Tel Burna Israel.jpg

Tel Burna
Excavation Project

2022 Dates
June 19-July 15
Minimum of 1 week but up to 4 weeks available

Notable artifacts or features: Canaanite building, silos, fortifications, city gage, cultic artifacts and figurines
Age, Period or Culture:
Late Bronze and Iron Ages

(+ $50 non refundable application fee) 

*Prices and dates subject to change, see provider's website for details, terms & conditions.

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The site of Tel Burna is located in the Shephelah region, which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age. A fertile area that supported agricultural production, the region became known as the breadbasket of the south. Scholars have tentatively identified the site as Biblical Libnah. The tell’s prominence is notable in its flat-topped shape, extensive size, and fortifications which are still visible today. Survey finds indicate that the city was an important entity in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Late Bronze Age (13th Century BCE) finds include: a Canaanite public building, figurines, feasting vessels and other cultic finds; animal bones (probably related to cooking activities in the courtyard), several flint blades, pottery, stone vessels, and parts of masks.


Iron Age finds (9th Century BCE-7th Century BCE) finds include:

A fortification wall which encloses the summit of the tell and includes the remains of a recently discovered gate. On the summit, a large building is being excavated in which various small finds such as hand-burnished pottery, loom weights, stamped handles and figurines have been found.

What to Expect:


This is an active site that has been continuously excavated by archaeologists, students and volunteers since 2009. Recent excavations at Tel Burna have Late Bronze and Iron Age II levels, and include fortifications, various architectural structures and agricultural installations. All participants will have access to the full range of archaeological fieldwork activities

For the 2022 season, participants will assist with:

  • Excavation of an 8th century BCE building

  • Expand excavations of open squares to verify dating and relationships of various features.

  • Cleaning and documentation of agricultural installations and caves in the vicinity, in the pursuit of data on the use of the wider landscape.

  • The study of Ancient Borders . We continue the collection of data pertaining to Judeo-Philistine interactions, in order to understand the way in which ancient borders worked, and how border communities functioned and were influenced by their neighbors.

What's Included in the Cost:


The weekly cost includes full room and board at Kibbutz Netiv Halemd Hay for Monday through Friday each week. Housing features a/c, private bathrooms and free wi-fi. Standard rooms are 4 people per room; however, double and single rooms are available at an additional cost. 

What to Bring:

 All tools and equipment are provided by the team at Tel Burna. Israel is delightfully, and unrelentingly sunny, so  pack clothing and protection with that in mind, such as:

  • Sun-protective, comfortable clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and long trousers

  • Sunscreen

  • Head-covering  like a hat or scarf to protect from sun and sand

  • Refillable personal water bottles. Water is provided onsite.

  • Knee pads or garden kneeling pad to make close-up work more comfortable

  • Closed shoes are a must


Itzick Shai 
Head of the Institute of Archaeology
Ariel University

  1. What makes your site significant?
    The location of the site on the western border of Judah in the Iron Age gives us a unique opportunity to study the interrelations and connections between the Philistines and Judah at a Judahite border town.

  2. What has been most surprising about your discoveries at this location?
    Our discovery of the Late Bronze Age Canaanite temple.

  3. What are your current research objectives at your site? 
    We are presently focusing on understanding the continuity and change in the site-plan and its history through the Iron Age II and to see how it relates to and was affected by the geo-political changes of the period.

  4. What was most important or rewarding find at this site?
    The above mentioned temple has enabled a greater understanding of Canaanite ritual practices, and the imported wares associated with the temple indicate foreign influences on the ritual activities.

An important Bronze and Iron Age site in Israel. Finds include fortification features and an ever-increasing collection of important cultic artifacts and everyday life. 


1 week minimum



Keep tel burna tile for now

Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at
Check out The Massive Ancient Walls of Biblical Libnah for a video of work done in 2021 at the excavation site, and an interview with Dr. Shai.