December 15—31, 2021

Late Bronze and Iron Age Copper Production

Commenced in 2012, the Central Timna Valley (CTV) Project of Tel Aviv University is a multiyear, multidisciplinary research project attempting to elucidate various aspects of the archaeological record in the vicinity of the copper ore deposits of the southern Aravah. The first phase of the project includes excavations and surveys designed to address a number of critical issues in the Late Bronze and Iron Age archaeology of the southern Levant. These include the history of copper production technology and the introduction of iron, historical issues concerning the nature of 13th-9th centuries B.C. desert societies and the impact of the intense copper production on social processes, regional and global political interactions and the economy of the southern Levant at that period.

Timna sits 15.5 miles north of Eilat, a port city on the northern tip of the Red Sea. CTV operates within the breathtaking landscape of Timna Park and implements various techniques in excavation, survey and organic and geological material sampling. The park is an ideal environment to learn a variety of research tools within the diverse field of archaeology. The project collaborates with specialists in multiple subfields of archaeology to explore one of best-preserved ancient mining and smelting regions in the world.

Tours of important sites in the Timna Valley and guest lectures by leading specialists in the field are offered on most afternoons and evenings of the excavation. Tours and lectures are part of the course for those working toward academic credit.

In the 2021 season we will continue to unearth metallurgical installations, investigate mines and miners’ camps and glean insights into the Bronze and Iron Age metalworkers at Timna, whose work greatly impacted the ancient kingdoms of the southern Levant.


Geographic Location

Southern Aravah Valley, Israel

Periods of Occupation

Chalcolithic, Early Bronze, Late Bronze, Iron Age, Roman, Islamic

Dates of the Dig

December 15—31, 2021

Minimum Stay

3 days

Application Due

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

$200 for 2 credit units (field archaeology class); awarded by Tel Aviv University


"Glamping" — shared, heated tent facility in the valley. Fee includes accommodations, program activities and meals for the season.

Open For Tours



$1,150 for the entire season; airfare not included.


Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef

Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef, the director of the Central Timna Valley Project, is Professor of Archaeology and Archaeomaterials in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. Erez specializes in the study of archaeometallurgy and geoarchaeology in the southern Levant and has conducted extensive field research in the region.


Mr. Yoav Vaknin
The J. M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and ANE Cultures
Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv 6997801
Phone: +972-3-6406055
[email protected]