expl.Fund 1892
pp.170-174). Temple of Joppa
However, in Syria LIII 1976 the eminent scholar J.Teixidor makes a simple statement about this: “It is certainly a fraud”, without giving any explanation! See: Bulletin d’épigraphie Sémitique.