Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2002

Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2002


Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2002
(Updated May 29, 2002)


This list of archaeological expeditions which accept volunteers is compiled by the Israel Foreign Ministry as a service to the public. The excavation details below been contributed by the archaeologists in charge of the individual expeditions, who bear responsibility for their contents.

NOTE: Any questions, comments or requests for additional information must be directed to the contact person indicated for each project, and not to the Israel Foreign Ministry.


Many archaeologists enlist volunteer help on their digs, as volunteers are highly motivated and wish to learn and gain experience, although the work is often difficult and tedious. Usually, no previous experience is necessary. The work includes digging, shovelling, hauling baskets of earth and sherds, cleaning pottery sherds and more. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Israel.


Accommodations for volunteers can range from sleeping bags in the field, to rooms in hostels or kibbutzim, to 3-star hotels near a site. Each expedition has its own accommodation arrangements.

There is usually a charge for food and lodging, although on some excavations these are free. All charges listed are in US dollars. Volunteers who require kosher food should inquire in advance. Excavations conducted in or near a city often require volunteers to find their own accommodations.


Volunteers should have comfortable, sturdy clothes for heavy work. Sunhats are absolutely compulsory in summer; warm clothing is suggested for summer evenings as the weather can be cool. Winters are wet and cold; warm clothes and water-proof boots are necessary.

Equipment that may be useful - depending on the conditions at the site and the type of accommodation available - includes work-gloves, sleeping bag, canteen, towels and sunscreen lotion.


The work schedule at an excavation is organized according to the conditions at the site. A day on an average dig begins before dawn and ends after noon. There is normally a rest period after lunch. The afternoons and early evenings may be devoted to lectures, additional excavation work, cleaning and sorting of pottery and other finds, or they may be free.


Some expeditions offer credit courses from sponsoring institutions. Details concering subjects, conditions and cost may be obtained by contacting the expedition director.


Most expedition directors (or other staff members) offer informal lectures covering the history and archaeology of the site and discussion of the type of work involved. Volunteers should feel free to request information regarding an excavation in order to be able to appreciate all aspects of the work.


Recreational facilities (swimming pools, beaches and sporting grounds) may be available, depending on the location of the site. Most expeditions organize sightseeing and field trips to sites in the area and to neighboring museums.


In most cases, volunteers must arrange for medical and accident insurance in advance. Even in instances when accident insurance is provided, it is strongly advised that volunteers come fully insured as the insurance offered is minimal.


When applying to the director of an excavation you should indicate any previous studies you may have in archaeology or related fields, such as anthropology, architecture, geography, surveying, graphic arts; or experience in excavation work, pottery restoration or photography.

For registration, please contact the persons listed in the individual entries. Please note that a registration fee is often required.

Note: Israel Ministry of Interior regulations require that passports of all volunteers (other than Israeli) be stamped with a volunteer visa (B4). This request should be made by the volunteer at the point of entry into Israel.

Israel Antiquities Authority - Programs for organized groups


(Listed by starting date)

Ein GediJan 6 - Feb 1  
BethsaidaJan 6-21; May 5-16; May 20 - Jun 6; Jun 10-27; Jul 1-18; Jul 22 - Aug 8Canceled
Sepphoris May 9 - Jun 7; Jun 17 - July 12Canceled
Caesarea Philippi
May 12 - June 4
YotvataJune 2 - June 21
Tel KedeshJune 2 - July 12
MegiddoJune 7 - July 26
AshkelonJune 9 - July 27Canceled
Tel Beth-ShemeshJune 9 - July 6
ZeitahJune 15 - July 20Canceled
Tell es-SafiJune 23 - July 19
Sha'ar HagolanJune 23 - August 2
Tel HazorJune 25 - August 6
Hippos (Sussita)July 1 - July 25
Ramat HanadivJuly 7 - August 1
"Northern Sea Peoples"
(el-Ahwat and Tel Assawir)
July 14 - August 16
KursiAug 31 - Sept 22
CapernaumSept 29 - Oct 22

Note: There will be no excavations at Tel Dor and Yavneh-Yam in 2002. The next excavations are scheduled for 2003.

EIN GEDIDesert oasis located along the shores of the Dead Sea. The last season of excavations of the Roman-Byzantine village at Ein Gedi exposed a large dwelling near hte synagogue. Another important discovery was a ritual bath (miqveh) typical of the Second Temple period. The 7th season this winter will continue to uncover these findings.
Director: Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dates: Jan 6 - Feb 1
Accommodation:Ein Gedi Youth Hostel.
Cost: Costs per 5-day week (full board, Sunday afternoon till Friday morning) from $100-$420 depending on type of accommodation. Lectures on history and methodology included.
Registration fee:$30 (non-refundable).
Application deadline: January 1, 2002
Work hours: Mondays to Fridays, 7:00-14:30
Minimum participation:One week.
Academic credit:A 3-week academic program (6 credits) accredited by the Hebrew University of daily lectures and weekend fieldtrips (Jan 4-24) will be offered under the direction of Dr. Katharina Galor of Brown University. Registration and tuition for non-Rothberg School students: $1,055. Deadline for registration: December 1, 2001. Contact: Division of Undergraduate Studies, Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel 91905
Tel.: 972-2-5882610 / FAX: 972-2-5827078
Recreation:Lecture program and fieldtrips open to all participants. Daily lectures free, weekend fieldtrips additional cost. After-dig recreational activities include bathing in the hot springs of Ein Gedi or in the Dead Sea, and walks through the oasis.
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Dr. Y. Hirschfeld, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel 91905. Fax: 972-2-5825548. E-mail:
Website:For more information and registration form see:
BETHSAIDATell Bethsaida (e-Tell) is situated 1.5 km off the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Research revealed that Bethsaida was probably a fortified city known as Zer on the Sea of Galilee and mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Bethsaida means "House of the Fisherman". According to the New Testament, Jesus performed some of his most important miracles there, including the "Feeding of the Multitudes," and the "healing of the Blind Man," and from the Bethsaida shores, he was seen walking on the Sea of Galilee.
Directors:Prof. Rami Arav, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Prof. Richard Freund, University of Hartford
Dates: The excavation is divided into one winter session (Jan 6-21, 2001) and five summer sessions: May 5-16; May 20-Jun 6; Jun 10-27; Jul 1-18; Jul 22-Aug 8 (2002)
Accommodation:Kibbutz Ginosar, western coast of Sea of Galilee
Cost: $420 per week room and board (7 nights); additional days $60/night for dormitory housing (4-5 beds/room). A limited number of single, double, and triple occupancy rooms are available at additional cost.
Registration fee:All applications must include a $200 deposit to reserve one's space, $100 of which is non-refundable. In addition, all applicants are charged a $25 processing fee, which will be calculated in the final cost.
Minimum participation: One week
Application and payment deadlines: See website
Academic credit:Students are encouraged to arrange credit with their home institutions (Independent Study) so that they know it's applicable to their program, or they can get up to six hours of undergraduate credit from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Work days:Monday-Friday
Recreation:Kibbutz Ginosar is located right on the Sea of Galilee, and there is also a swimming pool on the kibbutz. Weekend tours are arranged throughout the season (for an additional charge).
Insurance:All participants must have health insurance that covers international travel to Israel. Volunteers are encouraged to seek additional traveler's and flight insurance.
Contact: Wendi Chiarbos, Coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Bethsaida Excavations Project, International Studies and Programs - ASH 238, Omaha, NE 68182-0227
Telephone: (402) 554 - 2902; Fax: (402) 554 - 3681
Website:For more information see:
SEPPHORISSepphoris is a major Roman and Byzantine city four air miles from Nazareth. Sepphoris remained a loyal Roman city of largely Jewish population through the First and Second Jewish Revolts against Rome. In the second century CE it took the name Diocaesarea and became a great Jewish intellectual center. In excavations since 1983 we have excavated a Jewish villa first excavated by the University of Michigan in 1931, a bathing establishment, and an enormous market building or basilica with stunning mosaics built in the first century CE and going out of use in the middle of the fourth century CE.
Two sessions are planned for 2002. Students from Illinois Wesleyan University will be given priority consideration for enrollment in the first session, from May 9 through June 7, although other applicantions are encouraged. The second session, from June 17 through July 12, will draw together an excavation team more widely assembled from several colleges, universities, and other institutions, as well as volunteers who are not enrolled as students. In both sessions excavations will continue in the Early Roman to Byzantine basilical building which we currently understand as a major public building.
Director: Dr. James F. Strange, Department of Religious Studies, University of South Florida
Associate Directors: Thomas R.W. Longstaff, Colby College; Dennis E. Groh, Illinois Wesleyan University
Dates: May 9 - Jun 7; Jun 17 - July 12
Accommodation:Kibbutz Ha-Solelim, with youth hostel type guest facilities. Full room and board, 7 days a week.
Recreation:The kibbutz has a swimming pool, tennis courts, and basketball courts. Horseback riding is available in the vicinity for a fee. Participants can rent cars for the weekend and are free to travel Saturdays and Sundays, though those taking courses for credit are expected to join the weekend tours.
Credit courses:Undergraduate academic credit for this program will normally be given through the University of South Florida Oversees Study and Exchange Program at an extra cost of $75.21 per undergraduate credit for Florida residents and $308.16 for non-residents. Graduate credit is available by agreement with your university for a higher fee.
Cost: The cost for each session is not yet firmly set but will be approximately $3,250.00, which includes full room & board, round-trip fare from New York, two Saturday guided trips, transportation to and from the site daily, transportation of breakfast to the site, and lectures by the staff of the expedition. Tuition for credit is not included.
Registration fee:$25 (non-refundable).
Application deadline: March 1, 2002 for the May session and April 1, 2002 for the June/July session.
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Dr. James F. Strange, Professor Dept of Religious Studies, CPR 107, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, Tel: 813-974-1859; Fax: 813-974-5911
E-mail:; or Barbara Pilcher, Administrative Assistant, Tel: 813-961-0324 (home) 813-935-2163 (office)
Website:For more information and application form see:

(Caesarea Philippi)

Known in the Gospels as Caesarea Philippi, Banias is located at the foot of Mt. Hermon near the source of the Jordan River in northern Israel and is associated with the Galilean ministry of Jesus. Excavators at the site have unearthed an important early Roman city containing an enormous palace that they believe belonged to King Agrippa II. Not far from the city, a stream flows from the Cave of Pan, a shrine established in the third century BCE and mentioned by many ancient writers. This year volunteers will continue to work on the palace of Agrippa.
Directors:Vassilios Tzaferis, Israel Antiquities Authority; Charles R. Page II, Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies
Dates: May 12 - June 4
Accommodation:Snir Guest House
Cost: $2,799 (includes airfare)
Contact: Charles R. Page II, 85 Country Oak Dr., Humboldt, TN 38343.
Tel: 731-824-2577; fax: 731-824-2611
YOTVATA Yotvata is mentioned in Deuteronomy 10:7 as an Israelite desert encampment. A fort dated to the late Roman period occupies this site, 28 miles north of Eilat in the Great Rift Valley (the Arava). Past excavations have unearthed a Latin imperial inscription. The objective of this excavation will be to excavate and preserve the rest of the fort.
Directors: Uzi Avner, Arava Institute; Jodi Magness,Tufts University; Gwyn Davies, Florida International University
Dates: June 2 - June 21
Minimum participation: Three weeks.
Accommodation:Furnished rooms at Kibbutz Ketura (AC, private bath, swimming pool)
Cost:Room & Board: $1,600 for full season.
Credit courses:1 credit from Tufts University (contact Jodi Magness for tuition)
Contact: Jodi Magness, Dept. of Classics, 321 Eaton Hall, Tufts Univ., Medford, MA 02155; tel: 617-627-2680; fax: 617-627-2896.
TEL KEDESH Identified in the Bible as a "city of refuge" for those who accidentally cause the death of another (Joshua 20:7), Tel Kedesh is located about 22 miles north of Tiberias. The site was first occupied during the Bronze and Iron Ages, then again in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. According to 1 Maccabees 11:73, Kedesh was the site of a siege during the rise of the Hasmoneans. Josephus also writes about it in Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish War. Among the finds unearthed at the site is a cache of more than 2,500 bullae found in the corner of an enormous building, likely a Hellenistic administrative archive. This season, volunteers will continue excavating this administrative center and its outbuildings.
Directors: Andrea Berlin (University of Minnesota) and Sharon Herbert (University of Michigan)
Dates: June 2 - July 12
Accommodation:Moshav Ramot Naftali
Cost:Room & Board: $1,600 for full season.
Credit courses:You may receive three (3) undergraduate or graduate credits through the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota. Please contact Andrea Berlin at the University of Minnesota for more information.
Work hours: Sundays to Fridays, 5:15-12:00 - excavation in the field; afternoons - pottery washing and analysis.
Contact: Professor Andrea Berlin, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota, 330 Folwell Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
Professor Sharon Herbert, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan, 434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1390.
Website: For additional information and application form see:
MEGIDDOMegiddo was inhabited continuously for six millennia (ca. 7000-500 BCE) and sporadically occupied for another millennium. Its location explains its longevity: nearby, a road emerged into the Jezreel Valley from the coastal plain, linking Egypt in the south with Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia in the north and east. This was the Via Maris, the "Way of the Sea". Megiddo controlled a bottleneck on this road, and with it long-distance trade and traffic. The Book of Revelation accords Megiddo a crucial role in the future, promising an eschatological battle there, where the children of light triumph over the forces of evil. Armageddon is literally "the hill of Megiddo".
The main goal of the renewed excavations is to clarify the stratigraphy and chronology of the site, from the Early Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age, and to shed light on specific problems such as the identification of the stratum representing Solomonic Megiddo.
Directors:Prof. Israel Finkelstein Head of Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Baruch Halpern, Pennsylvania State University; Prof. David Ussishkin, Tel Aviv University
Dates: June 7 - July 26. Available sessions: 3 weeks - June 7-June 27; 4 weeks - June 28-July 26; 7 weeks - June 7-July 26
Accommodation:Kibbutz Megiddo . Full room and board (kosher) - 7 days per week. Vegetarian dishes are available.
Cost: 3 weeks - $1125; 4 weeks - $1450; 7 weeks - $2250. Reductions for Consortium Members and returnees.
Registration fee:$75.00 non-refundable
Application: Accepted from October 2001.
Work hours:Sun.-Thurs. 05:00-13:00; afternoon and evening activities include pottery washing and reading, lectures.
Academic credit:Tel Aviv University offers up to nine credits. Each of the 3-credit courses cost $300. Graduate level credit courses are also available For full course information see website.
Recreation:Swimming pool and sports facilites on kibbutz. The kibbutz has a disco (entry fee of 25 shekels) open every Thursday and Friday night. Weekends at leisure.
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Website:For more information and application form see:
ASHKELONThe ancient seaport of Ashkelon - oldest and largest seaport yet known in Israel - capital of Canaanite kings, harbor of the Philistines, and stomping ground of the biblical hero, Samson, is located 30 miles south of Tel Aviv.
Director:Prof. Lawrence E. Stager, Harvard University
Dates: June 9 - July 27
Accommodation:Full room and board (7 days per week).
Cost: Cost for full season: $2,100 (subject to change)
Cost per week: $350 (subject to change)
Minimum participation: Three weeks.
Academic credit:Eight undergraduate or graduate academic credits are available through Harvard Summer School for an additional tuition fee for qualified full Summer Session volunteers. Field training focuses on methods of stratigraphic excavation, recording, and interpretation, ceramic typology and its application. Field work is complemented by a series of lectures by staff and Israeli scholars on the archaeology, geography, and history of Israel, Phoenicia, and Philistia. The course will include several field trips to other archaeological sites in Israel.
Recreation: Field trips to archaeological sites.
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Prof. Lawrence E. Stager, Harvard University, Ashkelon Excavations, The Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: (617) 495-9385
Website:For more information see:
TEL BETH-SHEMESHOnce a major Canaanite city-state and later Israelite royal administrative center, with a strong Biblical background. Sixteen miles from Jerusalem, on the western border of the Kingdom of Judah, facing its powerful Philistine rivals.
Last summer, volunteers uncovered a unique ironsmith workshop dating to the tenth-ninth centuries BCE. In the 2002 season, volunteers will continue to examine the iron production center at Beth-Shemesh. They will also uncover more of the Iron Age (Israelite) village, the destruction level and earlier layers of the Bronze Age (Canaanite) city and parts of the fortification system.
Directors:Dr. Zvi Lederman (Tel Aviv University); Dr. Shlomo Bunimovitz (Tel Aviv University)
Dates: June 9 - July 6
Accommodation:Air conditioned B&B-style kibbutz guest house near site
Cost: $315 per week, $1100 for four week season
Minimum participation: One week (preference for two weeks and longer)
Lectures:Intensive archaeological summer school: guided field sessions, morning and afternoon workshops, 2-3 lectures every week on archaeological methods, ancient cultures, interdisciplinary analysis, archaeological and historical related issues.
Academic program: $250/3 credits; Indiana University or Tel Aviv University
Recreation: Free access to swimming pool; Weekend tours with environmental and archaeological emphasis
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Dr. Zvi Lederman, Department of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv
Dale W. Manor, Harding Univ., 900 E. Center, Box 12280, Searcy, AR 72149; tel: 501-279-4456; E-mail:
ZEITAH One of the major goals of the Zeitah excavations is to clarifying our understanding of life in a local, town setting in ancient Israel. A strategically located "outlying" town, Zeitah (Hebrew "Zayit") lies in the Beth Guvrin Valley, roughly halfway between the Israelite city of Lachish and Tell es Safi (Philistine Gath).
During the three excavations seasons, volunteers discovered a large Late Bronze Age public building or palace and have studied a massive destruction level also dating to the Late Bronze Age. There is also significant destruction at the Iron Age II (ninth century BCE) level that is thought to be associated with an invasion by Arameans. In 2002 volunteers will continue to explore and clarify the extent of these destruction levels, focusing also on the dimensions of a late Roman fortress at the site.
Director: Ron E. Tappy, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Dates: June 14 - July 20
Accommodation: Kibbutz Gal'on - hostel-style rooms, A/C.
Cost for volunteers: Room and board: $1,400 for full five weeks; $1,200 for four weeks; and $960 for three weeks.
Registration fee: US $25 (non-refundable).
Application deadline: April 8 (group flight participants) or May 15 (independent travelers).
Academic program: We encourage you to seek undergraduate or graduate credit through your home institution. Alternately, you may elect to receive graduate credit through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS). Tuition through PTS costs $500 for three quarter units or $1,000 for six quarter units.
Work hours:Excavation - 5:00-13:00; pottery washing and scheduled lectures in the afternoon and evening.
Workdays: Monday-Friday.
Minimum stay: 3 weeks.
Recreation: Overnight field trips (optional for those not taking field school credit through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) will take place on two mid-season weekends ($125 apiece).
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance, and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Dr. Ron E. Tappy, The Zeitah Excavations, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 N. Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206-2596
Tel: 412-441-3304 x2126; Fax: 412-486-0776
Website:For more information and application form see:
TELL ES-SAFI/GATH Tell es-Safi, which is identified by most scholars as the biblical city of "Gath of the Philistines" (the home of Goliath) and the Crusader city Blanche Garde, is one of the largest tells (ancient ruin mounds) in Israel and was settled almost continuously from the 5th millennium BCE (Chalcolithic period) until modern times. It is located in central Israel, about half-way between Jerusalem and Ashkelon.
The excavation this year will continue to excavate levels dating to various phases of the Iron Age.
Director: Dr. Aren Maeir
Dates: June 23 - July 19
Accommodation: Kibbutz Kfar Menahem. AC or fans in rooms. Kosher, cafeteria style food.
Cost for volunteers: US $300 per week (or $1150 for entire period). Includes room and board, including weekends (air-conditioned rooms & kosher food), transportation to and from the site during excavation, tours to sites in region.
Does not include medical and accident insurance; travel to and from Israel; travel to and from airport to base camp (Kibbutz Kfar Menahem) and travel to and from base camp on weekends; laundry.
Registration fee: US $ 25 (non-refundable).
Application deadline: May 1
Academic program: An academic field school will be conducted during the excavation, which will provide university credits from Bar Ilan University. This program requires additional payment.
Work hours:Excavation - 6:00-1:00; post-excavation activities such as pottery washing which will be conducted in the afternoon and evening.
Workdays: Sun. afternoon till Friday afternoon.
Minimum age: 18
Minimum stay: For volunteers - 2 weeks; for students in program - entire 4 weeks.
Recreation: Trips to adjacent sites; kibbutz pool; TV.
Lecture/class: Twice a week, in evenings.
Insurance: Applicants must have medical authorization and health insurance (which is valid in Israel!)
Contact: Dr. Aren M. Maeir, The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900 Israel
TEL: (972) 3 531-8299/8350; FAX: (972) 3 535-1233
Website:For more information and application form see:
SHA'AR HAGOLANThe Neolithic village of Sha'ar Hagolan (ca. 8000-7500 years ago) is the largest and most important prehistoric art center in Israel. Over 150 art objects were collected from its surface over the course of many years. In the past it was not possible to conduct large scale excavations at the site, since it was covered by fish-ponds and olive trees.
Lately, on economic grounds, the fish ponds and the olives grove fell into disuse. As a result, it has become possible to conduct excavations at the largest prehistoric art center in Israel.
Directors:Dr. Yosef Garfinkel, Hebrew University and Michele A. Miller, Boston University
Dates:June 23 - Aug 2
First term (three weeks): June 23 - July 12;
Second term (three weeks): July 14 - Aug 2
Full season (six weeks)
Accommodation:Kibbutz Sha'ar Hagolan Guest House; air-conditioned rooms, four persons to a room.
Cost:Cost of full season: $1100; half season: $600 (full room and board, including free stay at Kibbutz Sha'ar Hagolan during weekends).
Registration fee:$50.
Work hours: 05:15-13:00 in field; 16:30-18:00: laboratory work.
Academic credit:Provided by the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: 3 undergraduate credits for three weeks and 6 undergraduate credits for six weeks ($75 per credit).
Lectures:Lectures on archaeology by a staff member (three times a week, evenings).
Recreation:The kibbutz has an Olympic size swimming pool, free of charge during opening hours when a lifeguard is present.
Minimum age:18
Minimum participation: Three weeks. A two-week arrangement may be available if there is room at the guesthouse.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance, and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Israel: Dr. Yosef Garfinkel, Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91905 Jerusalem, Tel. 972-2-5854591; Fax: 972-2-5825548.
USA: Dr. Michele Miller, 444 East 84th St, Apt. 8F, New York, NY 10029
Website:For registration details and application form see:
TEL HAZORCanaanite and Israelite buildings north of the Sea of Galilee.
Director:Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor, Hebrew University, Complutense University, Israel Exploration Society, Ambassador University.
Dates: June 25 - August 6. The season is divided into two 3-week sessions: June 25-July 16; and July 16-Aug 6. Preference will be given to those who apply for the entire 6-week season.
Accommodation:Gesher House on Mount Cana'an, Safed (3-5 people per room)
Cost: The cost of participation is $750 per session ($250 per week x 3) or $1350 for those who register for the entire period (full board).
Registration fee:$25.
Credit courses:Participants who wish to receive academic credit must make the appropriate arrangements with their own educational institutions. At the end of the season each participant will receive a certificate attesting to his/her participation in the excavations, lectures and field trips.
Work hours: Excavation: 05:00-13:00; additional work assignments in the afternoon and the evenings.
Lectures: Related subjects.
Recreation:In nearby town of Safed.
Minimum age:18
Minimum participation:3 weeks.
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact:Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905; Tel. 972-2-5882403/4; Fax. 972-2-5825548. E-mail:
Website:For registration details and application form see:
HIPPOS (SUSSITA)Hippos (Sussita) is located on the eastern shore of Tiberias Lake, a short distance from Kibbutz Ein-Gev. The site, one of two cities of the Decapolis located in Israel, which is situated on the top of a flat diamond shaped mountain, 350 m. above the Sea of Galilee, was entirely surrounded by a wall.
Director:Prof. Arthur Segal, University of Haifa
Dates: July 1 - July 25. The season is divided into 4 weekly sessions. Preference will be given to those who apply for the entire season.
Accommodation:Youth hostel, Kibbutz Ein Gev; 3-5 people per room.
Cost: The cost of participation is $300 per 5 day session, $90 for weekend or $1350 for the entire month period.
Registration fee:$100.
Application deadline: May 15, 2002
Work hours: Excavation (Sunday-Thursday): 05:00-12:30; 16:00-18:00: Processing the finds, mainly pottery.
Recreation:On weekends participants may relax or travel on their own or enjoy on the shore of the Tiberias Lake.
Minimum age:16
Minimum participation:5 working days.
Insurance:Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact:Mr. Michael Eisenberg, Assistante to Project Director, Hippos (Sussita) Project, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
Tel. 972-4-8249392; Fax: 972-4-8249876 E-mail:
Website:For registration details and application form see:
RAMAT HANADIV Ramat Hanadiv lies on the southern edge of Mt. Carmel, about 10 km. northeast of Caesarea. In the excavations conducted at the site in the past, a palatial complex from the time of King Herod (end of the first century B.C.E) was exposed. During the revolt (66-70 C.E.) the palace was abandoned, and it has remained uninhabited until recently. The site contains a very rich assemblage of finds, including pottery vessels imported from Italy, glass vessels, silver and bronze coins, luxury ware, cosmetic implements, bronze keys, etc. - all reflecting many facets of daily life at Ramat Hanadiv.
This summer we will continue to excavate the palace garden, which we began to uncover in 2000. This garden may have been part of an entertainment complex that included a reception hall, peristyle courtyard, and triclinium where official dinners were held.
Director: Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dates: July 7 - August 1
Accommodation: Kibbutz Ma'ayan Zvi. Kosher-style food, vegetarian meals available upon request.
Cost: Cost includes full room and board for 5 days (Sunday afterday-Friday morning), transportation to and from the site during excavation.
Weekly rates: Room for 4: US$250; Room for 3: US$300; Room for 3: US$400.
Weekend rates available.
Registration fee: US$30 (non-refundable).
Application deadline: June 30
Work hours:Excavation - Monday-Thursday 5:30-1:00
Minimum stay: 1 week
Recreation: Kibbutz pool
Lectures: Lectures about the excavation will be offered in the evenings.
Insurance: All volunteers must carry proof of a valid health/accident insurance policy.
Contact: Hani Davis, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Fax: 972-2-5812452
Website:For more information and application form see:
(el-Ahwat and Tel Assawir)
This project is run and directed by Haifa University. The Tel Assawir dig together with the el-Ahwat and site 146 is part of the "Northern Sea Peoples Project".
Tel Assawir (located 8 miles east of Caesarea) is situated on what was once the important Wadi 'Ara road, the path through the Carmel mountains that Pharaoh Thutmose III took to attack Meggido (c. 1482 B.C.). In 1923 Albright suggested that Assawir was a contact point between the coast controlled by the 'northern Sea-Peoples' and the Israelite hill country. The tell has not been excavated before.
During the first season of excavation, which took place in 2001, a Middle Bronze Age city gate and its associated fortifications were unearthed. A previous archaeological survey of the site had unearthed figurines, pottery and stone objects from the Bronze and Iron Ages, tantalizing indications of the site's additional archaeological promise. Prof. Zertal hopes to establish the chronology of the site and to explore further the gate and the fortifications.
Director: Prof. Adam Zertal, Haifa University
Dates: July 14 - August 16
Accommodation:Kibbutz Barkai
Cost:$250 per workweek (Sunday - Thursday). Full payment by check in advance - no refunds for cancellation after June 22. It is possible to stay at the kibbutz on weekends for an extra $35 per day ($70 per full weekend).
Work hours: Sunday, 12:00 - 18:35 PM. Monday to Thursday, 6:00 AM - 13:30 PM. On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons there will be additional archaeological assignments.
Credit courses:Academic credits given by Haifa University cost $150 per credit.
Lectures:Lectures will be given on some evenings.
Recreation:On Tuesdays, there will be a guided bus tour to other archaeology site in the area, such as Caesarea, Megiddo, and Tel Dor (cost included).
Guided tours to different parts of Israel will be organized on weekends (limited minimum number of participants). Price for each weekend tour is 25$ (subject to changes). Meals and entry fee to sites and museums not included.
The kibbutz has a swimming pool.
Minimum age:16
Minimum participation: One week.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so. In certain cases a medical certificate may be required.
Contact: Amit Romano (volunteer manager) - E-mail:; Tel. 972-9-8910275;
Fax. 972-4-8249342
Haifa University, Archaeology Department, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31999; Tel: 972-4-8240234;
Fax: 972-4-8248128 (for Dr. Zertal)
Dr. Adam Zertal, Home tel.: 972-6-6374240
Website: For additional information and application form see:
KURSI Christian tradition identifies Kursi with the country of the Gerasenes (or Gadarenes), where Jesus healed one or two demoniacs by casting the "unclean spirit" into a herd of swine (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5; Luke 8:26-39). Located just east of the Sea of Galilee, the site has yielded the remains of the largest known Byzantine monastery in the Holy Land. Kursi was apparently an important pilgrimage site for early Christians.
In September 2001 the excavation team discovered a Byzantine bath complex complete with drain pipes, underground heating system and pools, plus coins, jewelry, marble, floor tiles and other objects that date to the Byzantine and early Islamic periods. Previous excavations have also revealed a fifth-century chapel paved with three layers of mosaics. This year, volunteers will further uncover the bath complex and expand excavation to the north and east, in search of remains of additional rooms of the bath complex or perhaps what may have been an adjoining inn for pilgrims.
Directors: Vassilios Tzaferis, (Israel Antiquities Authority); Charles R. Page II, Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies
Dates: Aug 31 - Sept 22; shorter periods available
Accommodation:Royal Plaza Hotel, Hammat
Cost:$2,799 for full season. Includes: international round trip airfare, motorcoach transportation, accommodations with two or three meals a day as per program design (excluding beverages), instruction, textbooks for Israel program, entrance fees to sites visited, shore excursions as per itinerary.
Registration fee:A full per-person deposit of $250 is required.
Minimum participation: 12 days.
Contact: Charles R. Page II, 85 Country Oak Dr., Humboldt, TN 38343; Tel: 731-824-2577; Fax: 731-824-2611; E-mail:
Website: For additional information and application form see:
CAPERNAUM Mentioned frequently in all four gospels, Capernaum was pivotal in the ministry of Jesus and became a principal locale in the development of Jewish Christianity, starting from the first century. Situated on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum has been excavated most recently (1978-82) by a team directed by Vassilios Tzaferis, under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Church. That effort uncovered foundations of large villas and a significant ceramic and coin record, dated to the late Roman and Byzantine periods, in what appears to be the residential area of the aristocracy of the village.
Next fall excavations will focus on the earlier Roman period strata in the upper part of the village. The long-term goal is to reach the foundations of the remains from the Roman/Herodian period, in hopes of learning more about the possible relationship between Jesus and the aristocracy of Capernaum.
Directors: Vassilios Tzaferis, (Israel Antiquities Authority); Charles R. Page II, Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies
Dates: Sept 29 - Oct 22; shorter periods available
Accommodation:Royal Plaza Hotel, Hammat
Cost:$2,799 for full season. Includes: international round trip airfare, motorcoach transportation, accommodations with two or three meals a day as per program design (excluding beverages), instruction, textbooks for Israel program, entrance fees to sites visited, shore excursions as per itinerary.
Registration fee:A full per-person deposit of $250 is required.
Minimum participation: 12 days.
Contact: Charles R. Page II, 85 Country Oak Dr., Humboldt, TN 38343; Tel: 731-824-2577; Fax: 731-824-2611; E-mail:
Website: For additional information and application form see:


Israel Antiquities Authority - Programs for Organized Groups

The Israel Antiquities Authority's Department of Education and Information is responsible for educational programs in archaeology and heritage preservation. The department runs three centers for archaeology, offering tours, workshops, activities, enrichment courses and opportunities to participate in excavations - for organized groups only.

For further information, please contact:

    The Center for Archaeology in the Galilee
    Israel Antiquities Authority
    PO Box 35
    Nahalal 10600
    Tel./Fax.: 972-6-6415607,8

    The Center For Archaeology in Jerusalem
    POB 586
    91004 Jerusalem
    Tel.: 972-2-5602621, 972-050-512113
    Fax: 972-2-5602628, 972-2-6285054

    The Center for Archaeology in the Negev
    Israel Antiquities Authority
    HaTzav St. 1
    PO Box 271
    Omer 84965
    Tel./Fax: 972-7-6469940

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