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ACRE, Israel – Off the track beaten by most Holy Land tourists lies one of the richest archaeological sites in a country full of them: the walled port of Acre, where the busy alleys of an Ottoman-era town cover a uniquely intact Crusader city now being rediscovered.
Etched in plaster on one wall was a coat of arms -- graffiti left by a medieval traveler. Nearby was a main street of cobblestones and a row of shops that once sold clay figurines and ampules for holy water, popular souvenirs for pilgrims. All were last used by residents in 1291, the year a Muslim army from Egypt defeated Acre's Christian garrison and leveled its remains.
The existing city, built by the Ottoman Turks around 1750, effectively preserved this earlier town, which had been hidden for centuries under the rubble. "It's like Pompeii of Roman times -- it's a complete city," said Eliezer Stern, the Israeli archaeologist in charge of Acre. He called the town "one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology."
Acre has existed for at least 4,500 years, but reached the height of its importance with the Crusader conquest in 1104. Under Christian rule, the city became an unruly trading hub home to combative orders of soldier-monks, European factions that distrusted each other and sometimes fought in the streets, competing merchants from cities like Genoa, Venice and Pisa, and small populations of Jews and Muslims, all sharing an enclosed area that at its height was barely the size of two football fields. A French bishop, Jacques de Vitry, reached Acre after a perilous sea journey in 1216. He was appalled. "When I entered this horrible city and found it full of countless disgraceful acts and evil deeds, I was very confused in my mind," he wrote in a letter home. Acre, he found, was "totally depraved." Murders took place constantly, the town was "filled with prostitutes," and residents -- many of whom he believed to be outlaws who had fled their own lands -- were "utterly devoted to pleasures of the flesh."
Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by thePharaoh
i swear acre was a level in "assasins creed" (the first one)....that game was designed for ats users
I want to know more Sir. Did the game require knowledge of the area/history ect?
You got my interest.
And... welcome back.