Topic ID #30390 - posted 12/17/2013 3:27 PM

Israel- Beth Shemesh Field School




Dates: June 14 - July 11, 2014

Project Description: Since the beginning of modern explorations of the ancient Near East, Tel Beth Shemesh attracted great interest. Its long sequence of occupational history has yielded significant data about local cultural histories, trade and the evolution of local agricultural practices. During the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, Tel Beth-Shemesh was located at the geographic meeting point of three different ethnic and cultural groups (Philistines, Canaanites and Israelites), making it an ideal site to investigate ancient geopolitical, social, and cultural dynamics at a border zone. The main objective of this field school is to expose students to the archaeological process, from excavation to analysis, and the importance of rigorous yet adaptable excavation and recording techniques. Through hands-on learning, students gain experience in excavating and field documentation. They will also be introduced to the intellectual challenges presented by archaeological research, including the need to adjust field strategies as discoveries are made and theories change. Furthermore, students receive training in laboratory analysis and have the opportunity to process and catalogue the cultural remains they find. 


Academic Credits: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through Connecticut College.

Total Cost: $ 5,150

Accommodations: During the week, students and staff stay in the modest but comfortable guest-house at kibbutz Tzora – which is just a few miles from the site. Each room accommodates 3-4 people, is air-conditioned, and has an adjoining bathroom. Bedding and towels are provided by the guest-house.  

Meals: All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious, basic food in the tradition of local cousin. Lunch and dinner are served in the central meeting room on the kibbutz. A variety of dishes will be prepared, each of which will have a protein, vegetables, and a starch (rice, potatoes, bread, etc.). Israel is known for its fresh vegetables and fruit, so students will have lots of opportunities to try these. Breakfast is served on site (second breakfast) and normally includes cucumbers, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables, eggs, bread, cereal, fresh milk, and yoghurt. Food treats on the weekends would be falafel and shawarma dishes. The meals are kosher. Special dietary needs cannot be guaranteed but vegetable dishes are always served. Other, more specific dietary needs cannot be accommodated. Tap water at the kibbutz and throughout Israel is safe to drink.

Travel Information: Students arriving by air will be met at the Tel Aviv International Airport (TLV) by project staff members on June 14. Please wait at the Currency Exchange Office in the main arrival hall. This is just after the baggage claim area, outside the security doors. Specific meeting times will be set once students purchase their airline tickets.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone numbers and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: Travelers normally receive a free, three-month tourist visa upon arrival in Israel, which may be extended. An onward or return ticket is required for entry. Although the Israeli government does not require that a passport be valid for six months from the date of entry, airlines routinely do so and may decline boarding if a traveler has less than six months' validity on his or her passport. For more information, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page.

Health: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in Israel, consult with the Centers for Disease Control website.

Project Directors and Contact Information: Dr. Shawn Bubel, University of Lethbridge (; Dr. Zvi Lederman, Tel Aviv University (; Dr. Shlomo Bunimovitz, Tel Aviv University (

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