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Archaeological Tours

A Tour of Masada: Where History, Legend, and Archaeology Meet

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016

A Tour of Masada: Where History, Legend, and Archaeology Meet

One of the most impressive tours we’ve had this year was without doubt our field trip to Masada, the famous desert stronghold, next to the Dead Sea. We were guided by esteemed Professor Guy Stiebel, who is also the director of excavations there. He gave us a fascinating and in-depth tour of the site, sharing both historical and excavation related stories. Before ascending the mountain, Prof. Stiebel educated us on the previous excavations at Masada, as well as on the formation and construction of the facilities meant to promote the site. Masada is Israel’s first World Heritage Site...

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Archaeology and Conservation: a Tour of Old Acre

Posted by on May 3, 2016

Archaeology and Conservation: a Tour of Old Acre

One of the latest archaeological tour conducted by the International MA program was a trip to the old city of Acre (also known as Akko). The Old City of Akko is a UNESCO world heritage site, and is a major hub for tourists. The city, which has elements dating back to the Early Bronze Age, is built upon Crusader ruins from almost 1,000 years ago. The Crusaders, on their way to wrest control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims, built and fortified the port city of Akko and made it one of their most important cities. After the fall of Jerusalem Akko became the capital of their...

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The End of Days: An Archaeological Tour of Tel Megiddo

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016

The End of Days: An Archaeological Tour of Tel Megiddo

Recently we had a field trip to Megiddo, the site of the last battle between the forces of heaven and the forces of evil. While going on a tour of literal Armageddon is pretty cool in and of itself, this tour was special because we went with Prof. Israel Finkelstein, the man in charge of the excavations there. This gave us an insider’s, detailed look at the site, the finds, and stories of the excavations, following the seminar we had recently taken about Megiddo, with Prof. Finkelstein.   A taste of the tour:   Walking the geographical path Part of the importance of Tel...

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The Life and Times of Jerusalem: A Tour to Israel Museum

Posted by on May 28, 2015

The Life and Times of Jerusalem: A Tour to Israel Museum

Our class continues our field trip adventures around Israel to physically see what we are learning in the classroom. This month our field trips have centered on Jerusalem, in connection with our second semester seminar Archaeology of Jerusalem taught by the archaeologist of Jerusalem, Prof. Ronny Reich. In the beginning of this month our class went on a walking tour of old Jerusalem, touring Herodian period houses, and walking the old Roman Cardo; and later this month we went to the Israel Museum to view small finds found in Jerusalem and Israel. Once again our tour guide was the wonderful...

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Alexander, Etruscans and a Field Trip to Beit Shean

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015

Alexander, Etruscans and a Field Trip to Beit Shean

Each month our class of the international program of biblical archaeology and history heads off around the country to see the sites we have been studying in our classes. In the last few weeks of the first semester we immersed ourselves in the ‘later periods’ with our lecturer Meir, who taught us about the Persian Period, the period following the conquest of Babylon by King Cyrus of Persia in 540 BCE, through to the end of the Late Roman Period circa third century CE. For our last trip of the semester there was no better place to go than beautiful Beit Shean in Israel’s north, a site...

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On the Road to Jerusalem’s Historical Past: A Field Trip to the City of David and Ramat Rachel

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015

On the Road to Jerusalem’s Historical Past: A Field Trip to the City of David and Ramat Rachel

The Medieval poet Alain de Lille once coined the famous sentiment “A thousand roads leads men forever to Rome”. If Rome once reflected glory to the ancient world, Jerusalem has dazzled the world for millennia with its eternal past tied to the religious roots of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. It has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt time and again, and every layer of its ground tells a different story of it´s past.   On the Road to Jerusalem Millions of people over thousands of years have travelled on foot on the roads that lead to Jerusalem. In antiquity the main road to...

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The Divided Kingdom: A Field Trip to Tel Beth Shemesh and Tel Azekah

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015

The Divided Kingdom: A Field Trip to Tel Beth Shemesh and Tel Azekah

On a beautiful Friday, this past December, our group of international archaeology students made history, well… memories of our own! With our lecturer and guide, Dr Omer Sergi, we took to the road and toured archaeological sites that we’ve been studying in our classes. We visited Tel Beth Shemesh, and Tel Azekah in the Shephelah (“the lowlands”), relevant to our studies of Iron Age II (or ‘the Divided Kingdom’ in biblical terms).  We’ve all heard the biblical story of the Divided Kingdom; King Solomon ruled the glorious ‘United’ Kingdom of Israel from Jerusalem, but...

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Jerusalem from the Past – A Day Out to the Exciting Excavations of the City of David and Ramat Rachel

Posted by on Aug 25, 2013

Jerusalem from the Past – A Day Out to the Exciting Excavations of the City of David and Ramat Rachel

In the archaeological world there are debates as grand and as historical as the sites they dispute. It is of little surprise that Jerusalem has caused a few differences of opinion in the last few centuries, as it is the center of many historical reconstructions based upon biblical literature. Here, one can find a large number of excavations all looking for evidence concerning the shape, the size, and the people of ancient Jerusalem in the past 4,000 years. We adventured out to see what’s coming out of the ground at new excavations, hear the debates about the old, and find out what we can...

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Out and About: an Archaeological Tour to Tel Dan and Hazor

Posted by on May 16, 2013

Out and About: an Archaeological Tour to Tel Dan and Hazor

  A couple of weeks ago we went on our first archaeological tour of the second semester.   Our first stop was Tel Dan, a mere 3 hour bus ride from campus at the northern tip of Israel, and the second stop was the ancient city of Hatzor.   During the drive our tour guide, Ph.D. student Ido Koch, explained interesting facts about the landscape and how it changed as we drove and pointed out several important locations in the history of the land as we passed them. Tel Dan Despite having traveled through much of Israel over the past six months I was unprepared for what Tel Dan had...

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Outside the Classroom: Revisiting the Archaeological Tours of the Fall Semester

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013

Outside the Classroom: Revisiting the Archaeological Tours of the Fall Semester

Whoever told you graduate school entailed sitting in the library and reading until your eyes crossed was… well, only partly right. If your interests happen to lie in the realm of archaeology of the ancient Near East, one of the greatest advantages to studying in Israel is the proximity of your spot in the library to the archaeological sites you’ve been reading up on. During our fall semester, my fellow peers and I visited more than 10 sites excavated by the university over the past few decades.Often, the men and women who directed these excavations headed the tours, adding another...

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