Archaeological Seminars Institute, Ltd

Our private half and full day tours are designed to combine the visual force of the sites with the relevant issues. Participants will experience Israel with our enthusiastic and accomplished staff.

We offer half and full day Private Walking Tours for up to 10 participants. Our private tours are located in Jerusalem and throughout the country, based on your interests. We are happy to develop an itinerary for your family or group. Please see below for some suggestions.
Half Day Private: $200 + VAT + entrance fees.
Full Day Private: $325 + VAT + entrance fees.
Rates do not include transportation.

Archaeological Seminars is prepared to customize study-tours to meet your individual or group needs. Duration and content can be tailored to provide your group with the best possible visit.

Suggested Topics and Itineraries:

In Jerusalem:
Microcosm of the Old City
The Jewish Quarter/Herodian Mansions
The City of David Revisited
In the Footsteps of the Fighters

The Archaeology of the Passion
A Reconstruction of the Via Dolorosa
Jerusalem as the Center for Three Religions

Legends of Jerusalem
A Tapestry of Mediterranean Sites, Sounds and Fragrances
View from the Top: Walk on the Jerusalem Walls
Jerusalem during the First and Second Temple Period
The Southern Wall Excavations: In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors
Leaving the Walls of the Old City: 19th Century Jerusalem

Outside of Jerusalem:
Massada

   

Microcosm of the Old City

Climb the walls to enjoy the panoramic view, and walk on the Ramparts above the Armenian Quarter to Zion Gate, where remains of the modern battles for Jerusalem can be seen. The city's religious and historic development can be seen from Mt. Zion. Tour the Tomb of David, Room of the Last Supper and the Dormition Abbey, examples of the changing tide of the city. A visit to Oscar Schindler's grave on Mt. Zion concludes the tour.

The Jewish Quarter/Herodian Mansions

Explore the restored Jewish Quarter. Visit the exciting Herodian Mansions, evidence of the quality of life in Second Temple Jerusalem. Walk along the Roman-Byzantine Cardo to the Hurva Synagogue. Continue to Rothschild Square / Batei Machsei to view the central building of the 19th century Jewish Quarter.

The City of David Revisited

Visit the newly opened excavations at the City of David with the experts. Rediscover the City of David through the eyes of the Parker Mission of 1911 when archaeologist/explorer Captain Parker went there in search of the Lost Ark. Descend into a deep Cistern and discuss the Prophet Jeremiah's inner struggle. Visit Area G, the most controversial dig in modern Israeli history. Climb down through Warren's Shaft to the newly discovered tunnels. Climb over the megoliths at the "Pool Tower" from the time of Abraham. Wade through Hezekiah's Tunnel; 600 meters of underground water tunnel dating back to the First Temple Period. Finish with a visit to the recently uncovered Siloam pool from the Second Temple Period.

In the Footsteps of the Fighters

Take a journey into the history of the Arab - Israeli conflict in Jerusalem: its human, political, and territorial dimensions. Investigate the progress of the peace process in Jerusalem. Begin at the UN Headquarters overlooking the Arab Village of Jabel Mukaber with a short introduction into the roots of the conflict. Topics will include the beginnings of Zionism, the British Mandate, the Balfour Declaration, and Arab Resistance. Visit Ramat Rachel and Gilo for a view of the borders of Jerusalem. Finish at Ammunition Hill and discover the human side of the conflict; the battle site as a window into Israeli society. The visit will include the film and tour of the site.

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Take a journey into the history of the Arab - Israeli conflict in Jerusalem: its human, political, and territorial dimensions. Investigate the progress of the peace process in Jerusalem. Begin at the UN Headquarters overlooking the Arab Village of Jabel Mukaber with a short introduction into the roots of the conflict. Topics will include the beginnings of Zionism, the British Mandate, the Balfour Declaration, and Arab Resistance. Visit Abu Tor to see and discuss the human implications of living in an ethnically split neighborhood. Drive north on Highway 1, along "Kav HaTefer," via the Turgeman Post. This is an Israeli post sitting on the border that divided Jerusalem from 1948 - 1967, "A city which dwells alone, a wall within its heart." Visit Ammunition Hill and discover the human side of the conflict; the battle site as a window into Israeli society. Continue north and stop at Nebi Samuel. From the rooftop, look north and east relating to the "Gaza and Jericho First Program." We will discuss the autonomy plan, focusing on the future of Jerusalem and relating to these issues according to what is relevant at the time. Stop briefly for a view of the Knesset. Finish at Mount Herzl, a microcosm of the day, illuminating several key personalities and dilemmas faced over the years.

   

A Reconstruction of the Via Dolorosa

A journey into the ancient mysteries of traditions associated with Jesus' Way of the Cross. Our tour will start with a visit to the Church of St. Peter of Galicantu. Located on the southeastern slopes of Mt. Zion, this site is venerated as the site of the House of Caiaphas as well as the original location of the Church of St. Peter. Archaeological excavations revealed an ancient street with steps leading down from the Cenacle to the Pool of Siloam. Climbing up to Mt. Zion we visit the Room of the Last Supper, King David's Tomb and the Dormition Abbey, which stands on the ruins of the 5th century Hagia Zion Church. Continue to the Holy Sepulchre for an in-depth tour of the area considered by much of the Christian world to be the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial, and subsequent resurrection.

Jerusalem as the Center for Three Religions

Explore Jerusalem as the center of the three great monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Visit and view the original sites where the significant moments in the beginnings of the religions took place.We will begin the tour at Zion Gate at the traditional site of King David's Tomb, a microcosm of the day's theme. From here we will ascend to the rooftops for the breathtaking view the Dome of the Rock and the El Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Next, continue to the Jewish Quarter to visit the Hurva Synagogue, and then to the remains of the Second Temple Period: the magnificent Southern Wall Excavations and the Western Wall. After a lunch break, we finish the tour walking along the Via Dolorosa, where we will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, including the site of the crucifixion and the holy tomb.

   

A Tapestry of Mediterranean Sites, Sounds and Fragrances

Balconies and forgotten alleys
Authors and their stories
Poets and their poems
Storytellers and their legends
A chance to visit Jerusalem's neighborhoods from the 19th Century

Begin your voyage through time in Yemin Moshe, one of the first Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem outside the wall of the Old City. Wind through the streets of Nahalat Shiva and Ethiopia Street. Continue past the house of Rav Kook and Prophets Street, finishing in the Sephardi neighborhood of Ohel Moshe.

View from the Top: Walk on the Jerusalem Walls

An exciting view of the Old City of Jerusalem begins with a climb to the highest point at the Citadel Museum. This fortress complex, dating from the the time of the Maccabees, now houses the stimulating Museum of the History of Jerusalem which we visit for an overview of the Holy City's growth and development. The steep ascent to the top of the walls leads to the roof of the Kishle, the infamous prison where leaders of the State of Israel were held in 1948. The route follows the present 16th century city walls, the Armenian Quarter and the Mount of Zion. The first settlements outside the walls, dating from the mid 1800s are visible, allowing for an understanding of modern Jerusalem's urban development. The route can follow down to Gan Tekumah within the city walls, and exit and explore the Nea Church.

Jerusalem During the First and Second Temple Period

We will begin with a visit to the Herodian Mansions in the Jewish Quarter. These are exquisite remains of a home from the Second Temple Period. We will then proceed to the Southern Wall Excavations, a site meaningful to the three great monotheistic religions. From here you will proceed to the City of David, from the First Temple Period. If you would like, we can go through King Hezekiah's water tunnel. You will have to bring shoes which can get wet. The water is up to an adult's knees, and in two spots, mid-thigh. Please also bring flashlights

The Southern Wall Excavations: In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors

Reenact the ancient pilgrimages of three pilgrimage holidays: Succot, Pesach and Shavuot. Beginning with a broad overview of the Temple Mount area, descend to the Southern Wall Excavations, one of Jerusalem's most important archaeological excavations. Archaeology and building techniques are discussed before ascending the staircase of the southern side. Here the faithful purified themselves in ritual baths before slowly climbing up to enter the gates of the Temple. The area reveals the splendor of Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple Period after the Herodian renovation, the Platform that supported the Temple, the walls and the gates, the bridges and the Monumental Staircase that led the masses into the Temple. Located around the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount, it offers many insights into what this area looked like in various time periods and how the site has changed its shape through the course of history as seen in the Davidson Visitors Center.

Leaving the Walls of the Old City: 19th Century Jerusalem

Jerusalem during the 19th Century was a bustling, dynamic city. New neighborhoods were developing outside the walls of the Old City. The European powers staked their claims through the building of churches, consulates, hospitals and hospices. The Jewish Community lived between the power of tradition and the pull of developing modernity. The tour will begin with Mishkenot Shaananim, the first settlement outside the walls, and then through Yemin Moshe. Here we will see the Moshe Montefiore Windmill and an outstanding view of Jerusalem. We will see Herod's family tomb below the King David as well as exquisite views of the walls of the Old City. We will then continue past the King David Hotel, the YMCA and finish at Mamilla.

   

Massada

Explore the famous ruins of Massada. Continue to the lush oasis of Ein Gedi. Hike to the waterfalls viewing the subtropical flora and fauna. After this action-packed morning, enjoy a good book as you float in the waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth.

A rare opportunity which allows you to touch your roots, Dig for a Day is a unique program designed for visitors of all ages.
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