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Tel Qedesh: Summer Archaeological Field School

Course Highlights

  • Join the third full season in one of Israel’s least-explored biblical mounds.
  • Earn academic credit while gaining hands-on experience in all types of archaeological fieldwork and documentation.
  • Uncover the largest Early Bronze Age site in the Southern Levant and study the process of early Levantine urbanization.
  • Tour nearby sites of archaeological and historical interest in the beautiful, relaxed scenery of the Upper Galilee.

Tel Qedesh is one of the largest biblical mounds in northern Israel. First settled as early as the Chalcolithic period, the site reached its peak during the Early Bronze Age, when an enormous site (ca. 60 hectares), extending well beyond the main mound, emerged during this crucial phase of early Levantine urbanism. A Canaanite city continued to thrive on the mound during the second millennium BCE, to be followed by an important Israelite center during the Iron Age II, known as one of the Refuge and Levite Cities (Joshua 20:7; 21:32). Following its conquest by the Assyrian King Tiglath Pileser III in 732 BCE (2 Kings 15:29), it re-emerged as a Phoenician administrative center during the Persian and Hellenistic periods, and later as an important pagan town on the boundary between Tyre and Jewish Galilee during the Second Temple period (BJ 3:35-40). A rural cultic center, housing two temples and numerous mausolea (elaborate burial monuments), developed here in the Late Roman period, and an important market town is attested during the Early Islamic period. A Shi’a village by the name of Qadas occupied part of the mound in the last centuries, and was abandoned in the aftermath of the 1948 War. The site that was a major cultural, economic and political hub for over four millennia is now nestled peacefully in the quiet, green scenery of the Upper Galilee of Israel, waiting for archaeologists to uncover its treasures.

The 2022 season at Tel Qedesh will focus on the Early Bronze Age fortifications and domestic quarters located in Qedesh West, a large component of the ancient site that is spread west of the main mound.

The course includes participation in excavations, lectures, and tours. Participation involves gaining experience in digging methods and procedures, documentation (daily logs, loci and feature cards, graphic logs, basket lists), surveying (total station, leveler, section drawing), stratigraphic and architectural interpretation, and analysis of material culture (pottery, lithics, groundstone, bio-archaeological materials).

Structure

The daily schedule will be as follows:

5:00 Coffee and cookies (at the Kibbutz)

5:15 Leaving for the site

5:30 Day work begins

7:30 Coffee break

9:30 Breakfast (onsite)

11:30 Fruit break

13:00 Finish digging

13:30 Lunch (Kibbutz)

14:00-16:00 Free time

16:00 Pottery washing

17:00 Pottery reading/tour/free time

19:00 Dinner (Kibbutz)

20:00 Lecture/free time

Once a week, there will be a tour to nearby sites. This will take place from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Every Thursday after breakfast there will be a tour of the excavation areas, to review the progress made during the week.

Course Components

  • Experience in all aspects of fieldwork and recording (digging, onsite and offsite documentation, measuring/surveying)
  • Hands-on reading/sorting of primary materials (pottery, flint, bone, ground stone)
  • Lectures on the site and region’s history and archaeology, archaeological field methods, and analysis
  • Three tours to nearby sites (e.g., Hazor, Dan, Banias, Omrit, Abel, Tel Rosh)

See dig website or Facebook page for more information.

Our camp will be located in one of the Kibbutzim (agricultural villages) in the northeastern Galilee, in the vicinity of Tel Qedesh. The conditions are hostel-like, and each room will be equipped with four to five beds (separate rooms for men/women). Breakfast is taken in the field, while lunch and dinner is served in the camp.

For more info, please email dig coordinators.

For participation and housing fee: See dig website or email dig coordinators.

Academic credit (optional): US$ 120 per credit and $120 for the application fee.

Undergraduate and graduate students; mature learners with an academic background.

Please note that valid health insurance is required and that excavations are physically demanding.

Apply

You can choose to participate in the excavation for the field experience only, or you can decide to also earn credit from Hebrew University during your participation (and transfer the credits to your home institution). The application process differs according to your choice.

Participation Only

You’ll apply directly to the field school. Please be in touch with the excavation coordinators to apply.

Participation & Academic Credit

In order to apply to earn academic credit for your participation in the archaeological field school, you’ll complete a three-step process:

  • Apply directly to the field school. Please be in touch with the excavation coordinators to apply.
  • Attend the excavation and fulfill the academic requirements as determined by the director of your archaeological field school.
  • Once you have finished the field school and submitted a research paper, submit an application to HebrewU’s Rothberg International School (RIS) and pay the US $120 application fee.

Contact

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have – or to chat for a bit to help you choose the right course or program.

Email Us
Call us: +972 2 588 2602

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Fast Facts

Course:

Tel Qedesh Excavation

Teaching Faculty:

Dr. Uri Davidovich

Credits:

3 (1 credit per week of participation)

Program Dates:

July 3 – July 21, 2022

Eligibility:

Undergraduate and graduate students; mature learners with an academic background.

Please note that valid health insurance is required and that excavations are physically demanding.

Costs:

Academic credit (optional): US$ 120 per credit and $120 for the application fee.

Participation & housing fee: See dig website or email dig coordinators

Relevant Academic Fields

Archaeology, ancient history, antiquities

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