1 Day – Discovering Tel Maresha & Lachish (Archaeological Dig)

As the richest country in Archaeological sites, Israel has much to offer with excellently maintained sites, museums and some of the most fascinating relics ever discovered.

A “Tel ” – word for mound – is composed of layers formed over 1000’s of years by the construction of successive settlements in the same location.

The prerequisites of an ancient settlement were sufficient land, water availability, communication routes, and a defendable position.

With each civilization – destroyed by war, natural disaster or abandoned by its inhabitants, the ‘tel’ grows a little more above the surface of the land.




The region that stretched from Ashdod, on the shores of the Mediterranean from the west, to the foot of the Judean mountains to the east, is known as the biblical land of the Philistines. They migrated around the 12th C. B.C. from the Greek Islands and settled in this southeast corner of the Mediterranean. This region had settlements dispersed throughout it in ancient times linking the coastal plain in the west with the Judean Hills in the east. Its residents carved caves out of the soft limestone hills which have been used by numerous people for a number of purposes over the centuries. The tour takes you through some of the periods and settlements of this region, part of which you will be travelling through an underground maze. Participate in a dig, supervised by archaeologists.

Tour Itinerary

  • Drive to the foot of the Judean hills, to visit the biblical tel of LACHISH, located at the entrance to the modern farm community of the same name. Lachish was an important town in Judea during biblical times, second only to Jerusalem. Its destruction by the Assyrian King Sennacherib in 701 BC is well documented in archaeological findings.
  • One of the first places in the world, where vineyards were planted, and wine was fermented was on these slopes of the Judean mountains. Till today, this is the main livelihood of the farming communities in this area and time permitting, a stop can be made to visit one of the local boutique wineries.
  • Continue east from Lachish to TEL MARESHA, which is part of the expanse of the National Park of BEIT GUVRIN covering approximately 1250 acres. For thousands of years, people quarried the high quality limestone out of the hills creating huge hollow complexes beneath the ground, which were used for dwellings, burial caves, storerooms, cisterns, industrial facilities, hideouts and dovecotes. Walk through this underground labyrinth for a glance into how people lived and worked in ancient times.
  • Continue east, to the VALLEY OF ELAH, the biblical location of the famous battle between David and Goliath. Understand why the advanced and well organized Philistines equipped with iron chariots (tanks of that era), could not prevail against the Israelites, a band of farmers with pitchforks.
  • Participate in an actual archaeological dig.

Optional Sites

Sites on the same route and close in themes and therefore can be exchanged or added, depending on personal preferences and time constraints.

Tel Miqne-Ekron: one of the largest Iron Age sites in Israel where over 100 oil presses were found A reconstructed Philistine street and the Ekron Museum of the History of Philistine Culture are located at Kibbutz Revadim.