Second Temple

Find the Lost Archive of the Second Temple

Join the Origins Discovery Project this spring and take part in the archaeological expedition searching for the lost archive of the Second Temple. Excavation director Haim Cohen of Haifa University, Israel, believes that the lost archive contains correspondence and records relating to this critical period of Jewish history. The temple itself was destroyed in the first century C.E., but the archive may have been hidden by priests in the caves of the Judean Desert cliff area.

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.

A pool at the entrance to one of the caves appears to be a Mikveh, or ritual cleansing vessel, which would have been used by priests or scribes prior to touching sacred objects, including scrolls. The 2012 season involves excavations of the Mikveh Cave along with surveys at the ‘sealed cave.’ Join the non-profit Origins Discovery Project and uncover the mysteries of these caves. This project is reserved for the adventurous—the excavation website warns that “You need to be physically fit, as we climb up and down very steep cliffs every day.”

Haim Cohen

Haim CohenHaim Cohen recently completed his PhD with Haifa University, Israel, and recently published “Middle Bronze Age IIB: Rural Settlements in the Eastern Valleys and Desert Frontier of the Samaria Hill Country,” the results of over a decade of survey and research.

Dig Directors

Haim Cohen

Geographic Location

Judean Desert near the Dead Sea

Periods of Occupation

12000 B.C.E. - 135 C.E.

Dates of the Dig

April 29 - May 10, 2012

Minimum Stay

One week

Application Due

April 24, 2012



Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution



At Ein Gedi


Haim Cohen
10 Abba Hushi Haifa Israel 34786 Phone: 972505677994

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