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Tel Shimron Excavation

In select summers, Wheaton students learn alongside professors and other archaeologists as they join the Tel Shimron Excavation program.

Program Overview

Tel Shimron, an ancient city in Northern Israel with biblical and historical significance, is the location of Wheaton College’s archaeological excavation, sponsored by generous support from the Museum of the Bible. Each summer, Wheaton students have had the opportunity to join a six week dig in Israel, led by Professor of Archaeology, Dr. Daniel Master.

In 2017, an international team of archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, and geologists began the work during a full scale excavation from mid-June through July uncovering remains from the Middle Bronze Age (19th-16th century BC) through the Mamluk sultanate of the 15th century AD. This major research project is a demonstration of the way in which interdisciplinary thinking can help us to answer questions about the ancient world, including the world of the Bible. 

At Tel Shimron, undergraduate Wheaton students take classes which emphasize Global Perspectives, History, Social Inquiry, and the practice of Science that meet requirements in the thematic core of Wheaton’s general education curriculum.

  • Sponsoring Department: Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Program Leader: Dr. Daniel Master
  • Term: Summer 2019
  • Travel Dates: June 23 - August 2, 2019
    (Depart on 6/22 to arrive in Israel on 6/23; last day of excavating will be August 2nd)
  • Estimated Cost:  $3,800.00 (airfare not included)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Eligibility: Open to Wheaton College students and non-Wheaton students
  • Sponsor Organization: Museum of the Bible
  • Partner Organization: Tel Aviv University
  • Highlights: The Tel Shimron excavation program involves students and volunteers from multiple universities, giving participants field experience in a biblically and historically significant archeological dig.

Course Offerings

Students register for 8 credit hours from the following:

ARCH 325: Archaeological Field Work (4 hrs.)
Archaeology has traditionally been one of the core methods of social inquiry; this field experience involves excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology. This course, part of the Wheaton excavation in Israel summer experience, asks students to frame their experience within the rubric of archaeological method.
Fulfills Social Inquiry (SI) thematic core.

ARCH 326: Archaeological Field Work: Tel Shimron, Israel (4 hrs.)
This course is designed to teach students methods of investigating history (critical analysis of primary and secondary historical sources to interpret the past) and to expose them to the diverse people who live(d) in the Jezreel Valley and its environs. 
Fulfills Global Perspectives (GP) and Historical Perspectives (HP) thematic core.

ARCH 327: Archaeological Science (4 hrs.)
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Busch, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Biology
Archaeological excavations include geology, biology, and chemistry used in the service of better understanding past human action in the environment.  The Shimron project has a field laboratory (FTIR, XRF, GIS, Flotation Analysis for Botany) as well as specialists in botany, biology (osteology), zoology, GIS, and micro-archaeology.  These resources provide a unique backdrop for a project in archaeological science that introduces students to the methods of science. 
Fulfills Scientific Practice (SP) thematic core.

ARCH 495: Independent Study (4 hrs.)
Independent study of selected topics/problems for the advanced student.

Program Fees

The estimated program fee covers tuition and room and board.

Estimated Additional Expenses: Students are responsible for the cost of international airfare to and from the program, any visa fees, vaccinations, and all personal expenses.

Expense       Estimate
International airfare              $1,100.00

Learn More

If you have specific questions or would like to know more about the Tel Shimron Excavation program, contact Jennifer Hutchins, Excavations Coordinator or Dr. Daniel Master, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, for further information.

How to Apply

To apply to the Wheaton College Tel Shimron Excavation program, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.