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Tel Shimron Excavation

Each summer, 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 newest archaeological fieldwork site, sponsored by generous support from the Museum of the Bible. Each summer, Wheaton students have had the opportunity join a six week dig in Israel, led by Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Dr. Daniel Master.

In 2016, Professor Master and Associate Professor Adam Miglio brought a team of Wheaton students and alumni to determine what parts of the site were occupied in which periods. Dr. Miglio worked with students trained in Ground Penetrating Radar and Magnetometry to look below the surface, and Dr. Master’s team of archaeologists collected pottery from the surface and excavated small test pits for clues that would indicate the nature of the occupation below. Together, the two teams identified human habitation from the Neolithic period (c. 5000 BC) through the Mamluk sultanate of the 15th century.  In some cases, they found the outline of walls and houses below the surface.

In 2017, an international team of archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, and geologists continued the work during a full scale excavation from mid-June through July.  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 count toward the completion of Wheaton’s core curriculum.

  • Sponsoring Department: Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Program Leader: Dr. Daniel Master
  • Term: Summer
  • Travel Dates: TBA
  • Estimated Cost:  TBA
  • Prerequisites:
  • Eligibility: Open to undergraduate and graduate Wheaton College 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

ARCH 325: Archaeological Field Work (4 hrs.)
Archaeology has traditionally been one of the core ways of social inquiry.  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 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.)
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 525: Archaeological Field Work (6 hrs.)
Field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in Israel or the Mediterranean world.

Program Fees

The estimated program fee covers tuition and room and board. Students will be responsible for the cost of airfare to and from the program and personal expenses.

Learn More

If you have specific questions or would like to know more about the Tel Shimron Excavation program, contact 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.

The Tel Shimron Excavation is sponsored by the Museum of the Bible.