Tel Burna

June 23 – July 12, 2024

An Iron Age Mystery

The site of Tel Burna is located in the Shephelah region, which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age. A fertile area that supported agricultural production, the region became known as the breadbasket of the south and is believed by some scholars to be a candidate for biblical Libnah, a Canaanite town that was conquered by Joshua and allotted to the tribe of Judah.

The tell’s prominence is notable in its flat-topped shape, extensive size, and fortifications, which are still visible today. Survey finds indicate the city was important throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. Excavations have revealed a Late Bronze Age (Canaanite) public building with a large assemblage of cultic finds (masks, figurines, feasting vessels, etc.). In addition, a few strata dating to the ninth, eighth, and seventh centuries BCE have been exposed, including a fortification wall that enclosed the summit of the tell.


Geographic Location

Shephelah, South-Central Israel

Dates of the Dig

June 23 – July 12, 2024

Minimum Stay

1 Week

Application Due

Monday, May 20, 2024

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Up to 6 credits are available from Lipscomb University. Contact for more details.


During the week, the team stays in the beautiful guesthouse at Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh. The guesthouse is situated right beside biblical Socoh in the Elah Valley, where the biblical text indicates that David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-2). The kibbutz is a short drive away from Beth Shemesh and about a half-an-hour drive from Jerusalem.


$575 per week. Does not include weekends. In addition, there is a non-refundable $50 application fee.


Itzick Shai: Ariel University

Steven Ortiz: Lipscomb University


Dr. Steve Ortiz

[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.

* Indicates a required field.