Ruins of Masada Fortress and the Dead Sea
Ruins of Masada Fortress and the Dead Sea

Archaeological Tours

$1,000 donation to the Oriental Institute

Israel: with the Oriental Institute

Journey into the Holy Land on this memorable tour of Israel. The three major monotheistic religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – have significant ties to this part of the world and enduring examples of their presence await discovery. From palace complexes and ancient fortifications, to man-made catacombs and Roman ports – we delve deeply into the rich history woven into the fabric of this country.

Over the millennia, Israel has felt the tread of conquerors and settlers: Canaanites, Israelites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, and even Imperial Britons, all of whom have left their signature. Join us and discover the incredible archaeology of Jerusalem, uncover the tragedy of Masada, and visit Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world.

ADDED BONUS

If you book a place on this tour, it will include a $1,000 donation to the Oriental Institute. This donation will grant you a Breasted Society membership – their upper level package, which offers museum access along with special events strictly for members.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  A/C coach
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag

Led by...

Dr Yorke Rowan

Dr Yorke Rowan

Dr Yorke Rowan is a Senior Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and a specialist in the Archaeology of the Southern Levant. He specializes in Jordan history.

Full Price
$8,500

Today's Price
$8,200

Saving
$300

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $2,250

Tour highlights:

  • Explore an abundance of iconic ancient sites on this fascinating trip
  • Visit Jericho, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world
  • Spend time in the heart of Jerusalem, where a wealth of history awaits from the Biblical Mount of Olives to Hezekiah’s Tunnel
  • Learn more about the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran and view them at the Israel Museum
  • Discover the UNESCO-listed fortress of Masada, one of the greatest archaeological sites in Israel

Tour details

Dates October 20 2020 - November 4 2020
Duration 16 days
Cost
Full Price
$8,500
Today's Price
$8,200
Saving
$300
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $2,250 Balance due by July 28 2020
Activity Level
Tour code A20ISR

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

October 20 2020: Itinerary

Today we arrive in the city of Jerusalem. After reaching our hotel, we enjoy a lecture by our expert scholar and a group dinner will follow.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem

Our tour begins on the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus, both of which boast spectacular views over Jerusalem. From here, we take a walk down to the Kidron Valley to view some of the finest standing monuments of the Second Temple period. Lastly, we visit the Herodian Quarter, the residence of the upper-class Jerusalemites, and the Cardo – the main thoroughfare of the Upper City.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem

Today, we embark on an alternative tour of the Old City’s historical layers at the City of David. We then examine Hezekiah’s Tunnel, built through the rock under the city to divert the water into an inner-city reservoir from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. Our day ends at the captivating Wall excavations.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem

A fascinating morning awaits as we devote a number of hours to an in-depth visit to the Israel Museum. Here, we can encounter the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are the oldest Biblical manuscripts known to man and were discovered in caves on the west bank of the River Jordan in the late 1940s. After, there is free time to explore the old city independently and, later, we visit the Western Wall at sunset.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem

Today, we have special arrangements for a tour and lecture at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, the oldest American research center for ancient Near Eastern studies in the Middle East. Later, we visit the Rockefeller Museum of Archaeology, which houses finds from throughout the country dating from prehistory to the Ottoman period, including the Israelite ‘Lachish Letters’. From here, we continue to the caves of Beit Guvrin, believed to have been first dug for stone to build the Roman coastal cities, and the UNESCO-listed Tel Maresha, known for its hundreds of man-made caves.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem

We drive to Jericho this morning and pay a visit to the Herodian Winter Palace complex. Here, we find evidence of luxury on a grand scale, with traces of swimming pools, bathhouses, orchards, and gardens as well as three palace buildings of increasing magnificence. We continue by cable car to the Monastery of the Mount of Temptation, which is said to have been built on the spot where Satan tempted Jesus during his 40-day fast. Later, we visit Hisham’s Palace. This is an important Islamic archaeological site and one of the most sophisticated Umayyad palaces in the region, with some elaborate mosaics and stucco carvings on display. It is here, in the bathhouse, that we can see the famous “Tree of Life” mosaic.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: King Solomon Hotel, Jerusalem

Traveling south from Jerusalem, we stop at Lachish, which was conquered by the Assyrians in 701 CE. The capture of Lachish was the subject of a magnificent series of wall reliefs for the palace at Nineveh, now housed in the British Museum. From here, we continue on to Tel Be’er Sheva, believed to be the Biblical town of Beersheba. Later, we can experience weightlessness in the Dead Sea.

All meals included

Hotel: Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel

Today, we visit the UNESCO-listed fortress of Masada. Built by Herod as a sanctuary on the isolated cliffs of the Judean Desert, it was later occupied by the Zealots and others fleeing the Romans. After a full morning at this extensive site, we travel to Qumran, which is believed to have been an Essene settlement whose library housed the legendary Dead Sea Scrolls.

All meals included

Hotel: Gai Beach, Tiberius

Our touring continues at the Roman ruins in Bet She’an, where excavations have revealed evidence of its role as an Egyptian provincial capital as early as the 14th to 12th centuries CE. The city flourished under the Pax Romana and continues to thrive as a result of its location as a junction between the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys. We travel into the Jezreel Valley, a fertile land “flowing with milk and honey” (Deuteronomy 31:20), and tour its excavations. A drive through the hills brings us to the site of Sepphoris, home to a mosaic locally known as the “Mona Lisa” of the area.

All meals included

Hotel: Gai Beach, Tiberius

Today we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Acre (Akko), a truly historical walled port city with continuous settlement from Phoenician times. During our time here in the Old City, we see evidence of Ottoman and Crusader occupation, and we also visit both the impressive Mosque of Al-Jazzar and Knights Hall. The history of the latter goes back to the Hellenistic Period, although the ruins that remain are mostly from that of the Crusader. Later, we will make our way to the UNESCO-listed Carmel Caves, which were first excavated in the 1920s. Artifacts that have been uncovered here include human burial remains, animal bones, and flint tools, and they tell stories about the evolution of early man in the area. We will also visit a winery, where we will learn about the wine-making process in Israel as well as the popularity of the final product itself.

All meals included

Hotel: Gai Beach, Tiberius

Our first stop this morning is Capernaum and Tabgha, where the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is said to have taken place. We continue around the Sea of Galilee to the Golan Archaeological Museum. Collections housed within this museum cover all historical periods. Here, we can pore over artifacts from Byzantine Christian settlements as well as finds discovered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. From here, we continue to Tel Hazor and explore the site. Its surviving ramparts are considered to be among the best examples of their type in the region. Early work by Israeli archaeologist and military leader, Yigael Yadin, revealed 21 different strata of settlements going back to the Early Bronze Age. Famous as one of King Solomon’s military centers, it was finally destroyed by the Assyrians.

All meals included

Hotel: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel, Galilee

This morning we make our way to Tel Dan, the most northerly Israelite city that was known in antiquity as Laish until it was captured by the tribe of Dan. Next, during our visit to Golan Heights, we will see Banias, an ancient site that developed around a spring once linked to the Greek god, Pan. Here, we also see the Crusader fortress of Qal’at Namrud (Nimrod Fortress). Located on a cliff above the Banias, it was built to help guard the road from Damascus to Tyre and Tiberias during the Crusader period.

All meals included

Hotel: Pastoral Kfar Blum Hotel, Galilee

Returning to Galilee, our first visit is to the Solomonic city of Megiddo, where we explore the remains of the ancient city. Next, we visit the remains of the ancient necropolis of Beit She’arim. This UNESCO-listed site is hewed into the limestone slopes of hills bordering the Vale of Jezre’el – a series of man-made catacombs developed during the 2nd century CE. Later, we travel to Haifa.

All meals included

Hotel: Dan Carmel Haifa Hotel

We begin our day at the Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum at Haifa University. This museum exhibits material from the “Land of Israel,” and includes an outstanding collection of Phoenician material. We drive south along the Mediterranean to visit the Roman port of Caesarea, which was built by King Herod the Great in 25-13 CE.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

This morning we explore the UNESCO-listed White City area of Tel Aviv, which houses the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus-style buildings. It got its name because the majority of the buildings here, which were constructed by German immigrants in the 1920s and 30s, are white in color. Our afternoon will be spent at leisure.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: David Intercontinental, Tel Aviv

This morning we depart for home or for our onward travels.

Meals include: Breakfast

October 20 2020: Additional Info

October 20 2020: Accommodation

Next to the historic Mishkenot Sha'ananim neighborhood, this hotel is a minute's walk from the nearest bus station and 3 km from the Israel Museum, which features the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Overlooking the Dead Sea, this upscale hotel is 18 km from Masada National Park, an ancient Judean fortress.

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Set in the Hula Valley in the Upper Galilee of Israel, this Tuscan-inspired hotel is 12 km from Lake Hula and 14 km from the archaeological site of Tel Dan Reserve.

Offering views of Haifa Bay, this hotel is a minute's walk from the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, a 5-minute walk from Bahá’í Gardens Haifa and 3 km from Stella Maris Monastery.

This hotel is situated at the southern end of Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade.

October 20 2020: Enquiries

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