This historic town is full of remnants from the past, much of them from King Herod’s era when the town enjoyed a high profile. The Roman king built a sea harbor, aqueduct, hippodrome and amphitheater, the remains of which can still be seen today and stand testament to the robust and forward-thinking Roman construction techniques. Caesarea’s ruins are well preserved; the amphitheater is still used for live performances today and is a spectacular venue with amazing Mediterranean views. The aqueduct and sea wall are still visible, as is the Hippodrome, which was used for chariot racing in Roman times.
The Roman construction and archaeological finds in this area make it a prime filming location in Israel. The traditional tourist trail in Caesarea has just gained an additional attraction. A new archaeological exhibition showcasing ancient findings has recently opened.
Archaeology in Israel
The unique exhibition displays a range of archaeological findings for the first time. The public can view an extraordinary 1,700-year-old sarcophagus (stone tomb) lid that weighs 4 tons and is decorated with Greek mythological characters along with other ancient artifacts that bring the past to life. This particular tomb would likely have belonged to a wealthy citizen and dates back to the Roman period.
During the 2nd-5th centuries, burial in large stone coffins was widespread across the Mediterranean. The practice was started by pagans but later adopted by Jews and Christians. The sarcophagus contains two parts; there is a rectangular receptacle within which the deceased was placed, as well as a lid. These tombs were traditionally either placed in a mausoleum or rock-hewn burial cave, however, ancient Caesareans were buried in cemeteries located beyond the built-up city.
The items discovered at various archaeological digs provide tangible evidence of the wealthy lifestyle that some residents enjoyed in ancient Caesarea at a time when it served as a vibrant Roman capital.
An Insight from Inscriptions
A fascinating aspect of the exhibition is the unique inscriptions found on several items. There is a dedicatory inscription on a large building as well as a tomb inscription written by a grieving husband to his wife. These are rich sources of information for archaeologists and enable them to better understand the history of Caesarea during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Inscriptions give us an insight into public life; local institutions, political ties and personal relations. They also present us with a very human side of the past, the names, professions and religious beliefs of ancient communities.
Filming in Caesarea
Crews looking for prime filming locations in Caesarea need look no further than the coastline. There are breathtaking shots at sunrise and sunset as well as underwater shots which capture architectural finds, including Herod’s sea wall. There is also the amphitheater which is stunning in terms of its size, location and design.
Biblical Productions can support you throughout your production in Israel. We can provide crew, filming equipment (including HD and underwater gear), as well as archaeological experts and film permits. Our local knowledge and contacts are second to none. We can advise you about the range of film locations in Caesarea, as well as other film locations in Israel that have interesting Roman remains or are of architectural importance.