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Caesarea is an Israeli National Park in the Sharon plain, including the ancient remains of the coastal city of Caesarea.
The city and harbor were built under Herod the Great during c. 22–10 BC near the site of a former Phoenician naval station known as Stratonos pyrgos. It later became the provincial capital of Roman Judea, Roman Syria Palaestina and Byzantine Palaestina Prima provinces. The city was populated throughout the 1st to 6th centuries CE and became an important early center of Christianity during the Byzantine period, but was mostly abandoned following the Muslim conquest of 640. It was re-fortified by the Crusaders, and finally slighted by the Mamluks in 1265.
The location was all but abandoned in 1800. It was re-developed into a fishing village by Bosniak Muslim immigrants after 1884, and into a modern town of after 1940, in 1977 incorporated as the municipality of Caesarea within Israel's Haifa District, about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.
The ruins of the ancient city, on the coast just about 2 km south of modern Caesarea, were excavated in the 1950s and 1960s and the site was incorporated into a new national park in 2011.
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Sarcophagi (coffins in Greek) made of stone (granite, marble, limestone), lead or wood were widely used among different people including Jews throughout the Greco-Roman world. Sarcophagus means "flesh eater".
Stone coffins were made out of two huge blocks - a cavity in which the corpse was placed and a double - slopped roof lid on which a Greek inscription was engraved: "the grave of Prokopios the Deacon". The coffins were decorated with flora, hunting mythological scenes or with geometric shapes for more modern coffins.
Most Sarcophagi discovered in Caesarea belonged to the Roman-Byzantine cemetery which is still to be fully excavated.