The modern-day city of Ashdod was founded in 1955. Located 27 kilometers to the south of Tel Aviv - Yaffo, the city's name was already mentioned several times in the Bible, in the book of Yehoshua (Joshua). Ashdod Seaport was inaugurated in 1965 and is one of Israel's two major seaports on the Mediterranean coastline. (the other is Haifa Seaport). Ashdod's industrial zone is one of the largest in the country.
During the 1990s, Ashdod's population doubled itself and the city has also developed into a tourism hotspot with some of the best untouched beaches in Israel, side by side with the development of a large marina with a 550-vessel capacity. More and more new high-rise neighbourhoods are being planned and built, as the city's population is expected to reach a quarter million residents in 2020.
Ashdod is also significant for its rich history. Archaeological excavations have revealed a continuous human-settlement in the city's area as from the 17th century BCE, with several findings of Canaanite and Israelite fortifications. In the late Canaanite period, Ashdod served as an important harbor city as is shown by archaeological finds and references to its maritime trade in the archives of Ugarit. According to biblical tradition, it was a town of the ancient Anakim ("giants"). In 734 BCE the city surrendered to Assyria and Ashdod became the capital of an Assyrian province. Although the city was situated on the via maris, the trade route near the sea, it was not directly on the coast but possessed an ancient port which was called Ashdod Yam ("Ashdod on the sea") Ashdod's importance declined and for 1000 years it was no more than a small fishing village. Nowdays the city has regained its importance and vitality.