The Ashdod-Yam Fortress (also called Qal’at el-Mina) was built by Caliph Abd al-Malik (685-705 C.E) at the end of the seventh century C.E. on the ruins of a Byzantine settlement. The fortress was part of a coastal defense system designed to prevent a Byzantine invasion from the sea. The system consisted of a string of ribats (strongholds) along the Mediterranean Sea situated in sight of one another. In times of danger, massages were conveyed by means of beacons of fire (by night) and smoke signals (by day). In 1033, the fortress was destroyed by an earthquake and abandoned. It was reconstructed and resettled during the Crusader Period, (12th and 13th centuries C.E). Its name was changed to Castellum Beroart. It was finally abandoned after the Crusaders were banished from the country in 1290. Students from educational institutions in the town participated in the excavations and preservation of the fortress.
- Ashdod Fortress