Jezreel Valley Regional Project Tour

Givat Haviva

This summer I’m leading a group of University of Oklahoma students to Israel to take part in a summer archaeological program organized by the Jezreel Valley Regional Project (JVRP).  OU has joined in a consortium with the JVRP to put together a program that involves a one-week study tour of archaeological sites in Israel and a three-week archaeological field school at Tel Megiddo.  The tour portion of the program began June 7 and concluded June 12.  While touring sites in central and coastal Israel, students and staff stayed at Givat Haviva, which will also be our residence during the excavations at Megiddo.

When touring northern Israel and the Golan Heights, we stayed at beautiful Ramot Naftali.

Ramot Naftali

Our tour of Northern Israel included a number of different types of archaeological sites, ranging in date from the Bronze Age, like Tel Dan, to the Hellenistic and Roman eras, like Banias and Hippos, to Ayyubid and Mamluk fortifications, like Nimrud’s Fortress.  Our tour of the Jezreel Valley, Galilee, and coastal plain included some of the most famous sites in the area, including Beit Shean, Sepphoris, and Caesarea Maritima, as well as recently explored and excavated sites like Legio, the location of the 6th legion’s encampment. 
So far the students have been enthusiastic in their exploration of archaeological sites.  I’ve included some images below to illustrate the sites we’ve visited.  In the next couple of days, we will prepare to begin excavations at Tel Megiddo, and I’ll post further updates as the project proceeds.

Nimrud’s Fortress

On the Decumanus Maximus at Hippos

The Cardo Maximus at Sepphoris

In the cistern at Sepphoris

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