| Courses & Credits
| Program Costs
| Application Process
| More Information
UNC Archaeological Excavation in Israel
This field school program, directed by Professor Jodi Magness, provides students with the opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation while learning about ancient and modern Israel. Jodi Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has participated in over 20 excavations in Israel and Greece, including co-directing the 1995 excavations in the Roman siege works at Masada.
Live Science has listed the Huqoq mosaics (the scenes of Noah's Ark and the parting of the Red Sea) as one of the The 9 Biggest Archaeological Discoveries of 2016
Huqoq is close to many archaeological sites and sites of religious interest around the Sea of Galilee. There will be field trips to these sites on Saturdays and these field trips are included in the cost of the program.
This four-week summer field school program will provide participating students with 6 hours of UNC academic credit for the following course:
CLAR 650: Field School in Classical Archaeology
The ruins of Huqoq are spread over an area of approximately 25 dunams (= 6 acres). The village lies in the center of the region that was the focus of Jesus’ ministry. Capernaum, the home of the adult Jesus, is 3.2 miles to the east, and the town of Migdal, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, is 2.8 miles to the south. An ancient synagogue building, the remains of which are still visible in the midst of the ruins of Huqoq, will be the focus of the Huqoq Excavation Project (HEP).
Huqoq has never been excavated. In the 1950s, a few Jewish burial caves north of the village were excavated by an Israeli archaeologist. A small scale survey in 1999 by another team of Israeli archaeologists identified the remains of an ancient synagogue. The HEP seeks to excavate the synagogue remains as well as its setting in the village. Huqoq was selected because there is an ongoing scholarly debate about the dating of ancient synagogue buildings. Therefore, one of the main goals of the HEP is to establish the date of the synagogue through scientific excavation. Some of the houses around the synagogue will also be excavated in order to better understand life in an ancient Galilean village. The project will incorporate the latest scientific techniques to retrieve types of data that previously have not been recovered on archaeological excavations in Israel (such as information about the ancient climate, diet, environment, and economic base). This project has great potential for shedding new light on the world of Jesus.
Participants will dig from the crack of dawn (about 5:30 am) until lunchtime (about 1 pm) every day, Sundays through Fridays. After lunch and a siesta, participants will wash pottery or participate in workshops given by staff members. Workshop topics include the use of GPS, drawing, and photography in archaeological excavations and analysis of ceramics, coins, and animal bones. Two or three nights per week, senior staff members will give lectures after dinner.
Courses in this program are UNC Graded Credit.
UNC Graded Credit Programs (often taught by UNC Faculty): No action required
- These courses automatically show up on your Tar Heel Tracker and UNC Transcript.
- You will receive a letter grade for those courses, and this does affect your GPA.
The program group will be housed at the Kibbutz Huqoq Guest House (“Haquq ba-Lev”), which is located close to the site. Housing will consist of air-conditioned, shared rooms (with two-three persons per room). Each room has its own bathroom and shower facilities and equipment for preparing tea and coffee.
Breakfast will be eaten at the site; lunches and dinners will be eaten in the guest house dining room.
For funding opportunities for this program please contact the following sources:
Review the Budget Sheet posted above for detailed information on costs and fees. Costs vary per term and are subject to change.
Tuition and fees for the program are based on the cost of operating the program abroad and are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuation. Tuition and fees will be charged to the participant’s UNC student account. Review the Budget Sheet for additional Cashier Billed Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Study Abroad Office strongly encourages students to budget carefully for their time abroad.
Getting Started: Funding Study Abroad
Complete the required UNC application by clicking “Apply Now” at the top of the page. If you have not done so already, create a profile to start your application.
Back To Top
The US State Department has issued Travel Warnings for Israel and Jordan. Students who wish to apply to this program will be required to sign a waiver in order to participate in this program.
For additional program information, please contact Dr. Jodi Magness at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on requesting ARS accommodations (academic, health, and mobility concerns) for a study abroad program, contact the Advisor for Access