Base of the Roman VIth Ferrata Legion

During the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian (117–138 A.D.), two imperial legions were stationed in the consular province of Judea: Legio X Fretensis in Jerusalem and Legio VI Ferrata in the north at a place called Caparcotna. The latter legion was deployed more than three decades after the First Jewish Revolt (67–70 A.D.) and sometime before the Bar-Kokhba rebellion (132–136 A.D.), and it remained stationed in Judea through most of the third century A.D.

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Based in the Jezreel Valley somewhere near Tel Megiddo, the Legio VI Ferrata, or the Sixth Ironclad Legion, was well-situated to control imperial roads, with direct access to the Galilee and inland valleys of northern Palestine—important centers of the local, occasionally uproarious, Jewish population. Until recently, the exact location of the castra (“camp” in the sense of a permanent military base) of the Sixth Legion had not been confirmed, but textual evidence places it in the Jezreel Valley along the road from Caesarea to Beth Shean in the vicinity of Megiddo.
The 2013 and 2015 seasons confirmed the location of the Legion’s base, marking the first time a military base of this type for this particular period had been excavated in the entire Eastern Empire. Excavations revealed remains of the fortification wall and moat, barracks, headquarters building and commander’s residence. The excavation of a Roman military headquarters with clear ties to major political and cultural events in the formative years of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity is exciting in itself, but Legio also provides an incredible new window into the Roman military occupation of the eastern provinces.
For the 2017 season, the Jezreel Valley Regional Project will dedicate four weeks to investigating the camp, its fortifications, and the Legion headquarters, as well as the contemporary road network and adjacent Roman, Christian and Jewish settlement.
Join us this summer for what promises to be an exciting revelation of a Roman military base with clear ties to major political and cultural events in the formative years of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.

Matthew J. Adams

Matthew J. AdamsMatthew J. Adams is the Dorot Director of the W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. His primary research focus is on the development of urban communities in the third millennium in Egypt and Levant. In addition to directing the JVRP, he is a member of the Penn State excavations at Mendes, Egypt and the Tel Aviv University Megiddo Expedition. He is also president of the non-profit organization American Archaeology Abroad.

Yotam Tepper

Yotam TepperYotam Tepper is a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University with a dissertation in progress on Legio in the Roman Period. As a researcher and archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), he has directed numerous excavations and surveys in Israel for the last 12 years. His research focuses on the Roman Period, with special interest in the daily life of civilians and soldiers.

Jonathan David

Jonathan DavidJonathan David is professor of Classics at Gettysburg College. He specializes in the history and archaeology of ancient Greece, but his particular interests involve earliest historiography and the interconnections between the Greco-Roman world and the Near East. In addition to working with the JVRP, he is involved with the ongoing Tel Aviv University Megiddo Expedition.

Dig Directors

Matthew J. Adams
Yotam Tepper
Jonathan David

Geographic Location

Jezreel Valley, Israel

Periods of Occupation

Roman (2nd-3rd centuries A.D.), Byzantine (4th-7th centuries A.D.)

Dates of the Dig

Study tour of sites in northern Israel (optional): June 17 – 22, 2017; excavation: June 24 – July 21, 2017

Minimum Stay

2 weeks (exceptions can be made)

Application Due

May 1, 2017


Study Tour: $1,500; Excavation: $2,115 (4 weeks)

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

3 to 6 credits; $600 to $1200 (enrollment in study tour required; additional fee applies); awarded by the University of Hawai’i


The excavation team will be housed at Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek, a bed-and-breakfast located just a few minutes from the excavation site. Team members stay in air-conditioned guest rooms with bathrooms, a kitchenette, refrigerator and television. The kibbutz features a grocery store, swimming pool, pub, free wi-fi, sports facilities and BBQ facilities. The kibbutz is also centrally located within the country.


Dr. Matthew J. Adams
W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem
26 Salah ed-Din Street, P.O. Box 19096
Jerusalem 91190 Israel
Phone: +972-54-772-6943

Open for tours

Yes - by appointment