Tel Aviv, Israel
The second largest city in Israel, Tel Aviv is situated along the Mediterranean coast. The history behind this rich metropolis is astounding. Originally known as Jaffa, the city dates back to 1470 BC, where an Egyptian pharaoh mentioned it in letters he wrote. It is also mentioned in the Bible, in the book of Jonah, and when referring to Solomon’s Temple and the Tribe of Dan. It is believed to have been a port for over 4,000 years. Here are some facts about this interesting Jewish city that is full of intrigue and culture.
1) The name Tel Aviv was given to the city in 1910 after much deliberation. The Book of Ezekiel says, “Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.” Abib or Aviv means “spring” in Hebrew, which symbolizes renewal. Tel describes an archeological site where layer upon layer of civilizations were built over each other.
2) Tel Aviv is located on land north of the original old city of Jaffa, where it was purchased from the Bedouins. Before this time, however, Jaffa had been owned by many countries, with archeological excavations from 1955 – 1974 revealing gates and towers from the Middle Bronze Age.
3) Excavations in 1997 and later unearthed sections of a huge brick wall that dated back to the Late Bronze Age and a temple with several dwellings that dated back to the Iron Age. Sections of buildings from other periods have been discovered also, including the Pharaonic, Persian and Hellenistic years.
4) It was not until the early 18th century that Jaffa began to grow as an urban center. This was shortly after the Ottoman government in Constantinople came in to stop the attack from the pirates and Bedouins and also guard the port. In the 19th century, however, Jaffa began to show real growth and the population went from 2,500 to 17,000 between the years of 1806 to 1886.