Achziv, located on the northern coastal plain south of the mouth of the Keziv Stream, was an important Phoenician port city that was first settled in the Middle Canaanite (Bronze) II period.

Phoenician settlement, which started on the Lebanese coast toward the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, spread southward along the coast of the Land of Israel and westward to Cyprus and then to the Mediterranean islands and more distant shores during the 1st millennium BCE.

Archaeological excavations conducted at the site have uncovered many tombs, most of them from the Israelite (Iron) period and some from the Persian period. Among the votive objects found in the tombs from the Israelite (Iron) period were jewelry, weapons, and vessels fashioned and decorated in the Phoenician style. The earliest of the Phoenician pottery dates to the 11th century BCE, and others to the 8th-7th centuries BCE. This pottery is characteristic of the northern coastal strip, and therefore is termed “Achziv ware.” The vessels have a burnished red slip that was made on the potter's wheel.

Another group of vessels are "Black-on-Red" vessels, decorated with red and black stripes against a clear, well-polished, red or brown background.

Artifacts from the Cemetery at Achziv
Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority