Ancient Lod community project aimed to develop Ancient Lod as an international tourism site. The project was planned based on the principles of community archaeology, incorporating the community at all levels of the project. This pioneering project increase the city population identification and responsibility as a community toward their environment and quality of life.
Since 2007 the Israeli Institute of Archaeology has been teaching archaeology classes for elementary school students. This annual program is executed in Hebrew and Arabic with the cooperation of the Karev fund.
This program encourages local school pupils to “adopt” a historical or archaeological site and take responsibility for its conservation, restoration and maintenance, thus connecting them to their city and heritage.
The peak of the educational programs is the Community archaeological excavation at Khan al-Hilu. School pupils and volunteers take part in this excavation with the guidance of the Institute archaeologists. Thus, residences of Lod receive the firsthand experience of their cultural heritage.
Every few months thousands of people gather in Khan al-Hilu, just as in the days of the Ottoman period, many stands are positioned in and around the building, in which people sell a selection of goods. This unique event is the first of other planned projects aimed to revive historical buildings in Lod. The night market is a joint project promoted by the Municipality of Lod, the Chicago Community Center and the Jindas NGO.
The Israeli Institute of Archaeology organizes an annual conference dealing with the history and archaeology of Lod with the participation of leading researchers in the field. Proceedings of the conference are published in the annual ‘Lod, “Diospolis – City of God”: collected papers on the history and archaeology of Lod’.