June 28 – July 23, 2020

City of the Decapolis

This summer, help archaeologists excavate the Hellenistic and Roman site of Hippos (Aramaic Sussita) in northern Israel. Impressively situated on a high spur overlooking the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Hippos was founded in mid-second century B.C.E. as one of the 10 Decapolis cities. In these cities, where the local population came to fully embrace Greek life and culture, Hellenistic values dominated nearly every aspect of civic and private life, including architecture, religion, literature and sport. Even after the Roman general Pompey established Roman control over the region in 63 B.C.E., the Decapolis cities retained their Hellenized traditions for several hundred years.

At Hippos, archaeologists have uncovered the extraordinary remains of a large, well-planned Greco-Roman city, complete with a main colonnaded street (the decumanus maximus), a broad rectangular-shaped forum, Roman fortifications, luxurious public baths and major temples dating to both the Hellenistic and Roman periods. More recently, excavations have brought to light the Roman-period odeion, a Roman basilica, as well as the remains of at least seven different churches built on the site during the Byzantine period.

In the 2019 season, we will excavate Roman sanctuary where recently a monumental gate, the Pan mask, and a theater was located, a Roman period bathhouse, a segment of the decumanus maximus (a public square?), the city dump and a burnt Byzantine church.


Geographic Location

12 miles from Tiberias east of the Sea of Galilee, Israel

Periods of Occupation

Hellenistic to Umayyad

Dates of the Dig

June 28 – July 23, 2020

Minimum Stay

Two weeks

Application Due

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

2-4 credits; $200/per credit; awarded by the University of Haifa


Open For Tours

Yes - appointment necessary


Full season: $2,500. Two weeks: $1,400.


Michael Eisenberg

Michael Eisenberg is director of the Hippos/Sussita Excavations under the auspices of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa. He is senior researcher at the Zinman Institute and a senior lecturer at the Department of Archaeology, University of Haifa.

Arleta Kowalewska

Arleta Kowalewska is co-director of the Hippos/Sussita Excavations. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.


Arleta Kowalewska
Zinman Institute of Archaeology
University of Haifa
Haifa 31905 Israel
Phone: 011-972-4-824-9392
Fax: 011-972-4-824-9876
[email protected]