Project Description


Tel Abel Beth Maacah is a large multi-layered site in the Upper Galilee of Israel, strategically located at the intersection of ancient routes connecting Israel, Lebanon (Phoenicia) and Syria (Aram). The site appears in second millennium BCE Egyptian sources, in the Bible as loyal to David in the 10th century BCE, and conquered by the Arameans and Neo-Assyrians in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE. Five seasons of excavation have revealed rich remains from the Middle Bronze, Late Bronze and Iron Ages. Of particular interest is the intensive Iron Age I-IIA occupation and an assemblage of unique finds that shed light on the interaction between Arameans, Israelites and Phoenicians in this border zone. To learn more about the project, go to

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 24-July 20, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,495
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Naama Yahalom-Mack, Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen, Prof. Robert Mullins
  • Online Orientation:  May 5, 2018, 2:30 PM PST
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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Naama Yahalom-Mack
Dr. Naama Yahalom-MackDirector
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen
Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen Director
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Robert Mullins
Prof. Robert Mullins Director
Azusa Pacific University


This is a new IFR field school. There are currently no student testimonials available.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


Students will live in comfortable and clean housing at Kibbutz Kfar Szold in the Hula Valley, a 15 minute ride from the tell and from the town of Kiryat Shemonah. Air-conditioned rooms accommodate three or four people and include an equipped kitchenette and a bathroom with a shower. Each room has a porch that opens to a communal lawn. Linens and towels are provided. Rooms are cleaned twice a week. Free Wi-Fi is available in the rooms. The kibbutz has a spring, a pool and a convenience store.

All meals are communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious food in the tradition of local Israeli cuisine, heavy on fresh fruits and vegetables, and may include hummus, tehina, falafel, and other local specialties, alongside the usual staples of chicken, meat, and fish. A rich breakfast buffet is served in the field during the week. Lunch and dinner take place in the kibbutz dining room. All meals on the weekend are in the kibbutz dining room. Bread, jam, and peanut butter are provided during the week to prepare an early-morning snack in your room. The food is kosher. We can accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan diets.

Travel Info

All planes to Israel land at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. Students are encouraged to arrive in Israel a few days early in order to sightsee in Jerusalem before the start of the dig. A private bus will take staff and students from the meeting point in Jerusalem directly to our lodging in Kibbutz Kfar Szold, at 13:00 on Sunday, June 24. We will provide instructions on how to get to the meeting point in Jerusalem, recommended places to stay, and a sample itinerary of activities.

If you arrive in Israel on Sunday, June 24, after the Jerusalem bus has left for the kibbutz, we will provide you with detailed travel instructions on how to take public transportation from the airport to the town of Kiryat Shemonah. When you arrive in Kiryat Shemonah, you will call or text a staff member who will pick you up at the bus station. The train or bus service in Israel is easily accessible and affordable. English is widely spoken and the chances are good that you will find French, German, Spanish, and Arabic speakers as well.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text, or email a project director. A local emergency cell phone number will be provided to all students enrolled in the field school.


U.S. citizens must have a valid passport whose expiration date is at least 3 months after the time you plan leave the country. U.S. and Canadian citizens receive a free tourist visa upon arrival that is valid for 3 months. While most participants are students in their home country, and you are coming to Israel as a student of the field school, it is strongly advised that you enter Israel as a tourist (B2 visa) and not as a student (B1 visa). Please refer to syllabus for further information.

Citizens of other countries are asked to consult with the Israeli consulate in their region for specific visa requirements.

In 2015, Israeli officials started issuing tourist visas on a separate entry card that you insert into your passport, rather than as a stamp in the passport itself, which you then surrender to passport control upon leaving the country. It is very important that you keep this entry card with you at all times. We highly recommend bringing a paper clip to hold the entry card in your passport.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.