The team is going through old pictures, dredging up long forgotten stories, and more as we get ready to look back at the long history of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon. With luck, each week during the offseason we'll post a new picture, revisit some of the highlights of each of the seasons, or share whatever comes to mind. Case in point today. Going through some old pictures, I found the one below:
Leonardo Hotel under construction (grey expanse on right)
Unfortunately, the picture isn't dated but it shows a great view of a changing Ashkelon. To the left, condominiums overlooking the marina under construction. To the right, the building housing the Leonardo Hotel, our current home. In the center of the picture towards the back? The Holiday Inn. Today, the entire area is built up with shops and cafes. It is also home to one of the excavation's new favorite places; a top-notch gelato shop.
View north from Leonardo Hotel
Construction has moved well beyond the Leonardo hotel. The beach north of the marina is an Ashkelon hotspot. Another hotel is going up next to the Holiday Inn, and all along the right side of the picture, homes stretching as far as the eye can see.
Things certainly have changed since 1985 when the expedition stayed in a campground in the national park.
Abandoned campground in park
What about the Shulamit, and then Dan, Gardens Hotel where the expedition was housed from 1986 - 2014 (midseason)? Well, it stands empty, its fate not yet determined.
Did you guess the name of the staff member featured in last week's post? It's Dr. Kate Birney in the bottom left corner.
Do you have a picture or story you would like to share? We'd love to hear it! You can post a comment or email us via the website. Check back soon for more information on how you will be able to help us remember and relive more than 30 years of excavation at Ashkelon.