Friday, January 20, 2012

Tel Achziv

This used to be a Phoenician city.  It had its own harbour and was famous for its dyeing industry, using the glands ofs snail to produce the dyes.  When the tribe of Asher came settle the land the Phoenicians were already there and they stayed, along with the Asherites.

The Phoenicians had arrived in the countryin approx 1500 BCE, and the peak of their civilization was in the years 1200-800 BCE, although some still remained in Roman times.  The name Phoenicians comes from the Greek word for purple (one of their dye colours) Phoenix.  They had many gods and their centres of worship were Geval and Baalbeck.  They were one of the first peoples to use letters in their writing.

During the Mishna period there was a synagogue on the site.  Later there was an Arab village, which was abandoned in 1948. 

In 1946 the bridge over the nearby Achziv stream was blown up during the Night of the Bridges.  14 people were killed.  The Achziv stream descends from the Hermon and drains the whole area.

In 1971 Eli Avivi set up “The Land of Achziv”, and declared his independence from the State of Israel.  It was never recognized.  This step was in protest against the IPNA park being opened adjacent to his land.  His property became a bohemian holiday camp, which was popular in the late 70’s, and there was even a period when passports were stamped.

To the south of the Tel is the IPNA park, which includes the rocky beach.

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