Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa

May 19 – June 16, 2024

Biblical Naarah

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 military center for the southern Jordan Valley, likely playing 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 Joshua 16:6-7. The pioneering excavation 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.


Geographic Location

Central West Bank

Dates of the Dig

May 19 – June 16, 2024

Minimum Stay

2 Weeks

Application Due

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Contact for more details


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 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.


$3,160 for the full season of four weeks, or $790 per week (airfare not included). Except for airfare, the prices are all-inclusive, and cover accommodations, three meals per day, transportation to and from the dig site, and a full program of tours each Saturday, including Capernaum, Nazareth, the Baptismal site, Qumran, Masada, the Mediterranean Sea, and others. Sundays are open, with guided walking tours of Jerusalem available.


Dr. David Ben-Shlomo: Ariel University

Dr. Ralph Hawkins: Averett University


Dr. Ralph Hawkins

[email protected]

To learn how you can get involved, visit their website

In the free eBook, A Digger’s Life: A Guide to the Archaeology Dig Experience, step into an archaeological excavation and find out what it takes to find, prepare for, and work on a dig.

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