Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet Kerak) is a large mound situated on the Sea of Galilee, at the outlet of the River Jordan in Israel. Occupied throughout the Early Bronze Age and sporadically in later times, Bet Yerah was a fortified city at the beginning of the third millennium BCE. It had contact with the First Dynasty kings of Egypt and was later home to a unique ceramic tradition: Khirbet Kerak Ware, with roots in the South Caucasus. In 2013, students and volunteers will continue to investigate the monumental Circles Building (granary), excavating a nearby plaza and houses dating to 3000 - 2800 BCE.
Prof. Raphael (Rafi) Greenberg teaches archaeology at Tel Aviv University. He has directed Tel Bet Yerah research since 2001 and also specializes in the modern social context of archaeology in Israel.
Dr. Sarit Paz is a post-doctoral scholar at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She has studied early urbanism and urban households.
Prof. David Wengrow, of University College, London, coordinates the MA program in archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. He has published widely on Predynastic Egypt and the history of early civilizations.
Tuition & Program Fee:
$4,300 Total Field School Costs: $4,800
All fees are payable to the Institute for Field Research. Eight semester credit units are provided through Connecticut College. Program fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance.
Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.
Please inquire about Financial Aid at your home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this web site.
How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, internet cafes, emergencies, etc.
Expenses NOT Covered:
-Airfare to/from the pre-designated meeting place for the field school.
-Food on weekends when away from the site.
-Sightseeing outside formal field school excursions as outlined on the syllabus.
The entire excavation team (staff and students) will be housed in comfortable hostel-style accommodation at Kibbutz Sha’ar Hagolan, which is situated about 3 km (1.8 m) south of the mound. There will be 2-4 persons per room with shared amenities.
Field school costs include full room and board (except for weekends, which include room only), free laundry, wi-fi, and use of swimming pool. There is a small supermarket and souvenir shop, and staff can assist with weekend arrangements (bus schedules, taxi, car rental etc.).
Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. The project is used to catering for vegetarians, those with gluten intolerance etc.
Students will make their own travel arrangements to Israel. Once in Israel, transport to Sha’ar Hagolan will be provided from Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv) airport (for those arriving directly to the field school) or from the Tiberias central bus station (for those arriving ahead of time). Independent weekend travel is encouraged.
A passport with at least six months of validity is required. You will enter as a tourist, as this requires no visa. We will also equip you with a letter confirming your participation in the field school.
For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to Israel, please read the Centers for Disease Control Website. Click here to be directed to the CDC website.
"Field work at Tel Bet Yerah was intensely challenging, highly instructive, and one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. There's no substitute for hands-on experience, especially in the discipline of archaeology. I've taken many archaeology classes, but never learned as much about archaeology in all of them combined as I learned from professor Rafi Greenberg and his team while I worked at Tel Bet Yerah. Even if archaeology isn't your principle interest, the trip is an unforgettable and priceless experience. You will undoubtedly develop an appreciation for the past and a more complete (material) understanding of history which is unique to archaeology."
-Spencer Martin Gauthier, UCLA
"The TBY field school was one of the best experiences I ever had. I've been on several excavations since, so now I know how special this one was. The location was great! It was amazing to watch the sun rise every morning over the Sea of Galilee. We got to spend our afternoons swimming in the lake or in the Jordan River, which was only a 10 minute walk from the site. Being in this beautiful place helped me forget how hard I was working, and we did work hard, but it was well worth it. I learned so much. When I attended my second excavation, the director was very happy with the way I worked and wanted to know who trained me; I guess they trained me right. The team was so knowledgable and friendly; they helped with anything they could. I can go on and on about every single experience, but I'll leave something for you to find out... Just trust me when I say that this experience will be epic!"
-Naomi Martisius, UC Davis
"Tel Bet Yerah was my first field school and more importantly for me a life changing experience. Excavating at TBY taught me more than how to use a pick and shovel; it opened my eyes to the different lives of people from different countries. I made friends that I still keep in touch with to this day and I will always remember the very unforgettable times we shared together. Traveling on the weekends around Israel and the neighboring countries has truly inspired my future goals and ambitions, most of which I would not have without my experiences at TBY. Working side by side with students from around the World is the best way to learn about various cultures, customs, ideas, and opinions. I will never forget wading through the muddy banks of the Kinneret, playing with the local children at the pool, and jumping from the rope swing into the Jordan River. Participating in the TBY excavations is an extraordinarily unique experience in every aspect for those studying archaeology or any other discipline."
-Danielle Clark, UCLA
"I had the most amazing experience at Tel Bet Yerah. During the field school I had the opportunity to learn about the past in a whole new way and touch artifact that haven't been touched in ages. The whole learning experience was really special and I got to do it while making new friends and having fun in a beautiful setting. Weekends were filled with travel throughout the country and afternoons involved swimming in the sea or river or pool. There was always something fun to do whether it was during lessons or during free time. I would recommend this field school to anyone looking to have the time of their life and ready to learn something new in a rich cultural setting!"
-Maribeth Regan, University of South Carolina