Tel Burna

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. 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 settlements from the 13th, ninth, eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E., as well as some Persian period remains.

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.

This summer, volunteers will expose the 8th century B.C.E. building on the summit as well as expanding the excavation of a Late Bronze Age public building.
Volunteers will be provided with full room and board at a nearby Kibbutz, 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.

Itzhaq Shai

Itzhaq ShaiDr. Itzhaq Shai is a lecturer at Bar Ilan University as well as David Yellin College. He worked twelve seasons at the Tell es-safi/Gath project and served as director of a number of other excavations. 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.

Dig Directors

Itzhaq Shai

Geographic Location

50 minutes southwest of Jerusalem

Periods of Occupation

Bronze and Iron Ages

Dates of the Dig

June 8 - July 4, 2014

Minimum Stay

1 week

Application Due

May 1, 2014


$450 + $50 Registration Fee - Airfare not included

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes - 4 credits - $3500 - University of Maryland


$450 plus $50 registration fee - airfare is not included


Itzhaq Shai
Institute of Archaeology
Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, Israel, 5290002
Phone: 011-972-544-70-0596

Open for tours

No - by appointment