Israel / Cities and Towns
City in west-central Israel with 209,000 inhabitants (2008 estimate), on the Mediterranean Sea.
Central in Ashdod's economy is the artificial port which is enclosed by breakwaters. Being the only Mediterranean port for southern Israel, its exports and imports are varied. The main export products are citrus crops, copper ores, phosphates and potash from the Negev Desert and the Dead Sea.
Ashdod also has a number of industries, among which synthetic textiles is the most important product. There is also a petroleum refinery and a large power plant.
Ashdod is well connected with other urban centres of Israel, being on one of the major highways and railway lines in the country. Tel Aviv is 35 km north, Jerusalem 70 km northeast and Beer Sheva 75 km southeast.
The ancient ruins lies 5 km to the south, along the coast.
Ashdod is a popular city for newcomers to Israel, many coming in the 1990's. In recent years, Ashdod has received up to 9,000 new inhabitants every year.
2nd millenium BCE: Ashdod is an important Philistine town, and a centre for the worship of the Canaanite god, Dagan.
Middle 11th century: The Ark of the Covenant is taken from the Israelites and brought to Ashdod and presented to the shrine of Dagan as a trophy, according to the Bible.
10th century Together with the other Philistine towns, Ashdod becomes a tributary to King David of Israel.
8th century: Briefly transferred by King Uzziah of Judah.
722: Ashdod is captured by Assyria.
711: Ashdod's king, Iamanni, begins a rebellion against Assyria with the aid of neighbouring countries, but is suppressed by the Assyrian king, Sargon 2.
7th century: Ashdod is under 29 years of Egyptian siege.
331: Conquered by Alexander the Great, and becomes known as Azotos.
2nd century: Judas Maccabaeus has the temple of Dagan destroyed.
147: Becomes part of the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom.
1st century: Comes under the Romans.
4th century CE: As part of the Byzantine Empire, it becomes the site of a bishopric.
1099 August 12: The Crusaders beat the Egyptians over the control of Ashdod.
1948: The Palestinian village of Isdud is destroyed by Israeli forces during the First Palestinian War. Its about 5,000 Palestinian inhabitants become refugees.
1956: Modern Ashdod is founded, and the construction work for a deep water port is begun.
1965: Ashdod's modern port is opened.