What’s New


Participate in the 2016 excavations. For credit enrollment, visit UCLA Travel Study.

Check out the latest JCHP initiative: IOPPA MARITIMA.

The 2013 to 2016 excavations are supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Read more.
Buy The History and Archaeology of Jaffa 1 (in US; outside US)
Help sustain the project’s basic needs and enrich our research. Click here.


Welcome to the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project (JCHP) website. The JCHP is a multidisciplinary research project addressing the archaeology and history of Jaffa, which is located on the coast of Israel on the south side of Tel Aviv. In addition to an overview of the project, this website provides up-to-date information about the people on our team, research projects, publications, resources, members, and support of the JCHP.

Regular updates are made to many of the general resources posted here such as bibliography, plans and figures, and internet resources for Jaffa. These also address many of the new tools that members of the project are employing such as 3D scanning and visualization, the OCHRE database, and Hypercities. White papers describe the project's experience using certain tools.

Additionally, those interested in participating in the project's research through its archaeological field school, volunteering, or contributing can find information here.

Updated lists of annual reports, publications, and presentations by members of the project can also be found here, as well as updates to projects such as the JCHP’s excavations, the Kaplan Publication Initiative, the Cultural Atlas of Jaffa, and our efforts to identify Jaffa's ancient harbor, Ioppa Maritima. Check also for videos related to Jaffa and the project's activities.

Latest News

Tel Yafo, 2015 Study Season
For a period of five weeks in July, UCLA graduate students from the NELC Department and Archaeology Program participated in a publication-preparation study season. The focus of this research was the excavations in the Ramesses Gate by both Jacob Kaplan (1955-1962) and the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project since 2011. As part of this work, a 3D computer model of the Egyptian gate complex is now underway.

Posted August 5, 2015 (Back to top)

Tel Yafo, 2014 Excavations
The Tel Yafo excavations in June and July 2014, directed by Aaron A. Burke and Martin Peilstöcker, salvaged a largely threatened season following the commencing of hostilities in southern Israel that ended the archaeological fieldwork of many projects throughout Israel. Following a little more than a week’s excavations with a group of nearly 50 staff and participants—our largest group to date—we were forced to continue work with a volunteer staff of approximately 15 people for the remainder of the three and a half weeks of July. This work resumed clarifications of the stratigraphy of the thirteenth to twelfth century B.C. gate complex of the Egyptian fortress. Numerous clarifications of the architectural phases of construction were made on the northern side of the structure. A surprising discovery included several vessels from the final phase of the fortress that provide additional seed samples for C14 dating of this phase. These samples are later than those obtained in the fall of 2013 for the Phase 4a gate, which was the focus of the 2013 excavations. In light of the fact that most of the Phase 3b gate was thought to have been entirely excavated in 2011, these samples are particularly important to understanding the progression of Jaffa’s history in the twelfth century B.C.

The 2013 to 2015 excavations are supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For opportunities to participate in the 2014 excavations, please visit the Participate page.

Posted September 25, 2014 (Back to top)

Ioppa Maritima: Terrestrial and Deepwater Surveys, 2014
In August the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project initiated a new research program called Ioppa Maritima under the direction of Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University. This program consisted of a terrestrial coring program in search of an ancient estuary thought to have served as Jaffa’s ancient harbor. Initial results confirm the presence of a estuarine body of water. Although its use as a harbor remains an open question, a remote sensing campaign scheduled for the fall will attempt to identify ancient ships that may have sunk within the harbor.

The second component of Ioppa Maritima included a deepwater survey to explore targets identified in recent years from a multibeam survey. Numerous targets were investigated from off the coast of Jaffa revealing the potential for this technology to detect targets with limited profiles. The most spectacular discovery was the identification of HMS-15, a British Monitor-class gunship sunk November 17, 1917 off the coast of Gaza.

For more information, see the Ioppa Maritima initiative page and deepwater survey blog.

Posted September 25, 2014 (Back to top)

For previous news items, click here.

The Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures Department
415 Portola Plaza, Humanities 378, MC 151105 • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1511
Page last updated: September 1, 2015 by Aaron Burke