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According to Herodotus, its temple of Venus was the oldest of its kind, imitated even in Cyprus, and he mentions that this temple was pillaged by marauding Scythians during the time of their sway over the Medes (653–625 BC).

As it was the last of the Philistine cities to hold out against Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II.

It is believed the dogs may have had a sacred role, however evidence is not conclusive.

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) is a coastal city in the Southern District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of Tel Aviv, and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of the border with the Gaza Strip.The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age.The Neolithic site of Ashkelon is located on the Mediterranean coast, 1.5 km (0.93 mi) north of Tel Ashkelon. 7900 bp (uncalibrated), to the poorly known Pre-Pottery Neolithic C phase of the Neolithic.It was discovered and excavated in 1954 by French archaeologist Jean Perrot.When it fell in 604 BC, burnt and destroyed and its people taken into exile, the Philistine era was over. Until the conquest of Alexander the Great, Ashkelon's inhabitants were influenced by the dominant Persian culture.

It is in this archaeological layer that excavations have found dog burials.The nearby sea could supply salt necessary for the conservation of meat.The city was originally built on a sandstone outcropping and has a good underground water supply.In 1997–1998, a large scale salvage project was conducted at the site by Yosef Garfinkel on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and nearly 1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft) were examined. In the site over a hundred fireplaces and hearths were found and numerous pits, but no solid architecture, except for one wall.Various phases of occupation were found, one atop the other, with sterile layers of sea sand between them.This indicates that the site was occupied on a seasonal basis.