Tell Abu Shusha

June 22 – July 19, 2019

Dig King Herod’s Ancient City

Tell Abu Shusha is the name given to a mysterious hill in the Jezreel Valley by the Ottoman-era villagers who lived on its summit. Tantalizing historical and archaeological clues suggest that buried within are the remains of ancient Gaba Hippeon, a city founded by King Herod as a base for his cavalry forces. This garrison guarded the northern borders of Herod’s kingdom from the Phoenicians and secured one of the most important trade routes across the Levant, the Via Maris. In Herod’s day, part of this “Way of the Sea” helped connect the pagan Decapolis cities such as Beth Shean, Gadara, and Hippos to the massive port of Caesarea and from there into the Roman world. Gaba Hippeon was established to secure this lucrative trade network. But there’s more to Abu Shusha than Herod and Roman luxury trade…archaeological surveys indicate that the site may have guarded this pass thousands of years earlier!

This summer, the Jezreel Valley Regional Project is breaking ground on a site that has never been excavated before. Volunteers of all ages and walks of life are welcome to join us for 1–4 weeks. No experience necessary! University credits are available for participants in the Archaeological Field School or Lecture courses.

Come join us to discover what ancient stories Abu Shusha has to tell!


How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. Learn more >>


Geographic Location

Jezreel Valley, 60 miles northeast of Tel Aviv

Periods of Occupation

Bronze Age, Iron Age, Herodian, Byzantine

Dates of the Dig

June 22 – July 19, 2019

Minimum Stay

One week

Application Due

May 31, 2019

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes; 3–6 credits; $600 per 3 credits; awarded by University of Hawai‘i


The team’s accommodations are located at Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek, down the road from the tell. Team members are usually housed 4 people to a room, and each room has a/c, a private bathroom, and a kitchenette. The team will also have access to various kibbutz facilities, such as the swimming pool and the grocery store.

Open For Tours



$2,115 per four weeks (or $600 per week)


Matthew J. Adams

Matthew J. Adams (W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research)

Susan Cohen

Susan Cohen (Montana State University)

Yotam Tepper

Yotam Tepper (Israel Antiquities Authority)


Dr. Matthew Adams
American Archaeology Abroad
6862 East Tawa Street
Tucson, AZ 85715
Phone: 814-876-2780
[email protected]