Amorites first settled Shiloh in the Middle Bronze (MB) II period, around 1750 B.C. The construction of a massive perimeter wall followed in MB III, around 1650 B.C. It remained occupied until the middle of Iron Age I (around 1070 B.C.) when it was possibly destroyed by the Philistines (see I Samuel 4). Iron II (980–587 B.C.) inhabitants rebuilt Shiloh, and it remained occupied through Islamic times. Most importantly, Shiloh served as the center of Israelite worship. The original tabernacle rested at Shiloh for over three centuries. At some point a permanent building likely replaced the tent structure.
A Danish team excavated Shiloh between 1926 and 1932 and again in 1963. Israel Finkelstein worked the site from 1981–1984. A large deposit of burned cultic bones emerged in Area D, possibly confirming a sacrificial system. The Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria renewed sporadic excavations in 1988. To date, the location of the Bronze Age gate remains a mystery, but the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) exposed a section of the glacis and the perimeter wall in its first two seasons of excavation. ABR’s focus remains on the northwestern sector of the site (Field H1).
Volunteers may join the excavation for one to four weeks. There are pre dig and post-dig tours offered at an additional cost More information about these options available at www.DigShiloh.org. ABR trains volunteers, and offers dynamic evening lectures during the week. Weekend tours are also available for modest additional cost.
Khirbet Seilun: 20 miles north of Jerusalem
Middle Bronze II through Iron II, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic
Yes — by appointment
Dr. Scott Stripling is the Director of Excavations for the Associates for Biblical Research at ancient Shiloh (2017–present). Prior to Shiloh, he served in the same capacity at Khirbet el-Maqatir (2014–2017). Previously, he worked as a field supervisor at the Tall el-Hammam Excavation in Jordan and as a supervisor at the Temple Mount Salvage Operation in Jerusalem. He serves as the provost and director of the archaeological institute of The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas.