Unlike salvage, or rescue excavations, research excavations begin with research questions. For examples: What were people’s subsistence strategies in a particular time and place? What were a site’s political and economic connections? How did environmental change effect settlement processes?
For many years, since 1964, the NGSBA’s field projects were confined to research excavations. Our first project was conducted at Tel Gezer. Starting in 1974 Tel Dan became the school’s flagship project and it has remained so ever since.
Our policy is to excavate in small areas each season, to maximize retrieval and to avoid overtaxing our resources. Generally we excavate every other year with about 20-40 students and volunteers.
In recent years we have worked in partnerships with other research-oriented institutions: with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Cornerstone University and the Southern Baptist Seminary at Tel Dan, and with the Centre National de Recherche Scientific (CNRS) at Tel Achziv.