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Historical Tour of Ancient Israel & the West Bank

Historical Tour of Ancient Israel & the West Bank
Through readings, walking lectures, and touring important sites and museums, students will study the development of the Prehistoric, Iron Age, Classical, Roman, Byzantine, early Arab, Crusader, and modern cultures in Israel and the West Bank. Immediate contact with the art, architecture, and archaeology will form the basis of the student's appreciation of the unique history and heritage of the lands of Israel and the West Bank.
Israel & the West Bank
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Jewish Studies
Religious Studies
Program Type: 
  • Spend 2 weeks immersed in the culture of ancient Israel.
  • Travel throughout Israel and the West Bank visiting most of the major archeological sites, museums, and historical points of interest in northern and central Israel.
  • Earn 3 hours of academic credit through completion of the program.
  • Optional add-on experience participating in archeological excavations at Tel es-Safi. 
Program Summary: 

During this two week program, students will be immersed in the culture of ancient Israel through guided tours, readings, walking lectures, and excursions that bring the archeological history of Israel to life. 

The program focuses on the civilizations in Israel from the Neolithic to Medieval periods, with a special emphasis on Jerusalem and the archeological sites of northern and central Israel.  Students will explore the Prehistoric, Iron Age, Classical, Roman, Byzantine, early Arabian, Crusader, and modern cultures in Israel.  Experiencing the art, architecture, and archeology of these periods will provide tangible insight into the rich mix of cultures and the unique history and heritage of the lands of Israel and the West Bank.     


Israel is a relatively new country in a very ancient land.  The world’s only Jewish democratic state is home to sites sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Israel is a popular destination for religious tourism due to its temperate climate, large number of historical points of interest, and archeological sites.  Israel also boasts the highest number of museums per capita in the world.  Students will study and explore all aspects of ancient Israel while also experiencing modern day Israel through their daily life. 

The program itinerary has been carefully crafted to provide the widest possible exposure to the rich history and mix of cultures and religions in Israel.  Students will stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tiberias with side trips to Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Jericho, the Dead Sea, and many more.  At the completion of the program, students can expect to have experienced most of the important museums and historical sites in northern and central Israel.   

Academic Information: 

Three hours of academic credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program.  Students will enroll in the course JWSH 395: Ancient Israel, An Archeological Tour or may alternatively enroll in one of the following cross-listed options: ART 505, CLSX 570, or REL 400.  

Course content will involve on-site lectures, guided tours, readings, and personal reflection.  Textbooks include the Blue Guide to Israel & the Palestinian Territories and The Archaeology of Ancient Israel as well as optional local guidebooks available at the various archeological sites visited.     

Add-On Experience

KU offers two archeology-focused study abroad programs in Israel designed to fit together if a student so chooses.  Students may also participate in the archaeological excavations at Tel es-Safi with KU faculty member Eric Welch.  Students will gain hands-on experience at an active archaeological excavation site.  No previous experience or knowledge of archaeology is necessary.  Students will receive an additional three hours of academic credit for JWSH 395: Excavation in Israel.  Find out more about the program here: http://studyabroad.ku.edu/archaeology-israel.



Accommodations & Meals

During their time in Israel, students will stay in double or triple occupancy hotel rooms and spend two nights at a traditional kibbutz.  All lodgings provide an Israeli-style breakfast buffet.  Most lunches and some dinners will be eaten together as a group.  Remaining meals will be the responsibility of the student, but an estimate for all additional meals is included in the budget.



Open to students from any accredited U.S. college or university with junior or senior standing and a minimum 2.5 GPA (exceptions considered after submission of a petition).  The subject matter covered is applicable to all, so the program invites all interested students to apply.   

Further Reading: 

For more information, contact:

John Younger, Professor
Program in Jewish Studies
4028 Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Program Faculty: 

Dr. John G. Younger is a Professor of Classics and the Academic Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Kansas.  Professor Younger is an internationally known archaeologist and art historian and has traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean region, including excavations at numerous sites in Greece, Italy, and Israel.  Professor Younger has led more than 15 student archaeological tours.


Deadlines Extended for Summer, Fall and Academic Year Programs.

See list of programs below:

Study Abroad Financial Advising

The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-1:30 pm in room 203 Lippincott Hall.  For those that can not attend the weekly Info Sessions, we also offer individualized study abroad financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students.  Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.

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