Israel archaeology


The Land of Israel has been a playground for archaeologists seeking to uncover ancient ruins and artifacts since the mid-nineteenth century.

Israel’s archaeological digs often center on the excavation of sites mentioned in the Bible. Since the beginning of the 20th century, remains of prehistoric settlements and sites have also been excavated.

Archaeology in the region expanded during the British Mandate period (1917 – 1948) and has increased with the founding of the modern state of Israel.

One of the most important discoveries was the Dead Sea Scrolls, between 1947–1956, in caves in Qumran by the Dead Sea, which revealed some of the earliest known copies of biblica books.

Israel hosts a number of important biblical and historic sites. Archaeological digs have uncovered remains from the biblical sites of Hazor, Megiddo, Be’er Sheva, Tiberias, Masada, and Herodian, to name but a few.

Archaeological research in Israel has been used as an important tool to build up the modern state and has helped establish historical links between the Jewish people, the Bible and land of Israel.

Archaeology in Israel involves the systematic investigation of all remains from the country’s past, from the prehistoric era to the end of Ottoman rule in Palestine.

Since Israel was historically situated at the crossroads between Africa and the East, and served as a land bridge between the prosperous cultures of the Fertile Crescent (now Iraq) and Egypt, archaeological artifacts from some of history’s most important civilizations and developments have been found in the region.

In all, there are over 20,000 recognized antiquities sites in Israel, and the Israel Antiquities Authority is charged with ensuring the protection of these sites and in issuing licenses for the excavation.