Zippori (Sepphoris) - Archaeological Summer Course, 2001

Zippori (Sepphoris) - Archaeological Summer Course 2001 is a project of the Zippori Expedition of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Zippori (Sepphoris), the historical capital of the Galilee, is located in the center of the lower Galilee, 5 km west of Nazareth. The city is mentioned in Talmudic literature many times and is known to have been populated mostly by Jews during the Roman and Byzantine periods (1-7 century C.E.). At that time many sages lived in Zippori, which boasted numerous synagogues and Batei Midrash (academies).

Excavations conducted by the Hebrew University team in previous years have revealed a well planed city built around an impressive network of streets. Various buildings, public as well as private, were built in Zippori which existed throughout the Byzantine period. Among the public buildings uncovered so far at the site, is a basilical hall, bath houses, a theater, churches and a synagogue. Over 40 mosaics dated from the third to fifth centuries C.E. have been uncovered to date in Zippori, in both public and private buildings. The mosaics include numerous rich and varied iconographic depictions, which rank the city together with the important mosaic centers of the Roman and Byzantine east.

Major goals for the 2001 excavation season are to reveal the continuation of a monumental building excavated during the 2000 season and its vicinity; defining the continuation of the decumanos; exposing and studying the Roman and Early Byzantine domiciles unearthed in the eastern side our excavations.

During the excavation season two courses are offered: "Field Archaeology" and "Zippori - The Capital of the Galilee". Six credits are given for these two courses together through the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

I. Field Archaeology - The students will participate daily in the actual dig (5am-1pm). They will work in small groups (10-12) together with a professional area supervisor (graduate students from the Hebrew University), who will guide them in the field work, ie: excavation methods, entering data into the register and drawing will be studied during field work. During the excavation season the students will gain initial acquaintance with material culture (pottery, glass etc.) and its importance to the work of an archaeologist. This will be achieved by participating in workshops and lectures on various subjects, such as:

1. Methodology
2. Pottery reading
3. Metal and coins
4. Glass
5. Registration and excavation methods
6. Surveying and drawing

II. Zippori - The Capital of the Galilee - A series of lectures dedicated to the history and archaeology of Zippori and the Galilee during the Roman and Byzantine periods, which will serve as a background to understanding the historical context of the field work. Various subjects will be discussed during these lectures, such as:

1. Introduction, orientation and a site tour
2. Zippori in the first and second centuries C.E.
3. Zippori and Jewish society in the third century C.E.
4. Christianising the Galilee in the fourth century C.E.
5-6. The architecture of the Jewish cities in the Galilee during the Roman and Byzantine periods.
7. Mosaic art in Roman and Byzantine Zippori
8. Ancient synagogues in the Galilee
9. The Byzantine synagogue at Zippori and its role in ancient Jewish art
10. Daily life in ancient Zippori
11. Summary

In addition, students will have 2 days of field trips in the Galilee (Beth She'an; Tiberias; Capernahum; Corazim, etc.). These trips will be held during weekends.

Our base will be in a Kibbutz Yifat near the site. The work week during the five week season will be from Monday through Friday. During the weekends the students will be on their own (staying in the youth hostel or traveling around the country). Every morning, students will participate in the dig from 5am to 1pm. Pottery reading and workshops will follow a lunch break and a short rest period. Lectures will be held in the late afternoon or early evening.

The 2001 season at Zippori will be held form June 24 to July 27, 2001.

Cost of the program is $2,500 per student. Airfare is NOT included in the price of the program.

Participation in the program involves daily physical working the sun. All participants MUST COME WITH FULL HEALTH INSURANCE and be physically fit for full participation in the dig.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Office of Academic AffairsThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem11 East 69th Street, New York, NY 10021TEL: (800) 404-8622 or (212) 472-2288FAX: (212) 517-4548E-MAIL IN THE US:


Department of Summer Courses
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Rothberg International School
Boyar Building, Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Israel 91905

Tel: 972-2-588-2602
Fax: 972-2-582-7078

Dr. Zeev Weiss
The Institute of Archaeology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus 91905
Tel: 02-588-2422
Fax: 02-582-5548

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Last update:22/02/01