Tel Hazor

The Head of All Those Kingdoms

For several millennia during the Bronze and Iron Ages, history tells us that Hazor was the greatest city in northern Palestine and perhaps one of the greatest cities in all of the Eastern Mediterranean. Hazor and its kings are mentioned in the militaristic boasts and diplomatic correspondences of ancient Near Eastern rulers, while the Book of Joshua famously refers to Hazor as “the head” of all the Canaanite kingdoms. Even after the Israelites had conquered and resettled the city, Hazor still dwarfed the rest of the major cities of the Israelite kingdom of David and Solomon, including Jerusalem. Hazor remained a principle settlement in the northern kingdom of Israel until the Assyrian ruler Tiglath-Pileser III destroyed the city in 732 B.C.E.

Biblical Archaeology: From the Ground Down

Survey the remains of a raging fire that destroyed Hazor thousands of years ago. Be there when Hazor volunteers uncover a magnificent prize find, right before your eyes! In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. More information.

Recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hazor is one of the largest archaeological sites in all of Israel, with its great, bottle-shaped mound covering over 200 acres. The site has an upper mound as well as a lower city, and excavations over the decades have revealed 22 strata of occupational debris, the earliest dating to the 18th century B.C. Amidst those layers, archaeologists have uncovered the impressive remains of a grand Canaanite (and then Israelite) city that was once only known from history and the Bible. Among the major discoveries at Hazor have been colossal Canaanite temples and buildings, curious cultic statues and installations, an expansive city water system and a famous monumental six-chamber gate widely attributed to Solomon.
This season, dig director Amnon Ben-Tor plans to continue the excavation of the Late Bronze Age destruction layer and expose the floors of the monumental royal structure on the northern slope of the tell.

Amnon Ben-Tor

Amnon Ben-TorAmnon Ben-Tor has led the Hazor excavations since 1990. He is the Yigael Yadin Professor in the Archaeology of Eretz Israel at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a post he has held since 1988. He has participated in digs since 1963 and has spent many seasons at Yoqne’am and Tel Qashish, as well as at Horvat Usa, Tel Yarmuth, Azor, Tel Qiri and Athienou (Cyprus).

He co-authored Yoqne’am I: The Late Periods (Jerusalem, 1996) and Tel Qashish, A Village in the Jezreel Valley (Jerusalem, 2003). He recently edited Yoqne’am II: The Iron Age (Jerusalem, 2005) and Yoqne’am III: The Bronze Age (Jerusalem 2005).

Dig Directors

Amnon Ben-Tor

Geographic Location

20 miles north of the Sea of Galilee

Periods of Occupation

Bronze and Iron Ages

Dates of the Dig

June 19 – July 29, 2016

Minimum Stay

3 weeks

Application Due

May 15, 2015


$500 per week, $1500 per session (three weeks), $2800 for entire season (6 weeks) - airfare not included

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Up to 6 credits (one credit equals one week) - $80 for application fee and $160 per credit - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Volunteers will stay 3-4 per room at the Kibbutz Gonen Holiday Village. Each room features a/c, a kitchenette, a television and private showers. The kibbutz offers a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts as well as a supermarket.


Institute of Archaeology
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem
91905 Israel
Phone: 011-972-2-588-2403
Fax: 011-972-2-582-5548

Open for tours

No specific tours are offered of the excavation site, but visitors are welcome to visit the park during its operating hours (8:00 am-5:00 pm, entrance fee required).