Abila of the Decapolis

June 20 - July 29, 2023

City of an Ancient League

Located among the well-watered fields of northwest Jordan, the ancient city of Abila was once part of the Decapolis—an informal league of cities located in what is today Jordan, southern Syria, and northeast Israel. Abila was occupied from the Early Bronze Age down into the 10th–11th centuries CE, and was located on a strategic trade route from Nabataea to Damascus.

Volunteers with our excavation will find five Byzantine churches, a Roman bath complex, an eighth-century CE monastic complex, beautifully painted Roman and Byzantine tombs, Bronze and Iron Age occupation areas, and miles of underground water tunnels.

Students serve as square supervisors, working side by side with experienced excavators as they uncover the exciting past of our Decapolis city. Work this season will focus on finishing the excavation of two Byzantine churches and then continuing the excavation of the Bronze and Iron Age strata on the north tell, and an eighth-century CE market located beside a Byzantine plaza.


Geographic Location

Northwest Jordan

Dates of the Dig

June 20 - July 29, 2023

Minimum Stay

1 Week

Application Due

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Contact for more details


Volunteers will be housed in the small village of Hartha about a mile from the site. We will stay in a school building that is vacant during the summer, turning classrooms into living and work spaces.


$1750 for the season.


Dr. David Vila
[email protected]
To learn how you can get involved, visit their website.