Tel Dor Excavation Project

Tel Dor office
Institute of Archaeology
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus 91950
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel. +972 (0)2 5881304

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Call for proposals

The Tel Dor Excavation Project and the Goldhirsh Foundation are announcing a new initiative - The Wendy J. Goldhirsh memorial fellowships for Tel Dor. This proposal calls for the institution of two intern / research fellow positions, within the framework of the Tel Dor archaeological project. They will be awarded to one Israeli and one foreign graduate / post-graduate students of archaeology or related discipline pursuing a Dor-related research program. Awardees will be expected to reside in Israel for 13 months (excavation season + ten months research + excavation season) and, in addition to pursuing their own research, participate in on-going publication efforts of the Dor consortium and community service relating to the project, the site, and the site museum.


Archaeological research touches the nerve-centers of the legacy of the Land of Israel to the heritage of the world. We believe that objective, free scientific research into the history and the remains of all cultures which resided or passed through this country can ease inter-ethnic, inter-denominational and inter-cultural tensions, showcase an academic discipline which excels in this country, and enrich the lives of the many people, near and far, for whom events which happened upon this soil long ago are meaningful.

The city of Dor was a major seaport on Israel's Mediterranean coast. Located about 30 km south of Haifa, its history begins in the Middle Bronze Age, c. 1900 BCE, and ends after the Napoleonic campaigns. The port dominated the fortunes of the town throughout its 4000-odd year history. In the Bronze and early Iron Age the town was successively ruled by Canaanites, 'Sea peoples', and Phoenicians, and subsequently became part of the Israelite kingdom, the capital of Solomon's fourth district and the main Israelite port. Later on it functioned as an administrative center under the great powers who ruled our region - Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. Its primary role in all these diverse cultures was that of a seaport and commercial entrepĂ´t. Being a large port, Dor was throughout its history a gateway: a point of contact of the various cultures of the Land of Israel with their overseas counterparts; a hub of interaction between North and South, East and West. The great cultural innovations which were initiated in this country - whether the invention of the alphabet, or 'orientalizing' art, or the moral code and theology of monotheism -almost always resulted from the challenges of confrontations between entrenched traditions and ideals and new ideas brought from outside through gateways like Dor. These transformed ideas and ideals then exited through the same gateways to affect other cultures around the Mediterranean and thence our own.

The messages that Dor carries to our day and age are that at no time in history was this entire land the exclusive domain of one people, and that cultural revolutions emanating from here were not invented by one culture in isolation from the influence of others. It also carries the hope that, no matter how violent inter-cultural confrontations sometimes are, they are no more typical than periods of inter-cultural collaboration. Both conflict and cooperation ultimately transform both sides of the interaction, sometimes to the advancement of mankind as a whole.

Dor is also the site of one of the most sustained research efforts in the archaeology of this country. First investigated in the 1920's, it was the subject of one of the largest and longest-lasting excavation projects of the twentieth century (1980 - 2000). The current research group was formed in 2002, has been in the field since and plans to continue the dig as a long-term project. It is directed by Ilan Sharon of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Ayelet Gilboa, of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at Haifa University. This is arguably the largest, most competent, wide-ranging consortium of scholars and institutions ever assembled for the exploration of any single archaeological site in the Levant. It is a genuinely integrative undertaking involving several leading research universities in Israel and abroad, and eminent scholars on the cutting edge of their respective specialties. These range from mathematics and physics, through biology and geology, to cultural anthropology, biblical studies, classics and art history.

A partial list of currently-conducted research projects (other then publishing the excavation results in the different excavation areas) are:

Any of these - or other relevant fields of study to be proposed by the applicants may be the subject of a Wendy J. Goldhirsh research proposal.

Terms and guidelines

Budgeting: A full scholarship will include an allowance of $1500 per month (or the equivalent in IS, see below) for ten months in Israel, plus R&B and participation in two full excavation seasons at Dor. Additional Benefits will include a refund on airline tickets (for the foreign appointee) to Israel and back. The money will be transferred by the Goldhirsh foundation via PEF Israel Endowments Inc. to the Israel Exploration Society's Renewed Tel Dor Project. The IES will pay the Israeli scholarship directly to the student on a monthly basis, or transfer the funds to the student's university (if that can be done without further overheads). For the foreign scholarship - the IES can wire the money to a foreign (i.e. American or other) bank in 2-3 installments (and the grantees will deal with taxes - if any - in their home country), or pay expenses against receipts, or a combination of both (e.g. pay the rent and other major expenses against receipts and send the rest to the recipient's bank abroad as an allowance).

Application: Applicants will send in a CV, a research proposal (up to 5 pages plus bibliography with a 100 word abstract), and two reference letters (at least one of them from a non-consortium-member). Applications should be sent by email to by May 1. A decision will be made by June 1.

Selection: The selection from among the candidates will be by a committee consisting of one of the directors of the project, one of the associates (see the consortium guidelines for definitions) and an outside observer (optionally appointed by the funding agency). Criteria for selection shall be (in that order):

Dedication of time: Appointees will not hold any additional job or position except for (a) being a registered student in a university (in Israel or abroad) and/or (b) being a fellow in an academic institution (e.g. The American School of Archaeology in Jerusalem). Appointees will not be the recipient of any other scholarships or salary except up to 1/4 of a position as a teaching assistant in an Israeli university and / or a partial or honorary fellowship in an academic institution as above.

Service to the project and the community: Appointees will be expected, in addition to furthering their own research objectives, to devote up to fifteen hours a week to educational / technical / administrative service according to their abilities and the directors' requests. These will typically include work on recording or conserving the site and its artifacts (in the site-museum or one of the participating institutions), participation in public outreach projects (e.g. lead tours to the site and museum), responding to volunteer mail, assisting publication of the project etc.

Presentations: Appointees will be encouraged to present the results of their research project in international forums. Specific funding for sending the appointees to a conference outside Israel during the appointment year may be provided. It is up to the appointee to get his/her presentation approved in such a conference, and to the committee to decide if (and how much) assistance will be provided.

Reports: Appointees will write a semi-annual progress report and a final end-of-year report in which they will detail what they have done and what research results have been achieved. These reports will be evaluated by the commitee, and copies of both report and evaluation will be sent to the foundation. The IES will send a financial report to the foundation at the conclusion of each internship period.

Premature termination: In extreme cases, where the appointee fails in furthering his / her research, is grossly derelict in the execution of his/her other duties, or has serious behavior or attitude problems, the directors may ask the committee to suspend the internship. In such a case (and after allowing the intern to appeal), the intern's allowance will be discontinued. A notification of this will be sent to the foundation, and unspent money will be returned.

Acknowledgements: All academic products of this program (journal articles, conference presentations, MA / Ph.D. theses, final publication volumes) will contain a written acknowledgement to the foundation, as follows "This research was supported by the Wendy J. Goldhirsh memorial fellowship for the year xxxx". A similar clause will be added to all academic/ popular venues in which the excavation and its research results are published.