Here’s a brief look at the sites that will be accepting volunteers for the 1999 season, some of the important discoveries made in the past and what the dig directors plan for the upcoming season. Pertinent past BAR articles on the sites are listed at the end of each entry, since familiarity with a site will add immeasurably to your enjoyment and understanding of what you see and do. Even if you’re unable to join a dig, you may still visit many of the sites. We’ve noted when the sites are open to tourists and whether guided tours are available.
Tell Abu al-Kharaz
Located in the Jordan River valley about 9 miles east of Beth-Shean, Abu al-Kharaz, Jordan, might be the Jabesh Gilead of the Bible (Judges 21 and 1 Samuel 11) and the city where King Saul was buried (2 Samuel 2:4–7). The site was occupied from the Early Bronze Age to the early Arab period. In past seasons, excavators, under director Peter M. Fischer (Gothenburg Univ., Sweden), have found fortifications from the Bronze and Iron Ages, domestic architecture from all periods of occupation, a bronze statue of a warrior god, seals and Egyptian imports. Fischer plans to continue to excavate on the Bronze and Iron Age remains in 1999. The site is open to the public, and guided tours are available on request.