Marj Rabba

Uncover Mysteries of the Chalcolthic Age

The Chalcolithic period, a key transitional time between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, witnessed the first metallurgy, the first pottery formed on a wheel, and dramatically new burial practices for the dead. Our knowledge of life in the Galilee during the Chalcolithic period (c. 4500–3600 B.C.E.), however, remains extremely limited. For example, we have no radiocarbon dates for a Chalcolithic settlement in the Galilee, nor has any site from this period revealed a substantial architectural plan.

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.

The new research initiative launched at the site of Marj Rabba by the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute is designed to examine the dramatic changes in the relationship of villages, ritual sites and mortuary practices during this poorly understood period.
The 2013 season will expand earlier excavations to expose the earliest building phases at the site. Project volunteers will learn basic excavation, recording and surveying techniques.

Yorke Rowan

Yorke RowanYorke Rowan is a research associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. An anthropological archaeologist specializing in the rise of social complexity and prehistoric ritual practices, he has worked on numerous excavations and surveys in Israel, Jordan and Palestine and is currently the co-director of the Marj Rabba project.

Morag Kersel

Morag KerselMorag Kersel is assistant professor of anthropology at DePaul University. Her research interests include the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age of the eastern Mediterranean and Levant, cultural heritage protection and archaeological tourism. Currently she is co-director of the Galilee Prehistory Project and the Marj Rabba excavation.

Dig Directors

Yorke Rowan
Morag Kersel

Geographic Location

15 miles east of Haifa, Israel

Periods of Occupation


Dates of the Dig

July 14 - August 18, 2013

Minimum Stay

5 weeks

Application Due

April 1, 2013


$2,000, airfare not included

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes - 3 1/3 credits - $3,000 - University of Chicago


Local college campus, shared rooms (2-3), wi-fi, free hyrax observations.


Yorke Rowan
The Oriental Institute
University of Chicago
1155 E. 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Telephone: (773) 702-0086 donate/adoptadig/galilee.html

Open for tours

Yes (by appointment)