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Israel Summer Field School: Tel Akko

This unique and multi-faceted archaeological summer field school at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Akko works with students to design their own 6-credit academic program especially suited to their individual needs and interests. Offerings include archaeological methods and excavation, survey and GIS, conservation and community outreach and archaeological sciences. Independent studies and internships relevant to the history and archaeology of Akko and its eastern Mediterranean context are also possible. This summer program is cross-listed and fulfills Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies and Anthropology course requirements.

Located on the Mediterranean Sea and the only natural harbor in the region, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Acre/Akko is the focus of this unique and cutting-edge archaeological field school. Throughout its history, Akko has served as a major emporium for the ancient world. Bronze and Iron Age Akko appears prominently in ancient Egyptian, Ugaritic, Assyrian, Classical, and biblical accounts. Known locally as Napoleon's Hill or Tell el-Fukhar, excavations on this ancient mound, situated east of the modern city of Akko, have uncovered remains of Canaanite, "Sea Peoples," Phoenician, Persian, Greek, and Hellenistic culture. During more recent times, it is famous as the city that withstood Napoleon's two-month siege and marked the end of his campaign to conquer the Middle East. Today Akko is a major tourist destination, well known for its picturesque and historic Ottoman period town that is constructed on the ruins of the best-preserved Crusader city in the world.

Dr. Ann Killebrew, Penn State faculty member and co-director of the Tel Akko excavations, leads the archaeological field school.  The field school includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of archaeological fieldwork.  The beginner's courses introduce students to archaeological field methods, a general overview of the history and material culture of ancient Israel and the eastern Mediterranean, and hands-on artifact processing. Lectures, workshops, lab work, and field trips to archaeological sites and museums will complement the fieldwork. These courses fulfill the 6-credit archaeological fieldwork requirement for the undergraduate CAMS archaeology option and ANTH field school requirement.

Students participating in the Akko Field School reside at the Nautical Academy, located in the modern city of Akko on the Mediterranean Sea. The rooms are dormitory-style, featuring full board accommodations with three to four students per room.


"I had such a great experience in Akko. Monday through Friday we were at the tel all morning. We learned techniques to dig and carefully unearthed layers of history. On the weekends we would travel together to other areas in Israel, and in our free time we would go to the beach and explore the city of Akko. I am so happy I was able to share this experience with a great group of people in an amazing country."

Monica Genuardi, Tel Akko Field School Alum 2013


Tel Akko Municipal Park with Statue of Napolean


For details about the Tel Akko field school, contact Professor Ann Killebrew. For more information on the excavation, see the Tel Akko website at

For additional information and application details, go to Tel Akko, Israel: Excavation, Survey and GIS, Conservation/Public Archaeology, Archaeological Sciences and Underwater Archaeology in Education Abroad at the Penn State Global Programs Office.

Student Testimonial

“I did not start at Penn State in the CAMS department but by the time my fourth semester came around I found myself declaring a major in CAMS because I loved the subject matter. The courses instructed by the CAMS faculty gave me many opportunities to challenge my thinking. (...)
The department offers a wide variety of courses with some taught every semester, while more advanced courses change constantly. All of these courses introduced me to the wide variety of topics covered in the field. The CAMS department has many courses focusing on the Ancient the Near East and not exclusively Greece and Rome. In fact, classes in both areas are requirements of the degree. This breadth of study gave me a strong base of knowledge on which to build. The CAMS major offers an archaeology option that fostered my interests and supported my secondary major in Archaeology. I was surprised to find so many opportunities to study abroad within the department. I went on my first excavation in Israel in 2008 with support from Penn State and I did not want to return. Archaeology in the Near East became one of my favorite subjects. Since 2008, I have gone on two more excavations sponsored by Penn State. Without these experiences abroad, I would have never discovered and developed my passion for the study of the Ancient Near East. Now that I have graduated with a B.A. in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and a B.S. in Archaeological Science, I shall continue my education by graduate work in Archaeological Studies at Yale University. The experiences and interactions that I have had in my years at Penn State in the CAMS department serve as the foundation for my future studies.”

Jane Skinner
2011 CAMS graduate

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