Excavations & Field Courses
The Tel Shimron Excavation seeks to understand the ancient world, including the world of the Bible, through the rigorous archaeological investigation, in order to provide resources for the study of Levantine history and culture over the last five thousand years. The Tel Shimron Excavations project welcomes volunteers and institutions from all over the world. This includes people from all different backgrounds and with a full variety of diverse research interests.
For more information on the project, application process, and fees please visit our website directly.
The Tel Shimron Excavations will expand our knowledge of the past through historical research from ca. 3000 B.C. to the present:
- To determine the archaeological stratification of Tel Shimron and to study the wide range of artifacts which testify to its ancient ways of life;
- To understand the long term relationships between human habitation in the Galilean Hills and in the Jezreel Valley;
- To determine the extent to which the Mediterranean economy penetrated the agricultural centers of Northern Israel over time;
- To understand Tel Shimron’s role in the East-West trade which passed through the Jezreel and Beth-Netopha valleys in various periods;
- To add to our understanding of the social, economic, and political world that produced and transmitted the Bible and other early texts of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
It will enhance our common future through public outreach:
- To publish the technical details of discoveries of the expedition in a fashion that best serves the community of archaeological scholars.
- To run a field school committed to introducing undergraduate and graduate students to the archaeological methods and history of the southern Levant;
- To demonstrate the value of cultural and historical research to the study of the history of the Bible through a partnership with the Museum of the Bible;
- To develop innovative ways of sharing the history of Tel Shimron and its excavations with students, teachers, and the general public in the Jezreel Valley and throughout the world.
Following is a sample schematic overview of a typical week on the excavation. The more detailed schedule, with lectures, field trips, workshops, etc., is given in the syllabi.
MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY
4:40 AM Wakeup
5:00 AM –1:00 PM
Excavation on site (5:00 bus from camp to site)
9:00 AM Breakfast
11:30 AM Break
1:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM –3:30 PM Artifact Processing
3:30 PM –6:00 PM Free time
6:00 PM –6:45 PM Lectures/Workshops
7:00 PM Dinner
FRIDAY AFTERNOON- SATURDAY MORNING
Weekend Break. This is free time except for the scheduled field trips.
Team members have the opportunity to enroll in two courses, providing 3 credits each:
Course 1: the History of the Jezreel Valley (June 17-July 8 2023)
Course 2: Introduction to Field Archaeology (July 9-29 2023)
The History of the Jezreel Valley
The course focuses on the history and geography of northern Israel in general and the Jezreel Valley in particular. Moreover, it aims to convey field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology. Weekend field trips are an integral part of the course, for the students to get acquainted with this fascinating region. The trips will lead us to Jerusalem, the Golan, the Sea of Galilee, Akko, Nazareth, the Jezreel Valley and the northern Jordan Valley, with a focus on both ancient and modern history. A series of evening lectures will introduce the students into the basic principles of stratigraphy and field excavation, landscape and site formation, Bronze Age to Islamic Pottery, as well as the early history of the region in the Early and Middle Bronze Age (for the later periods, see Course “Introduction to Field Archaeology”). Specific topics will be treated with the instructors in weekly workshops. Preparatory readings and more detailed information are provided in the syllabus.
Introduction to Field Archaeology
The course focuses on scientific methods of field archaeology and the history of northern Israel in general and the Jezreel Valley in particular. Beyond daily excavation work in the field and afternoon find processing, during which the students will acquire the principles of archaeological fieldwork, students will learn more about the modern scientific methods applied in archeology. The fields of zooarchaeology, microarchaeology, physical anthropology and spatial technology will be discussed in a series of evening lectures. In addition, lectures will also address the history of the region from the Iron Age to the Ottoman period and beyond (for the Middle Bronze Age, see course “History of the Jezreel Valley”). Specific topics will be treated with the instructors in weekly workshops. Preparatory readings and more detailed information are provided in the syllabus.
The courses entail the following activities:
- Daily participation in the excavations at Tel Shimron including fieldwork and afternoon find processing
- Lecture series
- Field trips
- Weekly discussion sessions and workshops with the instructor and the co-instructors
- Journal and final paper assignments
For more information on the project and to apply, visit our website directly.