Khirbet Safra

July 12 – August 21, 2020

Iron Age Crossroads

Located 17 km southwest of Madaba, Jordan, Khirbet Safra is a 2.6 acre hilltop site offering spectacular views of the Dead Sea and the Wilderness of Judea to the west, as well as the Wadi Zarqa Ma’in and the Jordanian highlands to the east. The site also dominates the road to Ma’in Hot Springs, which passes by at the base of the hill.

While Safra’s ancient name remains unknown, early Iron Age settlers established a walled settlement at the site sometime during the 13th century BC. Iron Age Safra boasts a casemate fortification system, a large, central structure that possibly served as an administrative building, and a well-preserved gate complex. Destroyed by fire during the 11th century BC, Safra was quickly reoccupied and rebuilt. Settlement at the site continued until the mid-9th century BC, when Safra was destroyed a second time, either by seismic activity or by a human agent, possibly at the hands of the Moabite king Mesha, mentioned in 2 Kings 3. Aside from some activity of unknown duration at the site during the Byzantine period, Safra was not resettled.

All are welcome to apply.


Geographic Location

17 km South of Madaba, Jordan

Periods of Occupation

Iron Age I-IIA

Dates of the Dig

July 12 – August 21, 2020

Minimum Stay

One week

Application Due

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes; awarded by Andrews University, Undergraduate and graduate up to 6 credits. Credit cost varies.


Volunteers are housed 2–3 per room at Mariam Hotel in Madaba. The hotel has a swimming pool and poolside dining.

Open For Tours



$700 weekly. Fee includes room, board, transportation and weekend tours. Volunteers arrange and pay for airfare to Jordan.

An optional one week tour of Israel is offered at the close of the dig at additional cost.


Dr. Paul Z. Gregor

Dr. Paul Z. Gregor is Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Archeology and Associate Director of the Institute of Archeology at Andrews University.


Dr.Jeffrey Hudon
Horn Archaeological Museum
9047 Old US 31
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0990
United States
Phone: 269-471-3273
[email protected]