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Archaeological

The Archeological program can be tailor-made to suit all needs, and will include all the classical sites in Israel. Special attention will be focused on the following archeological sites:

Jerusalem

The Western Wall - the western retaining wall of Herod’s Temple Mount that was closest to the Holy of Holies when the Temple stood.

The Western Wall Tunnel – Hidden layers of the Wall that tell the story of ancient Jerusalem. Seeing the lofty Warren’s Gate, a street and other finds, and a fascinating interactive model.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre – most of the complex over the sacred ground marking the tomb of Jesus is a complicated combination of medieval and Byzantine architecture. Deep below the surface are remains going back to a First Temple-era stone quarry and the world-famous and rarely viewed “ship inscription,”  probably carved by a long-ago pilgrim.

The City of David – the place where it all began… The City of David is revealing some of the most exciting archeological finds of the ancient world includes an observation point overlooking Biblical Jerusalem, archaeological excavations and thrilling biblical finds, a royal palace, underground visit to the Gihon Spring, the Second Temple-era Pool of Siloam and the Herodian Road, the ancient thoroughfare that led pilgrims north to the Temple.

The Davidson Center – The Jerusalem Archaeological Park and adjacent Davidson Center offer a window into Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction by the Romans in 70 C.E.  The site contains direct artifacts from the city's destruction in 70 C.E., as well as significant archaeological remains from the Byzantine and early Arab periods.

The Tower of David - located at the Jaffa Gate inside the rooms of Jerusalem’s Turkish citadel, abutting the huge tower which despite its name was constructed by Jerusalem’s master-builder, Herod.  Each of the many rooms features exhibits devoted to a different time-period, clarifying the capital’s complex history.

The Herodian Mansion – restored as a living museum beneath contemporary buildings, with remnants of the fine homes, mosaics, implements of daily life and architecture of the city’s wealthy class before the destruction of the Temple. 


The Dead Sea area 

Qumran – the ruins of ancient village that was inhabited by a radical sect around 2000 years ago. On the plateau in sight of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

Massada – a mountain fort that is now a national Jewish shrine, and world famous for its recognition by UNESCO for its unique structure and history. The magnificent ancient ruins include Herod’s three-tiered palace, the synagogue, the baths, the defending walls and the water cisterns that are an engineering feat still today.

Ein Gedi Synagogue - The old synagogue was built in the 2nd century CE, when the Jewish community of Ein Gedi became one the wealthiest communities of those times.
 

The Negev

Tel Be'er Sheva – the biblical city that marked the southern border Israel. The site is of unparalleled importance for the study of biblical-period urban planning, biblical history and its outstanding universal value, leading UNESCO to inscribe Tel Be'er Sheva as a World Heritage Site.

Avdat – remains of one of the famed ancient Nabatean cities along the Incense Route, and a World Heritage Site. The remains include Avdat’s Nabatean temple, which was converted into a church, the Roman bathhouse, a Roman watchtower with an inscription dating to the late third century CE, Byzantine wine-press, churches from the fourth century, all overlooking the Negev panorama.

Beit Guvrin - The area of Beit Guvrin, ancestral home of King Herod, is famous for its vast underground labyrinths of man-made rooms which give evidence of underground industrial complexes dating from the Hellenistic period.
Tour includes an archaeological Seminars excavation that includes digging, sifting and pottery examination at the National Park of Beit Guvrin.

 

The Western Galilee 

Caesarea– “Queen of the Coast” – The ancient Caesarea Maritima city and harbor was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE. The city has been populated through the late Roman and Byzantine era. Herod’s showcase city, including the amphitheater; the theater; Byzantine walls; the “bird mosaic”; the Crusader city, the aqueduct and more. 

Megiddo – One of the most important archeological sites in Israel from the time of the bible and King Solomon’s regional capital. The remains from the city’s glorious past such as the City Gates and the Ivory Palace, the stables from Ahab’s time, the water system and its great biblical significance have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beit Shearim - Talmudic-era Jewish cemetery where sages and leaders from across the ancient world were laid to rest. Catacombs with huge, decorated stone sarcophagi, ornamental stone portals are just part of the fascinating antiquities of this city, one of the places where the Sanhedrin had its headquarters.

Acre – Situated on the northernmost point of Haifa Bay, lays the amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Acre (Akko) The city’s fascinating historical heritage, a rare blend of East and West, authentic sights from the past, a unique meeting place of art and religion alongside the remains of various cultures – all these have made Acre one of the most important cities of the ancient world. 

The Lower Galilee

Beit She'an – the ancient city that boasts 29 layers of civilization and where an earthquake made time stand. The biblical mound containing remains of the city to which the Philistines brought the bodies of Saul and his three sons, and capital of the Greco-Roman alliance of cities known as the Decapolis, Bet Shean boasts colonnaded streets, mosaics, temples, fountains, pools, a theater, an amphitheater and more. 

Tiberias – The present-day resort town, built by Herod Antipas and once the headquarters of the Sanhedrin, is now undergoing excavation. Visit the dig, as well as the synagogue of Hammat Tiberias, presently a national park which spans around Hamat Tiberias 17 hot springs.

Capernaum - the first of the three cities of the “evangelical triangle” (including Bethsaida and Korazim) to return from historical oblivion, with Byzantine and Roman remains of a synagogue, a church and dwellings that raise many interesting questions and illustrate New Testament stories.

Bethsaida – excavations are underway of the Roman city that figured centrally in the ministry of Jesus, and of huge remains of the biblical city of Geshur, hometown of David’s wife Maacah (2 Sam. 3:3).

The Upper Galilee and Golan Heights 

Tel Dan - Visit the ruins of the biblical city and the capital of the Northern Kingdom. Among the special finds here is the High Place, attributed to the time of King Jeroboam, The Israelite city gate and the Canaanite gate, with perhaps the earliest constructed arch ever discovered.

Katzrin Ancient Park – features a reconstructed synagogue and a Talmudic-era Golan Heights village including a house furnished with domestic artifacts of the period creating a three-dimensional perspective on ancient life. 

Gamla Nature Reserve – called “the Massada of the north” because of Josephus’ description of its famous last stand, a hike leads to Gamla, which boasts remains of the earliest synagogue ever found, ramparts that held back the Romans, and olive presses that were the town’s livelihood.

Umm el-Qanatir – a Talmudic-era town with unusual synagogue remains and unique finds, this site is now undergoing excavation using cutting-edge techniques and technology.

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