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Tel Shimron Excavation

Tel Shimron Excavation - 2019 Edition

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

Excavation 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: Anticipated Summer 2021
  • Anticipated Travel Dates for Excavation program: June 20 - July 30, 2021
    (Depart U.S. on 6/19; Depart Israel on 7/30 or 31)
  • Estimated Cost for Excavation program: TBA (airfare not included)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Eligibility: Open to Wheaton College students in good standing
  • 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.

Program offering is subject to internal approval, minimum enrollment, and ongoing evaluation of local conditions, including enhanced health and safety reviews in light of COVID-19.

Course Offerings for the Excavation

Students register for 8 credit hours from the following:

ARCH 325: Archaeological Field Work (4 hrs.)
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Master, Professor of Archaeology
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.)
Instructor: Dr. Jordan Ryan, Assistant Professor of New Testament
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, 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.

Biology Intensive Program Overview

  • Sponsoring Department: Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Program Leader: Dr. Daniel Master
  • Term: Anticipated Summer 2021
  • Anticipated Travel Dates for Biology Intensive program: June 20 - July 10, 2021
    (Depart U.S. on 6/19; Depart Israel on 7/10)
  • Estimated Cost for Biology Intensive program: TBA (airfare not included)
  • Prerequisites: Summer 2021 - no prerequisites; Summer 2022 - Basic Anatomy
  • Eligibility: Open to Wheaton College upper-level Biology students in good standing
  • Sponsor Organization: Museum of the Bible
  • Partner Organization: Tel Aviv University
  • Highlights: This intensive program gives Biology students the opportunity to apply their biological knowledge (specifically human anatomy) within the context of archaeological excavation and learn archeological methods in an active dig site. 

Course Offering for the Biology Intensive

Students register for 4 credit hours and participate in:

BIOL 386: Special Topics - Field Osteology (4 hrs.)
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Busch, Associate Professor of Biology
A study and application of anatomy in an archaeological setting. Students will learn archaeological skills as they unearth specimens and will use their anatomical knowledge to identify the physical remains. Students learn how to assign gender, age, and other characteristics to individuals represented by the osteological finds.

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.

ExpenseEstimate
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.