Biblical Archaeology & Excavation Practicum

Mark A. Hassler

Participants in this archaeological excursion to the Holy Land receive hands-on experience at the active excavation site of biblical Shiloh, as well as on-site training in the tools and techniques of archaeology, selected field trips to important biblical sites in Israel, and evening lectures on the topics of biblical archaeology. Instruction focuses upon the principles, practices, and apologetic value of archaeology. In the field, participants can choose to lend their unique skills, such as surveying, drawing, and metal detecting. The excavation season is one month long, but for course credit, students must participate for a minimum of 10 days (8 workdays).

As a result of taking this course, the student should be able to (a) explain the basic methodology for archaeological fieldwork, (b) distinguish the major archaeological ages, (c) discuss the value of archaeology for biblical studies, (d) locate visited sites on a map and recount their historical and biblical importance, (e) understand the factors that complicate the interpretation of some archaeological finds, (f) show an awareness of the various eastern cultures within the land of Israel (ancient and modern), and, (g) communicate the contribution of particular cultural, geographical, and historical elements in the contexts of preaching, teaching, and writing. 3 credit hours.

Dr. Mark Hassler is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. Dr. Hassler also serves as Director of Publications and Field Archaeologist for the Shiloh excavations in Israel. He was the editor of the Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin (2016–19), a peer-reviewed journal established in 1958. He serves on the board of directors for the Near East Archaeological Society and as the president of the Evangelical Theological Society's eastern region. Dr. Hassler earned his academic degrees at Montana Bible College (BA) and The Master's Seminary (PhD, ThM, and MDiv). Read more....

Dr. Hassler can be contacted at  

45% – Excavation Participation
10% – Lecture Attendance
10% – Field Trip Attendance
15% – Textbook Reading
20% – Debrief Assignment

The textbooks below were required the last time this course was delivered. They are subject to change for the next delivery of this course.