The archaeological site of Yavneh-Yam, located approximately 20 kilometers (13 miles) south of Jaffa (Tel Aviv) and north of Azotus / Ashdod, was the harbor of ancient Yavneh, or Iamneia, therefore called in Hebrew ‘Yavneh Yam’, meaning ‘Iamnia-on-the-Sea’.


Historical Map of the Region

The central location of Yavneh-Yam in the southern section of the Israel's Mediterranean coast, not far from Jaffa, and its promontory creating a natural bay  provides a suitable basis for a harbor.


Yavneh-Yam Bay

The harbor served both the hinterland and regular maritime circulation along the coast. In antiquity, sailing was usually close to the coast, and therefore there was a need for many harbors. A glance at the map of the Israeli Mediterranean coast shows that about every 12-15 miles, existed a harbor in antiquity!


Ancient Harbors along the Mediterranean Coast


The city of Yavneh-Yam was built on slopes of kurkar (local sandstone) descending to the sea. The higher places, such as the edge of the stone massive and the promontory protruding to the sea were fortified. Sand dunes developing there through the last centuries cover the site and preserve it from further destruction and robbery.