Israel Archaeological Field School

Omrit, Israel
May 27 - July 1, 2017 (tentative)

Program Highlights

  • Become an archaeologist at Omrit
  • Excavate the remains of an ancient Roman settlement in Israel
  • Explore significant archaeological and cultural sites around the Sea of Galilee, on the Mediterranean coast, and in the Dead Sea region, guided by experienced scholars
  • Live at a kibbutz perched above the beautiful Hula Valley
  • Experience Jerusalem by visiting its world-renown museums and seeing the holy sites of three major world religions in the Old City
  • Work with students from places including Williams College, Carthage College, UNC Chapel Hill, and CUNY Queens
  • This program counts as an Intercultural Course of the Common Curriculum

Program Description

Have you ever considered what it would be like to be an archaeologist? Have you ever wanted to experience the landscape and sites of Biblical and modern Israel? At the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University you can do both!

In this summer study abroad program, you will take part in a well established archaeological field school at Omrit for five (5) weeks. Located in northern Israel at a crossroads for several important trade routes, Omrit was the site of an impressive and now internationally renowned Greco-Roman temple complex. But this was only part of its rich history. Since 2013, excavation efforts have focused on the recovery of a Roman period settlement surrounding the temples. And in 2015 we brought our first team of students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. It was a huge success! This was followed by another excellent CSB/SJU team in 2016. The work of these students has set us up for one final and exciting season at Omrit. Indeed 2017 will prove pivotal in our effort to understand the character of this community. Here you will learn all the basics of archaeological methodology, including how to properly excavate, record, draw, and analyze ancient architecture, pottery, coins, and other significant artifacts.

What is more, students will also have the opportunity to enjoy guided tours of many important archaeological and cultural sites around the Sea of Galilee, along the Mediterranean coast, in Jerusalem, and in the area of the Dead Sea. In 2017 we hope to visit sites including Banias/Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Caesarea Maritima, Beth Sean, Tiberias, Masada, Qumran, the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock, among others. Along the way, and while also staying at a kibbutz with its own valuable history, students will learn about the many ancient and modern developments in politics, religion, economy, and society that have shaped this region.

If you like adventure and history, if you wish to understand a region that changed (and continues to change) the world, if you desire an interdisciplinary learning experience like no other, this program is for you. Join the 2017 archaeological field school at Omrit!


Course Information

Course Name: Archaeological Field School

Course Number: COLG 280P

Credit Number: 2

Designation: Intercultural

Program Cost

The estimated program fee is $4900 plus the cost of 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $573 per credit).

This price includes:

  • Round-trip international airfare from a U.S. international airport to Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Room & board at Kibbutz Kfar Szold and room & ½ board at Kibbutz Ein Gedi and in Jerusalem
  • Local transportation, including airport transfers and daily and excursion transport
  • Course related excursions including: admission to archaelogoical sites and museums
  • Program administrative costs and fees

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Transportation to U.S. departure city, if not Minneapolis
  • Personal archaeological equipment, e.g. trowel and metric tape measure (estimated at $50)
  • 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $573 per credit)
  • Personal spending money (estimated at $200)


Students will stay at the "Bakfar" Country Lodging of Kibbutz Kfar Szold, where they will share rooms with fellow students in resort accommodations with air conditioning, cable television, kitchenettes, personal patio spaces, and wireless internet (quite extraordinary for an archaeological excavation!). Students will also have access to a beautiful pool overlooking the Hula Valley. Breakfasts and lunches are prepared by the kibbutz kitchens, while dinners are privately catered, including special weekly celebratory meals.


The director of this program is Dr. Jason Schlude, Assistant Professor of Classics in the Languages and Cultures Department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Dr. Schlude is a historian and archaeologist specializing in the Roman Near East, he has excavated in Israel for many years, and he has been a co-director of the Omrit settlement excavations since 2013.