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Town (pop., 2004 est.: 105,400) and archaeological site, Israel. The historic coastal city-state of Ascalon was traditionally the key to the conquest of southwestern Palestine. Its name appears in Egyptian texts as early as c. 1800 BC. It was conquered by several ancient empires, including that of Alexander the Great (332 BC). Conquered by the Arabs in AD 636, it was taken by Crusaders in 1153 and became one of their principal ports (seeCrusades). It was retaken by the Ayyubid sultan Saladin in 1187 and destroyed by the Mamluk sultan Baybars I in 1270. Modern Ashqelon, originally an Arab town, was resettled by Israelis after 1949 and is now a resort and industrial centre.
Variants of ASHQELON
Ashqelon formerly Ascalon
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Ashqelon, visit Britannica.com.