Some summer excavations in Israel have already begun, and many more will commence within the next month.  Five excavations began yesterday or today: Tel Burna, Kefar HaHoresh, Khirbet Qeiyafa, Wadi Hamam, and Tel Gezer

Three more excavations hit the field next week: Tel Hazor, Tel Kabri, and Khirbet Summeily.  Those beginning in late June or early July include: Tel Dor, Tel Megiddo East, Tell es-Safi (Gath), Tel Akko, and Hippos-Sussita.  Two teams wait until the heat of the summer before getting underway, but both are located next to the beach: Yavneh-Yam and Apollonia-Arsuf.

If you want to volunteer for a dig but cannot participate in the summer or for a lengthy duration, you might consider two year-round operations: Temple Mount Sifting Project and the Dig-for-a-Day program at Maresha (Bet Guvrin).

Last year we published a list of blogs reporting from the excavations and we may prepare another one for this year.  (Any tips on such blogs are appreciated.)

The following list is organized chronologically and based upon dates given at the Find a Dig site, published by the Biblical Archaeology Society.

2011 Excavations Already Concluded

Tamar (Mezad Hazeva): February 20 – March 8, 2011; May 9 – May 22, 2011

Tel Gezer Water System Project: May 21 – June 11, 2011

Khirbet el-Maqatir: May 21 – June 4, 2011

2011 Excavations Presently Underway

Tall Jalul (in Jordan): May 3 – June 17, 2011

Tiberias: May 22 – June 17, 2011

Bethsaida: May 22 – June 25, 2011

Ashkelon: June 5 – July 15, 2011

Tel Burna: June 12 – June 30, 2011

Kefar HaHoresh: June 12 – July 7, 2011

Khirbet Qeiyafa: June 12 – July 22, 2011

Wadi Hamam: June 13 – July 15, 2011

Tel Gezer: June 13 – July 15, 2011

2011 Excavations Not Yet Begun

Tel Hazor: June 19 – July 29, 2011

Tel Kabri: June 19 – July 28, 2011

Khirbet Summeily: June 20 – July 20, 2011

Tel Dor: June 28 – August 5, 2011

Tel Dor 2: June 28 – August 6, 2011

Tel Megiddo East: July 2 – 28, 2011

Tell es-Safi (Gath): July 3 – 29, 2011

Tel Akko: July 3 – July 29, 2011

Hippos-Sussita: July 3 – 30, 2011

Yavneh-Yam: July 18 – August 12, 2011

Apollonia-Arsuf: August 1 – September 11, 2011

Long-running excavations not in the field this year include Megiddo, Tel Rehov, and Dan.

Gezer excavations, tb062806971

Excavations at Gezer

From Haaretz:

The Israel Antiquities Authority has had a breakthrough discovery, unearthing a public structure from the time of the Byzantine Empire in the northern Israeli city of Acre [Akko].
The structure is about 1,500 years-old and it is believed to have served as a church. The structure was uncovered during a rescue excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority following an unauthorized dig in the area that uncovered the structure.
The excavation was done approximately 100 meters west of a mound located in the eastern part of Acre, close to the area in which the future Azrieli shopping mall is being built.
Nurit Page, head of the excavations in the area under the auspices of the Israel Antiquities Authority said that the city’s bishop was known in Christian scriptures as someone who was extremely influential in the development of Christianity as a religion.
This discovery is the first concrete proof of Acre’s role in early Christianity. “This is an important discovery for the study of Acre,” Page said, adding that it is of particular significance “considering no remnants from the Byzantine Period had been found other than living quarters near the [Mediterranean] sea.”

The full story is here.  An IAA press release sent along by Joseph Lauer quotes the archaeologist as being less certain of the building’s identification: “It may possibly be a church. This is the first time that remains of a public building from this period have been uncovered in Akko.”

UPDATE (6/14): The Jerusalem Post is now reporting the discovery.

About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. In any case, we will provide honest advice.