Since 2015, the Jordan Valley Excavation Project (JVEP) has been investigating the ancient history and archaeology of the southern Jordan Valley, with a particular focus on the Iron Age (1200-586 BC), sometimes referred to as the “Israelite period.” In 2019, JVEP began excavating the site of Khirbet ʿAuja el-Foqa, a well-preserved, fortified city on a high hill isolated by steep slopes. During the Iron Age II (1000-586 BC), the time of the Israelite kingdoms, it was probably an eastern administrative “capital” and the military center of the southern Jordan Valley, and likely played a role in the Ammonite wars that had been ongoing since the time of the judges. The site can probably be identified as biblical Naarah, mentioned in the Manasseh-Ephraim boundary description in Josh 16:6-7. This is a pioneering excavation that is producing completely new information about the administration of the northern kingdom of Israel in the southern Jordan Valley, a region that has been virtually unknown archaeologically until now.
2 km west of Yitav
Iron Age II
March 30, 2021
Yes, through Averett University. For more information, call Averett University’s IDEAL Program office at 1-800-283-7388, ext. 14949.
The team will lodge in Jerusalem at the New Metropole Hotel, two to three per room, with air-conditioning and three meals a day. The hotel is located just about a two minute walk from the Old City Walls, and provides an ideal base for daily strolls to and from the major historical and biblical sites of the Holy City.
Is the site open to visitors: Yes
Do you offer guided tours of the site: Yes
Is an appointment necessary: Yes
Dr. David Ben-Shlomo is co-director of the Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa excavation project. He serves as an associate professor of archaeology at Ariel University. He is co-editor of Judea and Samaria Research Studies.
Dr. Ralph Hawkins is co-director of the Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa excavation project. He serves as Director of the Program in Religion at Averett University in Danville, Virginia, where he is also Professor of Biblical and Archaeological Studies.