Institute's Excavations

Researchers and advanced students of the Institute conduct excavations in Israel and abroad.  Projects cover the time span from the earliest archaeological manifestations (2.3 million years) to medieval sites. While most of the excavations take place in Israel, members of the Institute are currently engaged in projects in Ethiopia, Georgia and Albania. 

Some of the Institute’s biblical and classical excavations are long-term and large-scale projects such as Beth Shean, Caesarea, Dor, Hazor, Sha‘ar Hagolan and Sepphoris.  Some of these projects are carried out in collaboration with academic institutions world-wide.  There are also numerous smaller-scale prehistoric, biblical and classical excavations.  Additionally, extensive regional and problem-oriented surveys are conducted.

The Institute conducts study excavations within each of its three departments, which are part of the core curriculum of first-year students.  Interested participants and volunteers are invited to contact the project directors.


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2018 Excavations

Tel Abel Beth Maacah 24th of June -21st of July, 2018

Abel Beth Maacah website

Abel Beth Maacah Facebook Page

Tel Hazor 24th of June - 3rd of August, 2018

Tel Hazor Facebook Page

Khirbet Arai 1st of July - 18th of July, 2018

Khirbet el-'Eika 24th of June - 27th of July, 2018

Khirbet el-'Eika Facebook Page

Tel Dor 3rd of July - 2nd of August, 2018

Tel Dor Excavation Project website

Tel Dor Project Facebook Page

Horvat Midras 16th of July - 10th of August , 2018 

Horvat Midras website

Horvat Midras Facebook Page

Nahal Ein Gev II  29th of July - 23rd of August, 2018

Nahal Ein Gev II Facebook Page

Tinshemet Cave 12th of August - 9th of September





Biblical Excavations

Tel Hazor

The Canaanite city of Hazor is mentioned in the biblical text as the "head of all those kingdoms". Indeed it is the largest biblical site in Israel. The large scale excavations at the site, in the 1950's and in the last 30 years uncovered fortifications and gates, temples and cult areas, houses, and very rich pottery and metal artifacts. About 20 Akkadian inscriptions written on clay tablets were found at Canaanite Hazor.

Hazor at the time of the Kingdom of Israel was a strong fortified city, with city walls, gates and a deep water installation cut in bedrock to water table. A gate with six chambers may be from the time of King Solomon.


Tel Abel Beth Maacah

This site is located in Upper Galilee, northern Israel, near Metulla. It controls the ancient international roads in this region, leading to the north, to Syria and Mesopotamia, or to the west, to Lebanon and the Phoenician cost. The site was occupies during the second and first millennia BC. The expedition has specific interest in the remains dated to the Iron Age. These include important remains from the Iron I (time of the Judges) and Iron II (time of the northern Kingdom of Israel). An outstanding discovery made in the last season is a bearded male head made of faience (glazed pottery).



The Institute of Archaeology conducted large scale excavations in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount excavations, Jewish Quarter excavations and City of David. Today intensive archaeological work is devoted to the analysis of the data already uncovered and for the publication of final excavation reports.

New fieldwork is conducted in the Ophel, adjacent to the temple mount. Here rich finds had been uncovered from both: the First Temple period and the Second Tempe period. Among the outstanding discoveries from the First Temple period is a seal impression of Hezekiah, King of Judah. Another outstanding discovery is a hoard of gold objects, including 50 coins and a medallion with the menorah.



Classical Excavations

Beth Shean

During the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods Beth Shean was the largest and most important city in Israel. The Talmud mentioned the Jewish community there as well. A large number of ancient synagogues were found around the city.

The Hebrew university expedition to Beth Shean was the largest archaeological project ever conducted in Israel, working for 20 years with hundreds of workers. Now there is a need to do the final analysis of the data and finds and to write the final excavation reports.

בית שאן

Tel Kedesh

This site is located in Upper Galilee, northern Israel, near the border with Lebanon. The site was occupied in the Roman period, and the remains of a large temple are still seen today. From this era there are also many imposing stone coffin (sarcophagus) scattered on the site surface. The site has the remains of much earlier periods, like the Early Bronze Age, ca. 3500-2500 BC. Remains from this period are scattered over very large area, and Hebrew university expedition is trying to verify if indeed this was the largest sites in Israel from this early era. 

Khirbet Midras

This site is located in the Judean Shephelah, a day's walk from Jerusalem. This was a large village, or small town, in the Roman and Byzantine periods. Unlikle most of the archaeological projects that concentrate on large urban centers, the project investigate the rural aspect of life in the countryside.

The local geology, with soft limestone is ideal to cut underground caves and many of these are found in the site. Another interesting find at Khirbet Midras is the remains of a Roman temple, built with well-dressed stones and elaborate architectural elements.   

חורבת מדרס


The city of Tiberias was built in the Roman period and was an important center in the Byzantine period. Tiberias was an administrative center during the Islamic era. Hebrew university excavation in the last decade concentrates on the public area of the city, including a very early mosque dated from the 7th century AD. The Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University is the only place in Israel where we have a position for Islamic archaeology. In this way we cover all the historical period of the Land of Israel.


Prehistoric Excavations