Rujm el Hiri
Israel • August 10 - September 8, 2010
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We have not yet received information about 2012 excavations at this site. For more information, please contact the excavation organizers directly using the information below, at right.
A Megalithic Monument in Israel
Come excavate this summer at Rujm el Hiri and help unlock the secrets of one of the most puzzling (and unique) sites in all of Israel. Located in the heart of the Golan Heights, Rujm el Hiri is a massive megalithic complex consisting of a large central tumulus surrounded by a series of low concentric stone walls, the largest measuring nearly 500 feet in diameter! Rujm el Hiri is believed to be the only site of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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.
Despite its size and intriguing construction, Rujm el Hiri has long baffled archaeologists. While the concentric walls surrounding the tomb are thought to date to the Early Bronze Age (3300–2000 B.C.), the main tumulus shows signs of having been built and used as a burial chamber in the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 B.C.). Some have suggested that the earlier structure was an ancient calendrical device that indicated the arrival of the summer solstice and other astronomical events.
This summer, Hebrew University archaeologist Mike Freikman is returning to Rujm el Hiri in order to clarify the site’s date and function. In particular, his team will be investigating recently discovered features next to Rujm el Hiri, which are believed to comprise a large chalcolithic complex.
Mike Freikman is a Ph.D. candidate in archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has directed and helped supervise a number of archaeological projects in Israel, including the ongoing excavations at Rujm el Hiri.
10 miles east of the northern end of Sea of Galilee
Periods of Occupation
Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age
Dates of the Dig
August 10 - September 8, 2010
$400 (housing costs)
Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution
Basic conditions in the local fruit processing factory
Open for tours
Yes (by appointment)
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