Current Excavations

Excavations at Ancient Jaffa (Joppa)

We are looking for students, scholars, institutions, individuals or groups, donors or patrons, to join us for a new and exiting project at Ancient Jaffa.

 DownLoad Application Form

Sponsoring Institution:
   Institute of archaeology, Tel Aviv University.
Consortium Institutions:
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod; 
Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
   Prof. Ze’ev Herzog
   June 13 – July 22 1999

Location of the Site

 The mound of ancient Jaffa is located in “Old Jaffa” a picturesque neighborhood in south-western Tel Aviv. 

“Old Jaffa Development Co. Ltd” monitors the archaeological site as part of the local park. Underground Visitors Center exhibit Jaffa’s history and some of it’s remains from the Hellenistic through Byzantine Periods. A nearby Archaeological Museum presents some of the finds at Jaffa and its neighboring is located in an old bathhouse of the second half of the 18th Century A.D. (Hammam). Many art-galleries, restaurants and coffee-shops are located near the site.

Previous Explorations

 Jaffa is mentioned in the Old Testament as a border city of the Territory of Dan (Josh 19:46). Through the "Sea of Joppa", timber from Lebanon was shipped to build the Solomonic temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr 2:16) and the prophet Jonah hired a ship in Joppa to escape "away from the presence of the Lord" (Jonah 1:3). 

The site was excavated mainly by the late Jacob Kaplan in the late 50’s through early 70’s. Among his major discoveries are a Middle Bronze age earthen glacis, a Late Bronze Age gate and a temple attributed to the Sea Peoples. Occupational remains of the Iron II, Persian and Hellenistic periods were also unearthed. In 1991, a replica of the gate lintels, bearing the titles of Pharaoh Ramesses II, was reconstructed by R. Ventura and Z. Herzog and erected in their original location.

In 1997, Herzog conducted a short trial season at the site in order to determine the state of its preservation. We exposed additional parts of the gate's entrance floor and the destruction debris above it and cleaned the top of some Iron Age walls to the north of the gate. We also made probes across the mound and found out that large parts of the site are buried under thick layers of modern fill.

Goals for Upcoming Excavations in 1999:
Two main targets are assigned to the project. First, to explore the governmental stronghold of the Ramesseside period (Late Bronze Age IIB). Excavation inside the line of the gate will clear the structure and the contents of the actual fortress. In addition, we need to illuminate the history of the site during the Iron Age. We seek to determine the correlation with the neighboring Kingdoms of Israel, Judah, Ekron and Ashdod, and the impact of the Assyrian Empire at the site.

Housing and Educational Program:
The multinational expedition will stay at the Tel Aviv Guest House, located in the city of Tel Aviv, on the southern bank of the Yarkon River. Rooms are air conditioned and include bathrooms. 

Three meals a day are served seven days a week in a lovely restaurant in the guest house. However, during workdays, breakfast will be eaten at the excavation site. An academic program in Field Archaeology and an introductory course on the Archaeology of Israel will be offered. Participants will gain up to 8 undergraduate and graduate credits.





Dates and Costs: 

The excavation season at Tel Yafo this year will be six weeks starting on June 13th and including a five-day dig week from Sunday to Thursday. Those wishing to participate as team members will be able to do so on a weekly basis for a sum of $325 per week (seven days) including room and full board. However, university credits will also be offered for those participants interested. Two sessions of 3 weeks each are operated. The first session will be June 13th - July1st and the second session will be July 4th - July 22nd. Each session carries 3-6 credits. An additional 2 credits are available to those remaining for the entire 6 weeks of excavation. Room and full board per three-week session will cost $975. Additional tuition fees are $100 per Tel Aviv University credit. Responsibility for arranging transfer credit with the home institution rests with the student.

For additional information and/or application form please don’t hesitate to contact us at any of the above addresses. We look forward to having you join the Tel Yafo Expedition for a stimulating and truly rewarding archaeological experience!