The bay of Atlit, about 10 kilometers south of Haifa, is a quiet, picturesque stretch of beach.
Sheltered by the promontory and the Crusader castle, the inlet looks as if it were scooped out with an ice-cream server.
Between the unpaved road leading to the bay and the beach, wildflowers were already blooming on the cold windy day Metro investigated the mystery under that sea.
Dr. Ehud Galili, a marine archeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, lives in Atlit and is passionate about this small town that is unfamiliar to most Israelis. Born in Haifa, Galili has been enraptured by the sea from childhood.
A fourth-generation sabra, his grandmother's parents came from a fishing family who lived at the Kinneret.
He actively campaigns against the encroachment of marinas and the high-rising construction that threatens the beauty of the ridges on this historic coastline.
Galili's findings over the past 25 years have made him even more determined to preserve the area as a heritage site.
Galili details the various historic eras of the artifacts and human remains along this stretch of coast.
At Kfar Samir and Kfar Galim, between Atlit and Haifa, the earliest-known evidence of olive oil was found - dating from the Late Neolithic era, some 7,500 years ago.
A Phoenician harbor and the battering ram from a Hellenistic Greek warship were discovered just north of the Crusader castle.