Yavne-Yam was first settled during the Middle Bronze Age and was occupied until the middle ages. Adjacent to the tell is a natural anchorage, protected by kurkar reefs to the west, and two headlands to the south and in the north. Surveys carried out by the CMS and the MAU since 1980 have revealed assemblages originating from shipwrecks including anchors of various shapes and weights and fishing devices. The artifacts that were recovered during the survey include: tens of stone anchors with one, two or three perforations, lead fastenings and stone stocks of wooden anchors, attesting to intensive marine activity. Artifacts used onboard ships, including a lead cooking stove, grinding stones, stone bowls, fishing equipment (bronze hooks, lead net sinkers and sounding leads) plus storage jars, amphorae, bowls and cooking pots dating to the Late Bronze, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods. Most of the vessels were of types produced in Israel or in the levant, but some were imported from distant places in the Mediterranean. A concentration of Bronze Age artifacts includes dozens of gold objects (beads, earrings, jewelry fragments, metal lumps and waste of jewelry production waste) and a cylindrical hematite seal of Syrian origin. These were found scattered in a limited area where 20 hematite weights, bronze spearheads, arrowheads and axes, and two figurines of the god Ba’al were recovered.

The archaeological evidence indicates that the anchorage was used almost constantly from the Late Bronze Age until modern times. This was the only available anchorage between the Sinai coast and Jaffa, that could provide shelter for sea-going vessels.