Excavations under the directorship of Dr. Oren Gutfeld at the site of Khirbet Beit Loya, located in the southern Judea Lowland, have taken place since 2005. The complexity of this particular excavation stems from the fact that so many of its discoveries—a spacious oil press, Jewish ritual baths, columbaria (dovecotes), stables—are subterranean, a fact that requires specialized equipment and particularly resourceful logistical planning. Among the equipment utilized for this project is a conveyer for removing massive quantities of earth from the subterranean spaces, and a Bobcat for clearing it away in an orderly and continuous manner.        

  

The olive oil press at Beit Lehi                                                      

 

Adding to the uniqueness of this excavation is the fact the staff and workforce (primarily university students) all camp on-site for the duration of each season (lasting between 10 and 20 days), and to this end large tents, water, lighting for the campsite and daily hot meals are provided.

 

The students camp on site