Since 2006, Herbert W. Armstrong College has participated in archaeological excavations in Jerusalem, partnering with renowned Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. Between 2006 and 2008, the college contributed a handful of students who participated in phases two and three of Dr. Mazar’s excavations at the summit of the City of David and also helped discover Nehemiah’s wall. A pair of graduates assisted in the first phase of Dr. Mazar’s Ophel excavations in late 2009 and early 2010. The college contributed a group of 16 students and alumni for the second phase, which lasted from August 2012 to January 2013. Both excavation sites are located just south of the southern wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Armstrong students have helped excavate key discoveries, including King David’s Palace, Nehemiah’s wall, and the Solomonic Wall, usually participating for the duration of each excavation season, lasting from two to six months. New students are also trained in field work by AC graduates who have participated in Dr. Mazar’s past digs, making the Armstrong volunteers a valuable part of a team that can excavate efficiently and precisely. Dr. Mazar also uses Armstrong College students to shoot and edit video, take photographs and write articles for the excavation’s blog,

While in Israel, students are also immersed in biblical history, taking field trips to museums and ancient sites such as Caesarea, Capernaum Megiddo, Hazor and Shiloh. Along with their studies, students also experience Israeli culture up-close, learning Hebrew, visiting local markets and taking occasional visits to the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean coast, and other destinations. Following the excavation, some students and graduates continue to work with Dr. Mazar at Hebrew University, processing artifacts and preparing the findings for publication.
The college’s archaeological involvement continues a partnership that existed between its namesake and Dr. Mazar’s grandfather, Professor Benjamin Mazar. Professor Mazar began excavating south of the Temple Mount in 1968, shortly after Israel won control of the area. He partnered with Herbert W. Armstrong and Ambassador College the same year, and groups of up to 70 Ambassador students came to Jerusalem to serve as his workforce on the eight-acre “big dig.” The joint partnership lasted for a decade.

After returning from Jerusalem to campus, many Herbert W. Armstrong College students have the opportunity to share their experiences with guests who visit the “Seal’s of Jeremiah’s Captors Discovered” archaeological exhibit inside Armstrong Auditorium. The exhibit features First Temple-period artifacts, including two clay seals once used by Judean princes who persecuted the Prophet Jeremiah in the 6th century B.C. The princes are mentioned together in Jeremiah 38:1. Whether visitors come to see the exhibit especially or happen to browse through it prior to an Armstrong International Cultural Foundation concert, AC students are often on hand share a first-person perspective on archaeology in Jerusalem.