Tel Abel Beth Maacah

July 3 - July 21, 2023

Israel's Gateway to the Aramean World

Located at the meeting point of Israel, Phoenicia, and Syria and strategically positioned between Dan and Hazor, the northern site of Abel Beth Maacah is possibly the capital of the Aramean kingdom of Maacah (Joshua 12:5; 2 Samuel 10:6, 8). Excavations at this cultural crossroads will expose more than the biblical past; scholars hope to examine cultural exchange and urban interaction during the second and first millennia BCE.

In the Bible, Abel Beth Maacah figures prominently in 2 Samuel 20:14–22 when Sheba son of Bichri took refuge there after calling for revolt against King David. Joab’s negotiations with the “wise woman” of the city resulted in Sheba’s beheading. The Bible also describes the city as conquered by Ben Hadad of Aram-Damascus (1 Kings 15:20) and by Tiglath-pileser III in 733/732 BCE (2 Kings 15:29).

Join Azusa Pacific University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem scholars for a chance to peer into the past of this intriguing biblical site. Since the first season in 2013, archaeologists have uncovered an Iron Age administrative complex, cultic areas, and houses from the time of the Judges through the first century of the Divided Monarchy. Significant remains from the Middle and Late Bronze Ages have also been exposed. In 2015, a new field was opened on the slope of the acropolis, where another large building (possibly a citadel) was uncovered from Iron Age II. Inside one of the rooms of this building, team members found the small faience head of a bearded man that some think could have belonged to a biblical king. In 2019, a ninth-century or early eighth-century BCE storage jar was found bearing the Yahwistic name Benayo. This is the northern Israelite equivalent of the Judahite name Benaiah.


Geographic Location

Upper Galiliee, Northern Israel

Dates of the Dig

July 3 - July 21, 2023

Minimum Stay

2 Weeks

Application Due

Thursday, June 15, 2022

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Up to 3 credits are available from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at a cost of $120 per credit


We will stay at Kibbutz Kfar Szold. Three to four per cabin with bathroom, towels and linens, kitchenette, TV, and air conditioning.


New individuals: Weeks 1-2 = $655 per week; Week 3 = $470. Returning individuals: Weeks 1-2 = $578 per week; Week 3 = $415


Robert Mullins: Azusa Pacific University

Naama Yahalom-Mack: the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Nava Panitz-Cohen: the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Robert Mullins
[email protected]

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