Excavations & Publication Project
One of the main projects of the CAR is participation in the Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project in Israel, which began under the leadership of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006. Over the past 40 years, NOBTS has participated in a number of excavation projects in Israel, including Tel Sheva (Beersheba), Tel Aphek, Tel Batash (Timnah), Tel Qasile, Tel Beth Shean, and Tel Rehov.
The current excavation project of the Center for Archaeological Research is the Tel Gezer Water System Project. This project began in 2010 and is jointly sponsored by NOBTS, the Israel National Parks Authority (INPA), and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The codirector of the excavation from the INPA is Dr. Tsvika Tsuk, Chief Archaeologist of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, working in conjunction with the Leadership Team from NOBTS: Drs. Daniel Warner, James Parker, and R. Dennis Cole.
Summer 2017 Gezer Water System Expedition
Project: In the Summer 2016 expedition, a probe was continued beneath the causeway of limestone slabs placed by R. A. S. Macalister in the pool area at the entrance to the cavern and in the area of the main water source at the base of the steps. Excavation of the buildings interior to and west of the MB gate and wall sytem was accomplished and will continue and expand in 2017. In 2016 we continued to clear more of the base of the diagonal tunnel, cleared the tunnel area between the area of the water source and the bottom steps, explored futher the possibility of an external entry. One of the goals is to try to clarify the function of the water sytem, it possible cultic function, and its relationship to the contemporary city in antiquity.
Dates: May 21 -June 9, 2017 (3 weeks); participants will need to arrive by May 19 to participate in the Saturday Jerusalem Introductory tour.
Cost: $1,950.00 for room, board, transportation, and weekend travel for the full 3 weeks. Overseas flights are to be arranged by each individual, and the dig staff will arrange for each to be picked up at the nearby (20 minutes) Ben Gurion airport. Some space is available for those who cannot stay all 3 weeks, at $650.00 per week.
Weekend Travel: The expedition will arrange travel to various key areas and sites during the 3-week stay, including Jerusalem, Galilee, the coastal plains of Sharon and Philistia, and the Dead Sea.
Graduate Credit: Up to 9 semester hours of graduate or undergraduate credit can be obtained through NOBTS for the full 3-week participation in the expedition. Course tuition at a substantially reduced rate for NOBTS students will be assessed by the seminary for student participants in the courses. Contact Dr. Cole for more information on courses and credit opportunities.
Accommodations and Directions: The excavation project will be housed at Neve Shalom. The Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (Oasis of Peace) Guest House is part of a unique community in which Jews and Arabs have chosen to live side by side. The students and staff will stay in the various double and quad rooms on the hotel grounds. These suites will be within a short walking distance of the excavation dighouse where all the lectures and processing of finds will take place. Neve Shalom is located close to everything in central Israel, just 30 minutes from either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, or 20 minutes from Ben Gurion Airport. All guestrooms have air conditioning, telephone, television, and refrigerator. The dighouse and hotel lobby have wireless availability for all guests.
Visit the Neve Shalom website for more information: http://wasns.org/ or
Tel Gezer Water System Excavation Project
In the summer of 2010 NOBTS took on the project of probing the ancient water system at Tel Gezer. The broader excavation of Tel Gezer (under the directorship of Dr. Steven Ortiz of SWBTS and Dr. Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority [IAA]), took the summer off to publish the results of its last four seasons. In the interim, NOBTS under the leadership of Drs. Dan Warner, Dennis Cole, and Jim Parker (all professors at NOBTS) and Dr. Tsvika Tsuk (of the Israel National Parks Authority) took on the challenge to reopen the ancient watesystem at Gezer, which first was exposed beginning in 1905 by the British archaeologist Robert A. S. Macalister. Since his excavations left several unanswered questions, such as, what is the source for the water, what is the date of the tunnel, and what is its overall function, reopening the system was necessary to clarify these issues. Since the tunnel first was exposed, over 10 meters of fill had accumulated in the tunnel, which leads to a cave or cavern that is the source for the water. This diagonal stepped tunnel leading to the cavern is over 40 meters long heading in an eastern direction. On the link page for CAR, one can check out the Photo Gallery, Video updates, and Can You Dig It blog on what we are doing and the extent of exploration into this cavern.
Click on the link below to obtain more information for the SWBTS Tel Gezer Dig