Baylor in the Galilee
Do you want to be a part of history while uncovering ancient history? If so, Baylor in the Galilee is the program for you. This program will take place in the ancient village of Hukok (or Huqoq), Israel close to the Sea of Galilee. Student participants will work on the dig site to uncover mosaics and other relics from the ancient world.
The ancient village and synagogue at Huqoq is located in the hills immediately to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee.
Excavations are currently focused on the ancient synagogue. The Hebrew Bible mentions Huqoq as part of the inheritance of the tribes of Naphtali and Asher and Rabbinic sources state that the processing of mustard plants was an important activity in the village.
The most active period of occupation was the late Roman and Byzantine periods, from the fourth to sixth centuries C.E.
Beginning in the thirteenth century,Jewish and Christian pilgrims connected the village with a local tomb believed to be that of the prophet Habakkuk.
Ruins of the modern Arab village of Yakuk, abandoned in 1948, cover part of the site and are also recorded as part of the ongoing excavations.
The site has produced unprecedented finds of high-quality mosaics. A mosaic discovered in 2013 depicts Samson carrying the gate of Gaza (Judges 16:3). Another found in the previous year depicts Samson and the foxes(Judges 15:4).
A mosaic found in 2013 is divided into three registers and shows soldiers and war animals, an old man holding a scroll, and young men with swords.Among the animals are war elephants. An additional mosaic panel was uncovered in 2014 and depicted a meeting with a Greek king.
Some of the most spectacular finds were discovered in 2016 in the central part of the synagogue, where mosaics depicted pairs of animals with Noah's Ark, and Pharaoh's army perishing in the Red Sea with some soldiers being swallowed whole by giant fish.
Huqoq sits in the center of the region in which Jesus focused his Galilean ministry. Capernaum, where Jesus lived as an adult and preached in the synagogue,and which was hometown (or near the hometowns) of several of the apostles, is 3.2 miles east of the site. Migdal, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, is 2.8 miles to the south.
The Huqoq Excavation Project is supported by the following consortium universities
- University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
- Baylor University
- Brigham Young University
- University of Toronto
The lead university is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Jodi
Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at UNC, directs the excavations.
Please also visit www.huqoqexcavationproject.org for reports, bibliography,and photographs from the excavations.
For more information regarding this study abroad program, please contact the Baylor Program Director, Dr. Nathan Elkins, at Nathan_Elkins@baylor.edu