The site of Khirbet Beit Netofa is on a hill overlooking the Netofa Valley to the west, between Akko and Tiberias in the Galilee. Before 2022, the site had been surveyed but never excavated. It is therefore one of the few sites in Israel that has not had any archaeological excavations.
The main research project is the study of rural life in the Galilee over a long period. The aim is to measure changes and continuities in rural domestic life in the Galilee from the Persian to the Crusader-Mamluk period. The cities of Sepphoris and Tiberias are well known, but little is known archaeologically about rural Galilee. New Testament texts speak of the wanderings of Jesus of Nazareth in the Galilee and rabbinic writings mention the valley of Netofa, but rural life in the Galilee escapes notice.
In the 2022 season, we uncovered an amazing farmstead with a cave complex, oil presses, and a wine press. For the 2023 season, we plan to excavate an area that looks like the remains of a tower and possibly village houses. It is also possible that a synagogue was present according to the 19th-century explorer Victor Guerin.
Galilee, Northern Israel
April 23 - May 4, 2023
Friday, March 31, 2023
3 credits are offered by the University of Lausanne for $1000
Volunteers are housed with the excavation team in a hotel in Nazareth. They can choose single, double, or triple rooms with full board. Evening conferences are organized, and numerous exchanges take place with the archaeologists.
David Hamidovic: University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
Kate Raphael: University of Lausanne (Switzerland)