Archaeological Dig: Geba Hippeon

Tell Abu Shusha is a large archaeological site near Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek in the Jezreel Valley of Israel. It is located on the western fringe of the valley overlooking the important road leading from Yoqneam to Megiddo. The earliest surveys of the site identified remains dating from the Bronze Age through the Ottoman Periods. The site was already important in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages (ca. 1800-1200 BCE), and seems to have played an important role in local Canaanite politics within the Egyptian Empire. The site is best known to have been the important Hellenistic and Roman city of Geba-Hippeon, which is mentioned by the famous Jewish Ancient Historian Josephus as the place in which Herod the Great settled his cavalry officers. Despite its importance, it has never been scientifically excavated on a large scale with modern technologies and methodologies, and the site remains one of the largest sites in the Jezreel Valley which is not understood.

The Jezreel Valley Regional Project (JVRP) is a long-term, multi-disciplinary survey and excavation project investigating the history of human activity in the Jezreel Valley from the Paleolithic through the Ottoman period. This project strives for a total history of the region using the tools and theoretical approaches of such disciplines as archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, ethnography, and the natural sciences, within an organizational framework provided by landscape archaeology.

The JVRP has already had great success excavating the settlement of Tel Megiddo East, which is now known to have been an important site in the development of urban society in the region during the late 4th Millennium BCE, and at Legio, where we discovered the legionary base of the Roman VIth Legion which was stationed there in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE. Further, the JVRP has begun its ground-breaking survey of the Jezreel Valley which aims to collect archival data concerning the valley, study the built and natural landscape, and conduct high-resolution surveys and excavations at all sites. During these projects, the JVRP has built a solid team and developed a number of new technologies for archaeological excavation, recording, and processing that are pushing the envelope in the discipline. These include 3D recording technologies as well as a cutting-edge database system called Codifi, which is the heart of the JVRP’s research goal of a collection of all archaeological data in the Valley.

The JVRP now plans to continue its exploration of the valley with new survey and excavations at Tell Abu Shusha. The project will be designed to investigate the wide-range of periods present at the site and to get a better understanding of the long history of settlement there. The site is key for understanding the settlement history of the region and how its residents exploited and adapted to life in the great fertile plain of northern Israel.


  • David Feldman 
    • $500 
    • 66 mos
  • Susan Homsher 
    • $75 
    • 71 mos
  • Gene Dwyer 
    • $50 
    • 77 mos
  • J C 
    • $10,000 
    • 77 mos
  • Sean and Dana Heirigs 
    • $1,000 
    • 77 mos


Matthew J. Adams 
State College, PA
Registered nonprofit
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