Tel Beth Shemesh Archaeological Project, Israel – Institute for Field Research

This listing expired on November 1, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: , IL

Season: June 16, 2019 to July 13, 2019

Application Deadline: April 5, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, Harding University, Tel Aviv University

Project Director:
Dr. Shawn Bubel, Dr. Dale W. Manor, Dr. Zvi Lederman, Dr. Shlomo Bunimovitz

Project Description:

Since the beginning of modern explorations of the ancient world and it civilizations, Tel Beth-Shemesh has captured the interest of scholars and students of the ancient Near East. Its long sequence of occupational history has yielded a great deal of information about the past civilizations that flourished and faded in the region. The site is located between two valleys which were well-suited for grain production, growing grapes and olives, and animal grazing. They were also avenues of trade and communication. Tel Beth-Shemesh is located at the geographic meeting point of three different ethnic and cultural groups during the Iron Age (Philistines, Canaanites and Israelites), making it an ideal site to investigate ancient geopolitical, social, and cultural dynamics at a border zone. By applying insights gained through anthropological and archaeological research, the current expedition is shedding new light these and other theoretical issues. This summer our team will concentrate in the northern area of the site in order to explore cultural diversity, continuity, and changes from the 10th Century BCE to the 13th Century BCE. Our study not only examines the cultural changes that occurred at the site; it adds to our understanding of the region as a whole. Students will take part in excavating an early Iron Age temple that was partly exposed several seasons ago, as well as an area of the site where we discovered a very large palace from the el-Amarna Period (14th Century BCE). Contemporaneous with Amenhotep III, the palace may have been the seat of a  female monarch who ruled the walled Canaanite city and its environs.

Period(s) of Occupation: Bronze-Iron Age

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience is required to participate in this program.

Room and Board Arrangements:
During the week, students and staff stay in the modest but comfortable guesthouse at Ramat Shapiro, which is a few miles from the site. Each room accommodates 3-4 people, is air-conditioned, and has an adjoining bathroom. Bedding and towels are provided by the guest-house. All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious, basic food in the tradition of local cousin. Lunch and dinner are served in the central dining room at the guesthouse. A variety of dishes will be prepared, each of which will have a protein, vegetables, and a starch (rice, potatoes, bread, etc.). Israel is known for its fresh vegetables and fruit, so students will have lots of opportunities to try these. Breakfast is served on site (second breakfast) and normally includes cucumbers, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables, eggs, bread, cereal, fresh milk, yoghurt, and cottage cheese. Food treats on the weekends would be falafel and shawarma dishes. The meals at the guesthouse are kosher. Specific dietary needs cannot be accommodated but vegetable dishes are always served. Tap water at the guesthouse and throughout Israel is safe to drink. Students are encouraged to participate in the optional weekend field trips. We will stay at hostels or guesthouses in southern and northern Israel, and in Jerusalem.  Those not participating must find alternative accommodations. Cost: Room and board is included in the tuition for this program, with the exception of weekend meals.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $4,900.

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

2999 Overland Ave Suite 103

Los Angeles




Phone: 424-209-1173

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