Ioppa Maritima: Identifying Jaffa’s Ancient Harbor


Since the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project's establishment its directors have recognized the need for an avenue of research concerned with the ancient harbor and maritime traffic to and from the harbor. In 2014 the JCHP will undertake a new initiative to locate the ancient harbor of Jaffa and to explore the approach of ancient ships through a remote-sensing, deep-water survey for shipwrecks off the central coast of Israel. The pilot season will test the potential for the application of a combination of archaeogeophysical and geoarchaeological methodologies in the identification of the ancient harbor, which is thought to lie to the east of Jaffa. Additionally, the team will employ a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in order to sight-check anomalies known to exist in the 50 to 300 meter depth range.

The research team for the Ioppa Maritima was assembled by the initiative’s primary investigator, Shelley Wachsmann, and the JCHP’s directors, Aaron A. Burke and Martin Peilstöcker. Research Team members are listed below in alphabetical order after the project's primary investigator. Additional participants include specialists from the project at large.

Shelley Wachsmann, Meadows Professor of Biblical Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. Prof. Wachsmann is the primary investigator for the Ioppa Maritima initiative. Worldcat

Simona Avnaim-Katav, Associate Researcher, the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa, and lecturer in the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa. Simona is a sedimentologist and a micropalaeontologist specialized in the palaeoecology of key groups living in varied Quaternary aquatic environments in the eastern Mediterranean including deep and shallow shelf, as well as inland bodies of water. She will carry out sedimentological and faunal analyses of cores obtained across Jaffa’s ancient harbor.; Worldcat

Richard K. Dunn, Department of Geology and Environmental Science at Norwich University. Worldcat

Jessie A. Pincus, Project Director for the Center for Research and Archaeology of the Southern Levant ( and Mnemotrix Israel, Ltd. She is an archaeogeophysicist with an expertise in Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) applications within Archaeology. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, Florida in Archaeology and Geology with a concentration in Geophysics. She completed her PhD at Bar Ilan University in 2010, focusing on the best ways to quantify soil analysis using GPR in the ancient agricultural terrace systems of the Negev. Dr. Pincus is interested in sustainability, agriculture, high-resolution data acquisition and rough-terrain analysis. She focuses on how best to integrate and analyze multiple geophysical data types at one site in high-resolution in order to make the archaeologist most efficient in planning and interpretation of the occupation levels.; Worldcat

Aharon Ronnie Sade, Owner & Managing Director at Yam-Yafo, Ltd. Worldcat

The Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures Department
415 Portola Plaza, Humanities 378, MC 151105 • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1511
Page last updated: May 13, 2014 by Aaron Burke