Jerusalem’s Ophel Hill

September 1 – September 26, 2024

Explore Biblical Jerusalem

The Ophel Hill, located just south of the ancient Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Second Temple-period in Israel, with substantial architectural remains and rich assemblages of finds. Thousands of pilgrims ascended to the Temple through this area every year, and this is the best location for studying the reality of Jerusalem as a “Temple City” and as one of the major pilgrimage destinations of the ancient world.

Large-scale excavations, directed by Benjamin Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, began here in 1968, uncovering significant remains from the Ummayad, Byzantine, Roman, Second Temple and First Temple periods, such as the gigantic retaining walls of Herod’s Temple compound and the adjoining streets. Additional excavations were conducted here in the last decades by Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University and by Ronnie Reich, Yuval Baruch, Yaakov Billig, and other archaeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The renewed excavations of the Hebrew University and Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology are located at the eastern part of the Ophel Hill, uncovering substantial remains from the Byzantine and mainly the Second Temple period.

This season, dig directors Uzi Leibner and Orit Peleg-Barkat plan to continue the excavation of a monumental public complex, located near the foot of the stairs leading to the ancient Temple Mount, and to open a new excavation area.


Geographic Location


Dates of the Dig

September 1 – September 26, 2024

Minimum Stay

2 Weeks

Application Due

Tuesday, April 30, 2024


Participation is based on self-accommodations and transportation. Volunteers can find accommodations of various standards and costs in Jerusalem. The site can be reached with public transportation from various locations in the city. Breakfast will be provided at the site.


$120 per week. $75 for the first, short week. In addition, there is a non-refundable $50 application fee


Uzi Leibner: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Orit Peleg-Barkat: Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Shoham Buskila

[email protected]

To learn how you can get involved, check them out on Facebook.

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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