Ancient Port of Tel Aviv

Join us in 2016 to excavate an Egyptian garrison fortress in Jaffa. For more than 300 years, Jaffa (ancient Yapu) served the Egyptian New Kingdom Empire as a control point and provisioning center. Join the ongoing excavations of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project to explore the relationship between the Egyptian garrison in this fortress and the local Canaanite population.

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.

Situated on a high promontory overlooking the sea, the city of Jaffa has been a port of call for sailors, merchants and soldiers for over 4,000 years. During the Middle Bronze Age, the first city at Jaffa was fortified with a massive sloping wall or glacis, the remnants of which can still be seen today. By the Late Bronze Age, Jaffa had become one of the principal ports and garrisons of the Egyptian empire. Archaeological work over the past 60 years has shown that the city continued to be an important administrative and commercial center through the Iron Age until the end of the Ottoman period in the early 20th century.
This summer, volunteers can look forward to excavating the twelfth-century B.C.E. destruction in the Lion Temple area and Persian period buildings.

Aaron A. Burke

Aaron BurkeDr. Aaron Burke is the UCLA director of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project and oversees fieldwork operations at the site. He is associate professor of the archaeology of the Levant and ancient Israel at the University of California, Los Angeles, and specializes in Ancient Israel, warfare, the Amorites and the Egyptian Empire in Canaan.

Martin Peilstöcker

Martin PeilstockerDr. Martin Peilstöcker is the University of Mainz director of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project. He has worked in Jaffa since the mid-1990s. He is a research assistant at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universitöt Mainz and curator at the Bibelhaus Erlebnis Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dig Directors

Aaron A. Burke
Martin Peilstöcker

Geographic Location

Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel

Periods of Occupation

Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, Persian Period

Dates of the Dig

June 26 – July 28, 2016

Minimum Stay

5 weeks

Application Due

April 15, 2016


$4,250/session - airfare not included

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

8 quarter units - University of California, Los Angeles
For current fees, see: http://www.ieo.ucla.edu/TravelStudy/NELC-Israel/overview.htm


Participants are usually housed at the Beit Immanuel Hostel. These comfortable and affordable accommodations, featuring air conditioning and wi-fi, place you at the crossroads of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, giving you access to both areas to roam and explore during your free time.


Dr. Jeremy Smoak
415 Portola Plaza, Humanities 378
Los Angeles, California 90095-1511
Phone: (310) 206-7218

Open for tours

Yes - by appointment