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The ancient seaport of Akko (about a half-hour drive from Haifa) is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities.
The first recorded mention of Akko dates back to the reign of the pharaoh Thumtose III, who ruled from 1504 to 1450 BCE. Since then, Akko has been captured several times and has been placed under the leadership of many empires and countries. The Assyrians captured Akko in circa 700 BCE. In 332 BCE, Alexander the Great annexed the city into his empire. Not too long afterward, Ptolemy of Egypt captured Akko, changing the city's name to Ptolemais, a name it retained until the Middle Ages. Following the period of Egyptian rule, Akko (Ptolemais) became a Roman colony.