"We have great faculty who are not just great at teaching archaeology and teaching the Bible, but they are great archaeologists."

Cameron Coyle, 2013 Field Archaeologist


Project Overview

The Site: Tel Gezer guards the western entrance of Jerusalem from the coastal plain. Gezer was continuously occupied from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. It is one of three cities fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:16-17). Gezer is a 33 acre site. The ancient site was originally excavated in the early 20th century by Macalister. It was excavated again by an American team sponsored by Hebrew Union College under the direction of W.G. Dever and later by J. Seger. Although previous excavations have revealed much of Gezer's history, there are still many unresolved problems. Since the last excavations in the 1960s and 70s, several issues and debates have arisen concerning the rise of the Israelite state in the Iron Age and Iron Age ceramic chronology.

The Project: This summer will be the ninth season for the Tel Gezer Excavation and Study Program. This joint project is sponsored by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Dr. Steve Ortiz and Dr. Sam Wolff co-direct the excavations with the participation of a consortium of academic institutions. The purpose of the project is to reexamine previous results in the context of newly excavated and published material. Emphasis will be placed on ancient Gezer during the Iron Age. The excavation will focus on the south-eastern slope of the western hill where previous excavations have revealed that there are several occupational phases of the Iron Age city.

The Study Program: The Tel Gezer Excavation and Study Program is a multi-focused learning program that contains at its core the archaeological field school. The study program is an accredited program offering academic credit (two 3 unit courses) for students. The main course involves the study of the archaeology and history of ancient Israel. This will be accomplished by the Tel Gezer Archaeological Field School that will consist of the excavation of the site, processing of material at the expedition camp, on site lectures by staff and guest scholars in the evening as part of the course. The students will also participate in regional study tours on the weekends.

Dates: May 15-June 9, 2017

Accommodations: Students and staff will be housed in air-conditioned suites at Neve Shalom. Each suite sleeps four individuals and has one bathroom. Two meals (lunch and dinner) will be provided at Neve Shalom, and breakfast will be in the dining tent on the site.

Price $2,600.00. ($2,400.00 for students of consortium schools).
The price includes room and board for the entire 4 weeks, daily transportation to the site and back, field school and lectures. The price does not include airfare to and from Israel or weekend study tours. If space is available, there might be opportunity for shorter periods of participation (minimum 2 weeks).

Estimated airfare: $1,400 - $1,800 (from NY)
Weekend Field Trip supplement: $900.00 (includes transportation, entrance fees, guides, etc. for 10 days of touring on the weekends)
Tuition: $500.00 (per course)**

Sample cost for full academic program participation:
4 week program          $2600.00
Study tours                     900.00
Tuition                         $1000.00   (2 courses at $500.00 each)
Airfare (1400-1800)     $1500.00  (estimate)
                       Total:  $6000.00