The Archaeology Channel Tours

The Archaeology Channel Tours is a program set apart from others by our commitment to storytelling and expert guidance.  We believe that a tour should be far more than a photo-op or checking off a bucket list.  For us, a tour is an opportunity to perform our mission to tell the human story, in this case by bringing people to the real sites where history took place.  We like to embed the background in the tour process, so each destination represents an episode in the historic timeline and has a comfortable place in the temporal, cultural and environmental context.  We also like to design unique tours not offered by others.

Just below, you can see our upcoming tour schedule.

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Ancient Maya Cities of the Yucatan, Summer Solstice 2019

Maya civilization flourished in the Yucatan from the early Preclassic (ca. 2000 BC) to the early Spanish colonial period.  Even after the so-called Maya Collapse of the ninth century AD, Maya cities in the Yucatan continued, with some rising and others falling, throughout Postclassic times (AD 950-1539).  As a result, this region offers an opportunity to visit a series of Maya cities, each unique and all of them together representing thousands of years of continuous Maya cultural development up to the time when Bishop Landa burnt the Maya books.  After visiting eight Maya cities (Chichén Itzá, Dzibilchaltún, Izamal, Kabah, Labna, Maní, Mayapán, and Uxmal), you will have a firm, hands-on, concept of the wonderful richness and complexity of urban Maya culture.  In the process, you will witness the cultural life of modern Maya people, who are a majority of the local population.  This tour is led by Dr. Christopher Powell, an archaeoastronomy expert and accompanied by ALI Executive Director and long-time archaeologist Dr. Richard Pettigrew.

Dates: June 15th - 23rd, 2019

Click here to reserve your spot today! Registration Deadline: Has passed, check back later for more updates!

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The Backbone of Prehistoric Britain

Around 4000 BC, Neolithic farmers, replacing or evolving from the hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic Period, transformed much of the landscape of Britain from dense woodland to grassland, probably through slash-and-burn clearing. Although some evidence suggests Mesolithic people already had built ritual sites, the great earthworks and megalithic monuments of Britain are the work of settled farmers, mostly dating to the Neolithic (4000-2300 BC) and Early Bronze Age (2300-1200 BC) periods. Around a thousand monuments are documented from this time, the most famous of which is Stonehenge. Other sites, of diverse kinds and extending the length and breadth of Britain, are arguably even more impressive than Stonehenge. This 13-day tour, led by the filmmakers of Standing with Stones, Michael Bott and Rupert Soskin, is a 600-mile journey from the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland southward to Stonehenge, with stops at some of the most impressive and iconic megalith and henge sites in the UK. Along the way, accompanied by ALI Executive Director and long-time archaeologist Dr. Richard Pettigrew, you will gain an understanding of a remarkable, mythic time long before written records, when people led rich ceremonial lives linked to their careful observations of the sun, moon and stars.

Dates: September 7 - 20, 2019

Click here to view the itinerary and register for your spot! Spots are limited, so register today!

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The Heartland of Ancient and Medieval Persia

The roots of ancient Persia lie in the Elamite Civilization and the Neolithic cultures that preceded it.   The word “Persia” is a misnomer, as the Persians per se were one of a number of Iranian tribes that swept into the Iranian Plateau and created a series of empires that dominated the Middle East and much of central and south Asia for long periods over the past three millennia.  This tour explores pre-Iranian cultures as well as the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanian empires and the complex and chaotic Medieval period, with a geographic focus on key sites of Iranian history.  Expect wonderful interactions with the warm, friendly and welcoming Iranian people.  This tour is led by ALI Executive Director and experienced archaeologist, Dr. Richard Pettigrew, for whom this will be his fifth visit to Iran, accompanied by an accomplished local guide.  The two halves of the tour are separately reservable.

Dates: October 18th - November 2nd, 2019 & 2020

Click here to view the itinerary and register for your spot!

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Cultural Wonders of Oman

With a 3000-km coastline facing the Indian Ocean, Oman’s strategic location for 5000 years made it a centerpoint of the ancient Indian Ocean trade network interconnecting China and southeast Asia with south Asia, the Middle East, and east Africa. Amplifying its geographic importance in world trade was its reputation as the Land of Frankincense, which was worth its weight in gold in the Classical world. The rich archaeological legacy encompasses civilizations that date back at least to the Bronze Age, as well as much older stone tool sites ranging back to one million years. Once part of the Persian Empire, Oman in the 19th century had its own empire extending from the East Africa coast to the coast of Pakistan. Traveling by 4-wheel drive vehicles, bus, airplane, and even camels, our tour examines sites from all periods of human existence as well as the wonderfully preserved local culture and stunning natural features, such as a waterfall in an underwater cave. Our tour leader is National Geographic Explorer, Dr. Jeffrey Rose, with nearly two decades of experience researching prehistoric stone tool sites and ancient nomadic herders in Oman.

Dates: February 24th - March 4th, 2020

Click here to reserve your spot today! Registration Deadline: November 24th, 2019.

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Malta: Land of Forgotten Temples

Inhabited since approximately 5900 BC, Malta is home to the world’s oldest religious structures. Archaeologists believe these structures to be temples that were in use from 4000 to 2500 BC before their builders mysteriously vanished. It is likely that the builders were beset by disease or famine, but whatever the cause for their demise, they left a wake of forgotten temples behind. This tour, led by experts from Heritage Malta, will explore the story of these forgotten temples as well as examine the layers of Malta’s history. While the temples date to the Neolithic, Malta also features many sites, such as “Clapham Junction,” that date to the bronze age, and others like St. Paul’s catacombs, that span from the third century AD through the Phoenician, Roman, and Punic occupations of Malta. Don’t miss the chance to experience antiquity and adventure with us in Malta!

Dates: April 11 - 18, 2020

Click here to view the itinerary and register for your spot! Registration Deadline: January 11th, 2020. Spots are limited, so register today!