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Tell es-Safi, Israel

Program Description

Tell es-Safi, identified as Canaanite and Philistine Gath (home of biblical Goliath) and Medieval Crusader castle (Blanche Garde), is one of the largest pre-classical archaeological sites in Israel. Excavations at the site have revealed fascinating and groundbreaking finds, including the earliest known siege system in the world, the earliest deciphered Philistine inscription, and extremely rich and well preserved evidence of various ancient cultures, peoples, and historical events, spanning some 6000 years of occupation.

Prof. H Greenfield (University of Manitoba) is co-directing (with Prof. A. Maier) the excavation of the earliest levels of the site, when it first became a city, during the Early Bronze Age (5000 years ago).

Israel is one of the culturally richest countries in the world with many places to see from both the present and the past. During the week, we will be excavating ancient Gath; hearing lectures nightly on the history, geography, and cultures of ancient Canaan and Israel; and visiting nearby archaeological sites.

Every weekend, you have the opportunity to travel the country to see other ancient sites (e.g. Masada and Caesarea); visit holy cities (Jerusalem); experience the richness of modern Israel (e.g. Tel Aviv where you can spend the day on the beach, walk through the artist market, shop in the shuk, have a night on the town, experience fine dining and wine tours, or take a surfing lesson); and so much more.


Department of Anthropology

Course Dates

  • 2017 dates TBA

Course Credits

Students must register for a minimum of 6 credit hours. Past courses that have been included in this program are:

  • ANTH 2930 T60 Archaeological Field Study in Israel, Part 1: Tell es-Safi (3 credit hours) and
  • ANTH 2930 T61 Archaeological Field Study in Israel, Part 2: Tell es-Safi (3 credit hours)
  • or

  • ANTH 3910 A60 Archaeological Field Training (6 credit hours)
  • or

  • JUD 2650 A60 Field Studies in Biblical Lands (6 credit hours)
  • or

  • CATH 2100 A61 Field Studies in Catholic Culture (6 credit hours)

Details on courses are available online on Aurora. Academic fees are payable to the University of Manitoba. Tuition fees vary for international students.

Admissions and Requirements

  • All students must have approval of the instructor. Students must register in 6 credit hours (written consent of department head is required). Due to popularity of the course, you are encouraged to register early.
  • In order to participate in a travel/study course, all students must sign an Acknowledgement of Responsibility and Liability Waiver that outlines risk and shared responsibility associated with travel/study.
  • All students must attend the pre-trip sessions.


Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and must be in Tell es-Safi, Israel in accordance with the published course dates.

More information about the Volunteer program


The University of Manitoba only offers the degree credit courses lead by Prof. H. Greenfield. All local accommodations and arrangements are made directly with the Tell es Safi/Gath Archaeological Project.

Travel Documents

A passport and visa are required. Information on obtaining travel documents is available from Foreign Affairs:
Toll free: 1-800-567-6868

Immunization Requirements

Students are advised to contact the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) for information on overseas immunization requirements, (204) 940-8747.

For More Information

Course information:
Professor Haskel J. Greenfield, Dept. of Anthropology
phone: (204) 272-1591

Admission, registration and fee payment information:

Extended Education

185 Extended Education Complex
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 2N2
Phone: +1 204 474-8800
Toll Free: 1 888 216-7011
Fax: +1 204 474-7661

Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project

Tell es-Safi – Early Bronze Age website and blog

Travel Documents
Information on obtaining travel documents is available from:
Foreign Affairs
Toll free: 1-800-567-6868

Immunization Requirements
Students are advised to contact the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) for information on overseas immunization requirements.
phone: (204) 940-8747