Tel Hadid


Revealing Ancient Dislocated Communities

Nestled atop a prominent hill with panoramic views of the coastal plain and modern Tel Aviv lies the captivating site of Tel Hadid/al-Haditha, identified in biblical texts as Hadid (Ezra 2:33; Nehemiah 7:37). Positioned at the crossroads of the coastal plain and central highlands, Tel Hadid holds a rich history spanning over 4000 years. Unveiling a tapestry of historical layers, the site has yielded intriguing evidence of Assyrian occupation and the forced settlement of Babylonian deportees (instead of the Israelites who were forced to leave their homes; 2 Kings 17), whose daily lives are chronicled in cuneiform tablets dating back to the seventh century BCE.

Centuries later, during the conflict with the Seleucids, Simon Thassi fortified Hadid, and the valley below witnessed the clash between opposing forces (1 Maccabees 12:38, 13:13). The strategic significance of Hadid endured through generations, with Vespasian fortifying the town during the Jewish Revolt (c. 66-70 CE), as recounted by Josephus (Wars 4, 9:1). According to rabbinical tradition, Hadid was among the towns fortified in the days of Joshua (Mishna, Arakhin 9:6).

In the early Christian era, Eusebius of Caesarea identified Haditha (Adida in Greek) as the location of Adithaim, a town in the tribal allotment of Judah (Joshua 15:36). The renowned Madaba Map also features a village northwest of Jerusalem labeled “Adiathim that is now Aditha.” However, a different identification emerged in the 13th century through the insights of Isaac HaKohen Ben Moses, also known as Ishtori Haparchi, who traveled extensively across the Holy Land. He proposed that the village of Haditha, situated atop a round hill east of Lydda, corresponds to biblical Hadid.

The last notable occupation of the site was during the Ottoman period and the British Mandate when a village named al-Haditha thrived. Unfortunately, it met its demise during the 1948 War, and the mound has remained uninhabited since then.

Join the Tel Hadid Expedition, a venture delving into these pivotal periods of the site’s history. Since 2018, six areas across the site have undergone excavation under the supervision of an international team of scholars dedicated to unraveling its history and archaeology. Join this collaborative, American–Israeli-led project as they unearth the remnants of the Israelite town, the Babylonian deportee community, the Jewish fortress from the late Second Temple Period, the early Christian settlement, and the Palestinian village that once graced the site. In the afternoons, participants will engage in artifact study sessions, take classes on archaeology and history of the region, and have the opportunity to interact with leading archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and other esteemed academic institutions in Israel, sharing their latest discoveries.


Geographic Location

Coastal Plain, South-Central Israel

Minimum Stay

1 Week

Application Due

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Contact for more details


Participants of the 2024 Tel Hadid season will stay at Neve Shalom, a Jewish-Arab community situated equidistant from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. It is a model of equality, mutual respect and partnership. The serene guesthouse features rooms designed to house two to three people, and comes equipped with an ensuite bathroom, storage, and air conditioning.


$1000 per week with discounts available for multi-week participation


Ido Koch: Tel Aviv University

Jim Parker: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


Ms. Elana Gerber

[email protected]

To learn how you can get involved, visit their website and check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Hear from volunteers and students excavating Tel Hadid

Digging In: Tel Hadid