City of the Decapolis

This summer, help archaeologists excavate the Hellenistic and Roman site of Hippos (Aramaic Sussita) in northern Israel. Impressively situated on a high spur overlooking the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Hippos was founded in mid-second century B.C.E. as one of the 10 Decapolis cities. In these cities, where the local population came to fully embrace Greek life and culture, Hellenistic values dominated nearly every aspect of civic and private life, including architecture, religion, literature and sport. Even after the Roman general Pompey established Roman control over the region in 63 B.C.E., the Decapolis cities retained their Hellenized traditions for several hundred years.

Biblical Archaeology: From the Ground Down

How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. More information.

At Hippos, archaeologists have uncovered the extraordinary remains of a large, well-planned Greco-Roman city, complete with a main colonnaded street (the decumanus maximus), a broad rectangular-shaped forum, Roman fortifications, luxurious public baths and major temples dating to both the Hellenistic and Roman periods. More recently, excavations have brought to light the Roman-period odeion, a Roman basilica, as well as the remains of at least seven different churches built on the site during the Byzantine period.
In the 2019 season, we will excavate Roman sanctuary where recently a monumental gate, the Pan mask, and a theater was located, a Roman period bathhouse, a segment of the decumanus maximus (a public square?), the city dump and a burnt Byzantine church.

Michael Eisenberg

Michael EisenbergMichael Eisenberg is director of the Hippos/Sussita Excavations under the auspices of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa. He is senior researcher at the Zinman Institute and a senior lecturer at the Department of Archaeology, University of Haifa.

Arleta Kowalewska

Arleta KowalewskaArleta Kowalewska is co-director of the Hippos/Sussita Excavations. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.

Dig Directors

Michael Eisenberg
Arleta Kowalewska

Geographic Location

12 miles from Tiberias east of the Sea of Galilee

Periods of Occupation

Hellenistic to Umayyad

Dates of the Dig

June 30 – July 25, 2019

Minimum Stay

Two weeks

Application Due

March 10, 2019


$2,500 for full season; $1,400 for two weeks

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

4 credits; $200/4 credits; awarded by the University of Haifa


Kibbutz Ein-Gev on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. A/C rooms, private shore, greens, local supermarket, and full lodging including three meals a day. Weekends at the Kibbutz as well as tours and entrance fees are included in the costs.


Arleta Kowalewska
Zinman Institute of Archaeology
University of Haifa
Haifa 31905 Israel
Phone: 011-972-4-824-9392
Fax: 011-972-4-824-9876

Open for tours

Yes - appointment necessary