Caesarea Maps & Plans: Courtyard

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The 1993 Penn season, which ran from mid-July until the end of October that year, with two rotating teams of up to 40 workers and volunteers, revealed the first outlines of the Upper Palace; and the 1994 season, lasting only six weeks, but with a full complement of 30 workers and volunteers, filled in important gaps. The Upper Palace was found to consist of rooms disposed alongside a large central courtyard. Along the eroded south side of the courtyard, down on the beach, two walls suggested the remains of the palace platform to the south. Aided by the discovery of a central base or small platform, we were able to reconstruct the full dimensions of the courtyard (42 x 65m). These were confirmed later in the year when the IAA team undertook full-scale excavations of the eastern half of the palace.

The courtyard contained a system of water features (to see a map of these features, click here). Just south of the central axis of the courtyard, Penn excavators found a channel feeding into the corner of a cistern. The IAA team later revealed the cistern to be one of two large stone tanks beneath the central axis of the courtyard. In 1994, a well was discovered at the west end of the water channel, possibly the source of the water for channels later found in the IAA area, if not for the cisterns themselves. Read more Details in Excavations

Courtyard Features

  • Well
    (link to Well page)
  • caladarium
  • cisterns
  • sub-floor water channels

For a complete map of courtyard features, please see this map from the Roman and Byzantine Period.

Major Artifacts