Jennie Ebeling, University of Evansville, and Norma Franklin, University of Haifa
Jezreel, perched on the foothills of the Gilboa, overlooks the majestic Jezreel Valley at a point midway between the ancient cities of Megiddo and Beth Shean. Consisting of an upper city, known as Tel Jezreel, and a lower site, known as Ein Jezreel (the fountain of Jezreel), Jezreel was a sentry site overlooking the east-west Via Maris/Way of the Sea and also controlling the north-south Way of the Patriarchs. This fact, together with the spring on the edge of the fertile Jezreel Valley, ensured that the site was continuously occupied from the Neolithic to late Ottoman/Mandate times.
In February 2012 the Jezreel Expedition commissioned an aerial LiDAR (laser) scan of Jezreel and 7 square kilometers of the surrounding area; this is the first time that this technology has been used at an archaeological site in Israel. The results were dramatic. In June 2012 a survey team conducted a landscape survey over a defined area of 3 square kilometers. Using data from the LiDAR and a handheld GPS unit the team documented 25 cave tombs; 35 rock-cut trough tombs; 21 ancient quarries; 94 walls from various periods; 57 agricultural installations; and 68 of an estimated 100 plus rock-cut cisterns. The highlights include firm evidence for an extensive settlement by the spring, which was visible on the LiDAR and confirmed in the field, and a large rock-cut wine-press that possibly belongs to the period of Naboth! During our first excavation season in May-June 2013 we excavated in three areas; the remains of a probable Iron Age building on the Tel, an extensive Iron Age rock-cut wine production site, and four phases of the Early Bronze Age settlement overlooking the Spring of Jezreel.
Included in the 2014 program is a five-day study tour to Jordan (June 1-5).
Period(s) of Occupation:
Early Bronze, Iron Age, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval, Ottoman
Jezebel, Battlefield Archaeology, Ancient Wine
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers:
two weeks; four weeks for three credits
Room and Board Arrangements
Participants lodge at beautiful Kibbutz Yizre'el, which is adjacent to the ancient site of Jezreel, in air conditioned rooms with television and wifi. Breakfast is eaten at the Spring of Jezreel; lunch and dinner are served cafeteria-style in the kibbutz dining room. The kibbutz features a swimming pool, pub, ATM and convenience store.
$3,500 for consortium members for entire season including trip to Jordan; $3900 for all others
Name of institution offering credit:
University of Evansville
Number of credits offered
3 undergraduate credits
included in program cost
Ebeling, J., Franklin, N., & Cipin, I. 2012. "Jezreel Revealed in Laser Scans: A Preliminary Report of the 2012 Survey Season." Near Eastern Archaeology 75: 232-239.