Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon

Lawrence E. Stager (1943-2017), Harvard University; Founder
Daniel M. Master, Professor of Archaeology, Wheaton College; Co-Director 2007-present

Douglas Esse; Associate Director 1985-1987
Samuel Wolff; Associate Director 1988-1989
Abbas Alizadeh; Associate Director 1990-1991
Barbara Johnson; Associate Director 1992-1996
David Schloen, Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Chicago; Associate Director 1995-2002

Adam Aja; Assistant Director 2012-2016
Kathleen J. Birney; Assistant Director 2016

View the Ashkelon Publication online.

View the Ashkelon Volume 7, Iron I Map online (view User Guide).

View additional data from Ashkelon Volumes 1-3 published in OCHRE.

The Leon Levy Expedition conducted large-scale excavations at ancient Ashkelon from 1985 to 2016, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Leon Levy and Ms. Shelby White of New York. The excavation was imagined, founded, and directed by Lawrence Stager of Harvard University. Excavations in recent years have been led by Daniel M. Master, Co-Director since 2007.

The Leon Levy Foundation is now sponsoring a long-term project to publish the excavation results. Eight volumes have already emerged, spanning the Bronze Age through the Crusades, with several more volumes to come. OCHRE is both the primary repository for the excavation’s records and the tool that is being used to make the original field records and observations available to the wider scholarly community.

Dealing with a project as large and as long-lived as Ashkelon would be difficult for any database. Ashkelon used at least two systems before OCHRE, each with their own idiosyncrasies, so the challenge of dealing with data collected over four decades is immense. At the same time, Ashkelon has been a pilot project for OCHRE’s development. Ashkelon was there at the beginning when INFRA (an offline database) became OCHRE. Ashkelon was the first to make OCHRE the primary field recording system. And now we continue to push OCHRE forward in our publication projects, coming up with new ways to present information and to deal with legacy data. Through it all, we have been able to count on the OCHRE team to come up with creative solutions to our particular needs.

Daniel M. Master


Lawrence Stager and Leon Levy

The Ashkelon project was the vision of Lawrence E. Stager (left) and Leon Levy (right); Ashkelon 1989.

Ashkelon sponsor Shelby White excavating a Bronze Age burial

Larry Stager and David Schloen, at Ashkelon 2016

Directors Lawrence E. Stager (1985-2016) and David Schloen (1995-2002), Ashkelon 2016

Directors Lawrence E. Stager (1985-2016) and Daniel M. Master (2007-2016)

Directors Lawrence E. Stager (1985-2016) and Daniel M. Master (2007-2016)

Early Days at Ashkelon (and the OCHRE Connection)

Read about OCHRE co-designer David Schloen’s first impressions of Ashkelon in the OI News & Notes Spring 1995 issue.

Grid 50 Ashkelon 1989

Grid 50 Ashkelon 1989; OCHRE developer S Schloen seated 3rd from left

Stager and Students, Ashkelon 1990

Stager & students, Ashkelon 1990; OCHRE co-designer D Schloen standing 2nd from left