Megiddo is the jewel in the crown of biblical archaeology. Strategically perched above the most important land route in the ancient Near East, the city dominated international traffic for over 6,000 years — from ca. 7,000 B.C.E. through to biblical times. As civilizations came and went, succeeding settlements at ancient Megiddo were built on the ruins of their predecessors, creating a multi-layered archaeological legacy that abounds in unparalleled treasures that include monumental temples, lavish palaces, mighty fortifications, and remarkably-engineered water systems.
Goals of the Tel Aviv renewed excavations at Megiddo:
- Recheck stratigraphy and chronology and strengthen the role of Megiddo as the key site for deciphering the history and culture of the Bronze and Iron Ages in the Levant and beyond
- Re-investigate monuments exposed in the past: their date and cultural affiliation
- Make Megiddo a laboratory for advancing new methods and techniques, especially those related to the exact and life sciences, such as physics-related dating methods, ancient DNA and geo-archaeology.
Plans for the Season of 2018:
We will be working in several excavation areas across the tel and will continue work on various projects, including:
The Middle Bronze City
Ongoing excavation exposing Middle Bronze Age remains has recently produced exciting ancient DNA results. The recovery and analysis of this type of data is one example of the robust scientific program undertaken by the Megiddo Expedition. The ancient DNA results shed new light on the population of Canaan in the second millennium BCE.
The Fortifications and Gates of Megiddo
We will undertake work in the gate area of Megiddo, including at the celebrated “Solomon’s Gate” – one of the great symbols of the archaeology of ancient Israel in biblical times.
Treasures of the Bronze Age
In 2016, we uncovered a royal Bronze Age tomb at Megiddo. This undisturbed tomb yielded rich finds, including gold and silver jewelry and decorated ivories. We wish to check the possibility of other elaborate tombs in its vicinity and to better understand the relationship between the tomb(s) and surrounding buildings, including the nearby palace, unearthed in the 1930s.
Remembering King Josiah
In the northwestern part of the tel, work has uncovered later phases of the Iron Age, including a 7th century BCE layer which produced finds that may be related to the biblical verses regarding the killing of King Josiah of Judah at Megiddo in 609 BCE. Excavation will continue here, with the goal of better understand the life and times of Megiddo at the end of the Iron Age.
Participants excavating at Megiddo have the unique, unparalleled advantage of dealing with different phases of the Bronze and Iron Ages in parallel, in one site.