At the entrance of the Jaffa port, there is a strange looking abrasion platform, known by all as "the Andromeda rock". The name comes of course from the Greek mythology story about Perseus, who saved princess Andromeda from being sacrificed to a sea monster.
If you know the story of Perseus, you might notice that there is a problem here though, as the story takes place in the south-western part of the Mediterranean sea, quite away from Jaffa. So how did the Andromeda rock get to the Jaffa port? Well it is most likely that a local legend about a sea monster that was troubling local fishermen, got intermixed with the Greek myth. This could have happened as early as the 12th century BC, when Greek mercenaries were employed by the Egyptian empire to help it keep its stronghold of the Levant.
Syncretism is the process by which, two or more cultures intermix into a new culture by incorporating each other's belief systems, rituals and mythologies. It is a process that occures naturally in places were several cultures interact on a regular basis, mainly in cities which are major commerce hubs, and most of all in port cities.
There were cases however, when syncretism was encouraged as part of an intentional cultural shift. The most known case is, when Alexander the great, used syncretism to create the helenistic culture out of a mix of the Greek culture and local influences from various areas of his empire.
Syncretism may be an important and useful mean for meeting the challenges of the 21st century, but in a modern context, it has a slightly different meaning than it traditionally had. It can be described as the process by which the biography of one person is influenced by the biographical stories of other people, which in many cases may be total stranges.