BAS launches its 2024 Digs Guide
As the calendar turns to a new year, we at the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) take part in one of our favorite holiday traditions, the announcement of our 2024 digs list. Each year, we compile a list of archaeological digs in Israel, Jordan, and elsewhere that are looking for volunteers just like you to help them excavate history! This year’s list features 20 archaeological excavations, offering opportunities to explore everything from the prehistoric past to the classical period and everything in between. Plus, like every other year, we are offering dig scholarships of $2,000 each to select individuals who wish to participate in a dig and demonstrate sufficient need.
While all the digs included in our 2024 digs list offer incredible opportunities for even beginners to get into the field and excavate history, here we spotlight just a few examples of great dig experiences.
First are the excavations at Tel Hazor, where not one but two separate excavation teams will be hard at work exploring Israel’s largest Canaanite city. This year, the Tel Hazor excavation plans to unearth Israelite levels that date to the tenth and ninth centuries BCE and a monumental Late Bronze Age palace from the time of the Canaanites. Meanwhile, the Tel Hazor Lower City excavation will continue digging the courtyard of one of the most magnificent royal temples of Hazor (the Orthostats Temple). Both excavations offer volunteers the opportunity to excavate one of the most important ancient cities in Israel, all while surrounded by the beauty of the Upper Galilee.
Second is Khirbat al-Baluʿa in Jordan, north of Karak. An important Moabite site, Baluʿa thrived in the Iron Age II period (1000–550 BCE) when the city expanded to include a large, walled lower settlement. The Iron Age settlement is impressive, with walls preserved over 6 feet high and doorways with stone lintels still intact. Other periods represented at the site include a middle Islamic village and a Nabatean sacred structure, as well as Bronze Age and Hellenistic occupations.
Third, we have the site of Tel Hadid in central Israel. Positioned at the crossroads of the coastal plain and central highlands, Tel Hadid holds a rich history spanning more than 4,000 years. Unveiling a tapestry of historical layers, the site has yielded intriguing evidence of Assyrian occupation and the forced settlement of Babylonian deportees. Join this collaborative, American-Israeli 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.
Nestled a stone’s throw from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea is our fourth site, Antiochia ad Cragum, which gives volunteers the chance to excavate Roman Turkey. Although the project mainly investigates the Roman city, they have also made other incredible discoveries, including a “pirate treasure” of over 2,500 silver coins dated to the 17th century. Speaking of pirates, this year the team plans to investigate a Hellenistic quarter that was possibly settled by infamous Cilician pirates.
Whether you’re interested in the worlds of Kings David and Solomon, want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles, or work in an ancient Phoenician city, we’ve got an archaeological dig for you. For each dig, we provide an in-depth description, including location, historical and biblical significance, and the goals for the upcoming season. You can also learn all about the dig directors and professors who will lead your summer adventure.
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