Biblical Archaeology

2021 Holy Land Tour

VBTS Old Testament professor Dr. Mark Hassler will be leading an Associates for Biblical Research tour of the Holy Land, May 7–16. Since the tour immediately precedes the excavation of Shiloh (May 16–June 7), tour participants may elect to stay and experience the joy of being a part of the Shiloh excavation team.

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Excavations

Virginia Beach Theological Seminary participates in the annual archaeological excavations at ancient Shiloh, the place where the tabernacle rested. These excavations take place every summer and volunteer participation is encouraged! Participants in this archaeological excursion to the Holy Land receive:

  • hands-on experience at the active excavation site of biblical Shiloh
  • on-site training in the tools and techniques of archaeology
  • selected field trips to important biblical sites in Israel
  • evening lectures on the topics of biblical archaeology

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Coursework

VBTS students can earn credit towards participating VBTS degrees for joining the Shiloh Excavations! 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).

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Publications

VBTS Old Testament Professor Dr. Mark A. Hassler currently serves as Director of Publications and Field Archaeologist for the annual Associates of Biblical Research Shiloh excavations.  Dr. Hassler has been participating in archaeological excavations in Israel since 2013, and he served as the editor of the Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin (2016–19), a peer-reviewed journal established in 1958. 

Dr. Hassler's most recent archaeological publication was published in May 2020 and investigates one of the largest towers in Israel during the time of Christ. It illumines military warfare and the cultural world of the Bible. The article was published by an Israeli journal, In the Highland's Depth. Its title is "A Monumental Fortification Tower and Military: Late Hellenistic and Early Roman Military Architecture and Equipment Discovered at Khirbet el-Maqatir, Israel."

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