The Archaeology Unit at the Civil Administration works to preserve Judea and Samaria antiquities, their exploration and publication to the public.

There are over 2,300 archaeological sites in the region of Judea and Samaria, which the unit preserves and develops, while minimizing damage and theft of antiquities. Throughout the year the unit executes excavations, and in 2016 unit workers uncovered a mosaic from the 5th century in a burial cave in Migdal Oz. In addition, an Ottoman village from the 18th century was discovered in excavations in Beitar Illit. The office is entrusted with the antiquities domain at the Civil Administration, working according to the Preservation and Exposure of Archaeological and Historical Sites in the area of Judea and Samaria Law.

Some of the world's most important archaeological sites can be found in Judea and Samaria, carrying great importance to the history of all religions, including Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Judean Desert were found, preserved for over 2,000 years, and are the earliest evidence of the Bible books in Hebrew, Solomon's Pools and Biyar Aqueduct, Susya National Park, Herodium National Park, Mount Ebal Altar, Sebastia, Tel Shiloh, and more.

The unit's inspectors work in the field, monitoring all research excavations activities conducted through selected construction and excavation areas. Fragments of information and remains of the past found in various layers of soil, are gathered to create an enormous historical mosaic. The findings of the excavations are then transferred to laboratories at the Israel Antiquities Authority, where they are preserved. The most important ones are the basis for research and are displayed in museums in Israel and around the world.

This year, the unit's inspectors were able to perform a number of enforcement operations against antiquities theft in Judea and Samaria, apprehending and indicting four robbery gangs.

In 2016 the Archaeology Unit at the Civil Administration released an additional book in the JSP series with Professor Yitzhak Magen on archaeology in Judea and Samaria. Since 2010, 17 book were published in this series, telling the story of Judea and Samaria.

Areas of responsibility and services:

  • Protecting and supervising archaeological and excavation sites in the Judea and Samaria area.

  • Preventing theft and trafficking of antiquities.

  • Granting approvals for infrastructure work to civil and military entities in antiquities sites.

  • Granting licenses to execute archaeological excavations and conduct scientific surveys.

  • Executing standard excavations and rescue excavations at archaeological sites.

  • Establishing a scientific archive.

  • Developing sites, maintaining them and preparing them for visitors.

  • Establishing archaeological, historical and ethnic museums.

  • Collaborating with academic institutions in Israel and abroad.

  • Publishing scientific articles on archaeological and historical topics.

  • Coordinating and collaborating with the Palestinian Authority in subjects of archaeology in Areas A and B.

Contact Us

Coordination Officer
Hanina Hizami