Israel • June 16 – July 12, 2019
I Volunteered for This?!
An Iron Age Mystery
The site of Tel Burna is located in the Shephelah region, which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age. A fertile area that supported agricultural production, the region became known as the breadbasket of the south and is believed by some scholars to be a candidate for Biblical Libnah, a Canaanite town that was conquered by Joshua who allotted it to the tribe of Judah.
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 tell’s prominence is notable in its flat-topped shape, extensive size and fortification, which are still visible today. Survey finds indicate the city was important throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. Excavations have revealed a Late Bronze Age (Canaanite) public building with a large assemblage of cultic finds (masks, figurines, feasting vessels, etc.). In addition, a few strata dating to the ninth, eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. have been exposed, including a fortification wall that enclosed the summit of the tell.
Itzick Shai is a senior lecturer and the Head of the Institute of Archaeology at Ariel University. He has extensive experience in field archaeology from different periods. His published articles are concerned with Philistine material culture, place names and their importance in ethnic identification, the status of Jerusalem in the Iron Age and the political structure of Philistia.
Steven Ortiz is a professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the director of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology. His research focus is the Iron Age in the southern Levant. He specializes in the use of archeological methods and theory in the interpretation of the past. Specifically, how this enterprise can illuminate and reconstruct history relative to ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible.
The Judean Shephelah
Periods of Occupation
Late Bronze and Iron Ages
Dates of the Dig
June 16 – July 12, 2019
1 week (space permitting)
March 1, 2019
$500/week — airfare not included
Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution
3 or 6 credits; $200/$400 per 2/4 weeks; awarded by Ariel University
Volunteers will be provided with full room and board at Kibbutz Netiv Halemd Hay, which features a/c, private bathrooms and free wi-fi. Standard rooms are 4 people per room; however, double and single rooms are available at an additional cost.
Dr. Itzick Shai
Open for tours
Yes - by appointment
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