Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2009
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
*

 Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2009

1/1/2009

Second Temple sarcophagus fragment inscribed "Ben HaCohen HaGadol" - "Son of the High Priest" uncovered in Jerusalem


 
(Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

INTRODUCTION

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 published 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.


VOLUNTEERING

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.

ACCOMMODATION

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.

CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT

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.

WORK HOURS

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.

CREDIT COURSES

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

LECTURES

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.

RECREATION AND TRIPS

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.

INSURANCE

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.

APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION

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.

 


EXCAVATIONS 2009
(Listed by starting date)

 

Ein Gedi January 5-29
Omrit May 17 - June 20
Bethsaida May 31 - June 20; June 21 - July 11
Zeitah June 5 - July 11
Ashkelon June 7 - July 17
Mount Zion June 14 - July 24
Tel Gezer June 15 - July 17
Tel Hazor June 21 - July 10; July 12-31
Kfar HaHoresh June 28 - August 6
Khirbet Qeiyafa June 28 - August 9
Hippos (Sussita) July 5-30
Tell es-Safi/Gath

July 5-31

Tel Dor July 6 - August 12
Ramat Rahel July 19 - August 15
Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet Aug 23 - Sept 17
Tiberias Oct 11 - Nov 6


Note: The next Megiddo excavation season will be held June 13 - July 27, 2010.


EIN GEDI Ein Gedi is an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, more then 400 m. below sea level. Fresh water springs flow there and have made permanent settlement that lived on irrigation agriculture. Archeological excavations have revealed a Chacolithic Temple (4th millennium BCE), Iron Age settlement (Biblical period), and a Roman-Byzantine period village. After the 6th season of excavations in January 2008, there is no doubt that part of a Jewish village from the late Second Temple (Roman) period has been uncovered. The expedition also intends to continue looking for the magnificent Hasmonean or Herodian palace awaiting discovery somewhere in Ein Gedi.
Director: Dr. Gideon Hadas, Kibbutz Ein Gedi. The expedition operates under the auspices of the Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 
Dates: Jan 5-29, 2009
Accommodation: Ein Gedi youth hostel, 5 people per room.
Those wishing to set up their own tent will participate in the cost of meals +.
Accommodation can also be arranged at the Ein Gedi Kibbutz Guest House - eg@ein-gedi.org.il,
Tel: 972-8-6594222; Fax: 972-8-6584328
The Kibbutz Guest House is some distance from the excavation site and from the evening activities in the youth hostel. Transport is not normally provided.
Work hours: Fieldwork is conducted from Mondays through Thursdays, from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Evening lectures and slide shows about the history and archaeology of the area.
Cost: Youth hostel: $310 room and board per 5-day week (Sunday afternoon 14.00, till Friday morning, 10.00)
Registration fee: $35 (non-refundable). Returning volunteers exempt.
Minimum participation: One week
Application deadline: Dec 1, 2008
Recreation: Touring in Ein Gedi nature reserve, swimming in the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi hot spring spa.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Dr. Gideon Hadas, Fax 972-8-6584384; E-mail: gideonhadas@yahoo.com
Website: For more information and application form see: http://planetnana.co.il/ghadas
 
OMRIT Located in the northeast Huleh Valley at the base of Mount Hermon, Omrit was discovered when a 1998 fire in the northeastern Galilee revealed an ancient building complex not far from Kiryat Shmona. Excavations revealed two successive temples on the same spot as well as an imperial public building which may be the temple Herod erected in honor of the Roman emperor Augustus in the area of Banias. This season's goals include excavating inside the temple, especially the temple cella, and continuing the preservation and reconstruction of both phases of the temple.
Directors: Prof. J. Andrew Overman from Macalester College, St. Paul, USA
Dates: May 17 - June 20
Accommodation: Kibbutz Kfar Szold, hotel-style rooms with air conditioning and kitchenettes.
Cost: Approximately $2800 (payable in two installments) and a deposit of $1400 is due by March 1, 2009.
Application deadline: March 1, 2009
Work hours: Excavation - 5:00-12:00; pottery washing and reading - 13:30-18:00. Lecture - 20:00.
Workdays: Monday-Saturday morning.
Recreation: Swimming pool, basketball courts, and an on site night club. Horse riding. During the weekends, the excavators can go on various trips around the region. A weekend in Jerusalem is tentatively planned for a weekend in mid-June.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance, and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Andy Overman, Dept. of Classics, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105; Fax: 651-696-6498; E-mail: overman@macalester.edu
Website: For more information and application form see: http://www.macalester.edu/classics/omrit/
 
BETHSAIDA Bethsaida , situated on the north Sea of Galilee was founded in the10th century BCE as the capital city of the biblical kingdom of Geshur. During the Time of Jesus Bethsaida served as the birthplace of three Apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip and a place where Jesus performed many miracles, it is one of the most frequently mentioned towns in the New Testament.
Directors: Prof. Rami Arav, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Prof. Richard Freund, University of Hartford
Dates: The excavation is divided into two sessions:
May 31 - June 20; June 21 - July 11
Accommodation: Ginosar Inn on Kibbutz Ginosar, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee
Cost: From $540 to $946 per week, according to type of accommodation.
Registration fee: $200 deposit
Minimum participation: One week
Application  deadline: March 13, 2009 for Session 1; April 6, 2009 for Session 2
Work days:

Monday-Friday
5:30am - 12:30 pm: Fieldwork
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Lab work and pottery
8:00pm - 9:00pmL Lecture

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: Bethsaida Excavations Project
University of Nebraska at Omaha
International Studies and Programs
Omaha , NE 68182-0227
Tel. 402/554-4986; 402/554-3108
Fax: 402/554-3681
Email: rarav@mail.unomaha.edu or streynolds@mail.unomaha.edu
Website: For more information and application form see: http://www.unomaha.edu/bethsaida/
 
ZEITAH 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 2009 season of excavations, the team will gain a wider exposure of layers dating from the tenth century BCE. The work will concentrate of a 100-square-meters of Square O19, the area that yielded the Tel Zayit Abecedary, helping to clarify the historical picture for the foothill region of Judah during the Iron Age IIA period.
Director: Ron E. Tappy, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Dates: June 5 - July 11
Accommodation: Kibbutz Gal-On - hostel-style rooms, A/C.
Cost for volunteers: Room and board: $1,700 for the full five weeks.
Registration fee: US $25 (non-refundable). Applied toward the total cost charged to volunteers accepted for the excavation.
Application deadline: All application materials accompanied by the application fee are due by May 5, 2009. Early application will give you a better chance of securing a spot.
Academic program: Students are encouraged to arrange for credit through their home institution. Credit may also be earned through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Course description. 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: Since we will pursue a very focused research design during the 2009 season, we ask that volunteers join us for the full five weeks of the excavation.
Recreation: Overnight field trips (optional for those not taking field school credit through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) will take place on two mid-season weekends ($200 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
E-mail: tappy@fyi.net
Website: For more information and application form see: http://www.zeitah.net/
 
ASHKELON From the Canaanite era (2000-1200 B.C.), Ashkelon is the oldest and largest seaport known in Israel. The 2009 field season will continue to focus on the Early Iron and Late Bronze Age phases in Grid 38, the only area at Ashkelon with a sequence that traces all periods of Ashkelon's occupation from the Early Bronze Age through the Islamic Crusader periods. We will also continue to explore new areas of excavation which have been opened since 2007 in order to polish our understanding of Roman and Islamic/Crusader Ashkelon.
Co-Directors: Lawrence E. Stager, Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel, Harvard University;
Daniel Master, Associate Professor of Archaeology at Wheaton College
Dates: June 7 - July 17
Half season participation is possible but credit is only offered to full season participants
Session 1: June 7-27
Session 2: June 27 - July 17
Accommodation: Dan Gardens Hotel - rooms shared by four persons.
Cost for volunteers:

Full season: $2900; half season: $1450
(may be revised)
Includes full room and board seven days a week.

Academic program:

For Harvard College students, this program counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit. Harvard Summer School courses and credits are accepted toward degrees at most colleges and universities. Students are advised to obtain transfer credit approval from their home institutions before registering.
The cost of the program is $4,800, plus a nonrefundable $50 application fee. Minimum age 18.
For more information and application see field school website.

Application deadline: April 15, 2009
Work hours: Sunday-Friday: Excavation - 5:30-1:00;
Pottery washing - 4:30-6:30 except on Fridays.
Minimum stay: Half season (three weeks)
Recreation: Saturdays free. Hotel is located near the beach, has a swimming pool, tennis court, weight room and sauna.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance valid in Israel in advance, and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: leonlevyexpeditiontoashkelon@gmail.com 
Website: For more information and application form see Ashkelon excavation website.
 
MOUNT ZION Located in the heart of Jerusalem. In 2009 we intend to further clarify the structural remains from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. We will also be digging down to the top of the Second Temple period vaults which have been identified at the site. On the far west of the site we will be digging the Medieval to Early Islamic levels, and we hope to expose the Ayyubid layer where we surmise a metal workshop existed in the 13th century.
Director: Shimon Gibson, Senior Associate Fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem; adjunct Professor of Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Dates: June 14 - July 24
Accommodation: As Jerusalem provides a large selection of hotels and hostels, we decided to leave the choice of where to stay with you. However, we do recommend booking at one of the recommended hotels or hostels, which are all in walking distance from the site.
Cost:

$250 per week. This covers the digging and training, lectures, field trips, breakfasts and refreshments on site. Does not include room and board.

Academic program:

College credits can be arranged for the summer 2009 season from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, details on the cost will be available shortly.

Application deadline: Full registration and payment should be undertaken at least four months before the dig, namely February 15, 2009.
Registration fee: Non-refundable registration fee of $25
Work hours: Sunday to Thursday:
  Excavation - 6:00 - 1:00 pm
  Field Trip (voluntary, compulsory for Credit students) - 2.30 pm
  Lecture (voluntary, compulsory for Credit students) - 7.00 pm
Friday: Pottery washing 8.00 am-12.00
Minimum stay: Two weeks. All team members need to arrive at the hotel on the Friday before the period of digging that they are participating in.
Recreation: There will be one field trip and two lectures per week. Field trips will be held to various archaeological sites or excavations in progress, and include walking tours to sites in Jerusalem's Old City.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance valid in Israel in advance, and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Mount Zion Excavation
c/o S. Gibson
POB 4405
Jerusalem 91043
digmountzion@gmail.com
Website: For more information and application form see Mount Zion website.
 
TEL GEZER Gezer, one of three cities fortified by Solomon, guards the western entrance of Jerusalem from the coastal plain. Gezer was continuously occupied from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. The main goals of the project are to excavate a large horizontal exposure on the south-central part of the tel to excavate a sequence of Iron Age cultural horizons and obtain a obtain a sequence of well-stratified cultural horizons of the Iron Age in order to establish a ceramic database of the Iron Age strata.
Directors:

Dr. Steven M. Ortiz, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Sam Wolff, Israel Antiquities Authority

Dates: June 15 - July 17
Accommodation: Air-conditioned suites at Neve Shalom, full room and board. Each suite sleeps four individuals and has one bathroom.
Cost: $1825 ($1575 for students of consortium schools)
The price includes room and board, field school and lectures. The price does not include airfare to and from Israel or weekend study tours.
Weekend Field Trip supplement: $600 (includes transportation, entrance fees, guides, etc. for 10 days of touring on the weekends)
Registration fee: $500 deposit
Academic program and credit:

The Tel Gezer Excavation Project’s academic program contains three components:
• Evening classroom lectures
• Field School: archaeological practicum and lab
• Weekend study-travel.

Academic credit available - two courses (3 units each) of graduate or undergraduate credit offered through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Several of our consortium schools also offer credit through their institutions. Tuition $500 for each three unit course.

Work hours: Monday through Friday: 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - excavation. Afternoon - lab work in camp (pottery washing, processing of material culture, etc.), and a lecture.
Field trips: Weekends field trips at extra cost (Friday p.m.-Sunday) mandatory for those taking academic credit.
Application deadline: Feb 25, 2009
Recreation: Swimming pool. Located midway between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, Neve Shalom/ Wahat al-Salam overlooks the Ayalon Valley and the Coastal plain. The village is surrounded by olive groves, pine forests and fields. Within walking distance are the Trappist Monastery of Latrun and the Yitzhak Rabin National Park. Excursions can be made to local vineyards, the Sorek stalactite caves, the rich archaeological site at Beth Guvrin, the Hubert Humphrey National Park and more.
Minimum participation: Preference for full period, minimum two week stay upon approval by the project directors.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Dr. Steven M. Ortiz
Tel Gezer Project
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 22308
Fort Worth, TX 76122-0308
Website: For registration details and application form see website.
 
TEL HAZOR Hazor is a major site in the Galilee, located approximately 5 km. north of Rosh Pina. 
The population of Hazor in the second millennium BCE is estimated to have been about 20,000, making it the largest and most important city in the entire region, located strategically on the route connecting Egypt and Babylon. Hazor's conquest by the Israelites opened the way to the conquest and settlement of the Israelites in Canaan. The city was rebuilt and fortified by King Solomon and prospered in the days of Ahab and Jeroboam II, until its final destruction by the Assyrians in 732 BCE.
In this season the levels of the Israelite and Canaanite period will be explored..
Director:

Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor, Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University

Dates: June 21 - July 31. The season is divided into two 3-week sessions: June 21 - July 10; July 12-31. Preference will be given to those who apply for the entire 6-week season.
Accommodation: Kfar HaNassi
Cost: $1200 per session ($400 per week x 3) or $2200 for those who register for the entire period.
Registration fee: $25 (non-refundable) by check or money order payable only to: The Israel Exploration Society.
Credit courses: Students may arrange to receive academic credit (undergraduate or graduate level) through the Rothberg International School. These credit points can be transferred to the student’s home institution. This entails additional fee of 110$ for 1 academic credit point, each equals 1 week of participation (students can get up to 6 credit points for the whole season).
Students opting to receive academic credit  should state their intent upon registration, and directions for application to the credit program will be sent by mail.
Work hours: Monday through Friday: 5:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. - excavation. 14:00 - pottery washing.
Lectures: A series of lectures during the week will provide training in field archaeology and the interpretation of finds.
Recreation: The expedition will organize tours (conducted or otherwise) to sites of your choice, provided enough participants are interested, at extra cost.
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: Mail the application form + registration fee to:
Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor
Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University
Mount Scopus Jerusalem 91905 Israel
Tel. 972-2-5882403/4 Fax: 972-2-5825548
For information contact: Dr. Sharon Zuckerman
Email: hazor@mscc.huji.ac.il
Website: For registration details and application form see Hazor website.
 
KFAR HAHORESH Kfar HaHoresh is a small, 9000 year old site nestled in a secluded setting in the Nazareth Hills of Lower Galilee, Israel. The Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) cultures of the region are the earliest agricultural societies in the world. Excavations since 1991 at Kfar HaHoresh have revealed it is a unique cult and mortuary centre probably serving neighbouring lowland village communities.
The spectacular results from previous seasons at Kfar HaHoresh indicate that previous notions concerning mortuary and cult practices during this formative period of early village communities in the Near East require extensive revision.
Director:

Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris, Department of Prehistory, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University

Dates: June 28 - August 6
Accommodation: Participants will share room with two or three other volunteers in a Kibbutz guest house. Food is provided.
Cost: $1000 per session ($500 per week x 2) or $2500 for those who register for the entire period.
Registration fee: $150 (non-refundable) payable by 1 May 2009.
Application deadline: 1 May 2009
Minimum participation: 2 weeks
Credit courses: Students participating in the program can receive up to 4 academic credits per session through the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University. This entails additional fee of $110 for 1 academic credit point, per week of participation to be paid directly to the Rothberg International School. Students opting to receive academic credit should state their intent upon registration, and the directions for application to the credit program will be sent by mail.
Field program:

The field school is divided into two sessions, each of three weeks duration. Participants will take part in the excavations and also play an active role in the preliminary analysis of recovered artifacts. Subjects include: excavation, recovery and recording procedures, as well as field consolidation techniques. Enrolment in the field school is limited to 20 students for each session.

Lectures and field trips: Faculty members will give lectures on the Prehistory and Archaeology of the Near East and various specialist topics. There will be field trips to other archaeological sites in the area.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact:

For an application form or answers to your questions concerning participation, contact either:

Ms. Michal Birkenfeld
Department of Prehistory, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
Tel: 00972-2-5882424
E-mail: Michal.birkenfeld@mail.huji.ac.il
Fax: 00972-2-5825548

Prof. Nigel Goring-Morris, Excavation director
Department of Prehistory, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
Tel: 00972-2-5882424
E-mail: goring@mscc.huji.ac.il
Fax: 00972-2-5825548

Regarding academic credit:

Keri Rosenbluh, Coordinator of Summer Programs & Special Academic Programs, Division of Undergraduate Studies, Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
kerir@savion.huji.ac.il

Website: N/A
 
KHIRBET QEIYAFA The archaeological site of Khirbet Qeiyafa is located on the hills that border the Elah Valley on the north. This is a key strategic location in the biblical kingdom of Judah, in the main road from Philistia and the Coastal Plain to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron in the hill country. In this area one of the world's most famous battles took place, the battle between David and Goliath.
Director:

Prof. Yosef Garfinkel (Hebrew University); Mr. Saar Ganor (Israel Antiquities Authority)

Dates: June 28 - August 9.
Accommodation: Ramot Shapira Hostel in Beth Mier village, 15 minutes drive from Jerusalem. This is an observant Jewish religious village, and driving is forbidden on the Sabbath. The expedition will stay there from Sunday morning to Friday morning. 4 beds in air-conditioned rooms, with adjacent shower/restroom.
Cost: $300 per week (or $1600 for 6 weeks) to be paid directly to the hostel upon arrival (credit card).
Registration fee: $50 registration fee, to be sent with the registration form - please make out a check to the Israel Exploration Society.
Credit courses: 3 or 6 academic credits can be obtained from the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The charge is $60 registration fee and $100 per credit.
Work hours:

Sunday: 12:00-18:00
Monday-Thursday: 5.00 to 13.00
Pottery washing and pottery reading daily 16.30-18.00.

Lectures: From 18.30 to 19.30 (Monday-Thursday) a lecture illustrated by slides on the archaeology of ancient Israel will be given.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Keri Rosenbluh
Coordinator of Summer Programs & Special Academic Programs
Division of Undergraduate Studies
Rothberg International School
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
kerir@savion.huji.ac.il
Website: For registration details and application form see website.
 
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!), is one of the largest tells (ancient ruin mounds) in Israel and was settled almost continuously from the 5th millennium BCE until modern times. Continuous excavations are planned for at least the next decade. Major finds from the first few seasons include the discoveries of a 9th century BCE destruction layer with extraordinarily rich remains and of a siege trench surrounding the site, whose date has yet to be determined.
Director: Prof. Aren Maeir
Dates: July 5-31
Accommodation: Kibbutz Revadim. Air-conditioned rooms, 4-6 per room; single and double rooms available at extra charge, subject to availability.
Cost for volunteers: US$400 per week, or US$1550 for entire 4 weeks. Includes room and board (kosher food), including weekends, transportation to and from the site during excavation, and various dig-related activities.
Registration fee: US$50 (non-refundable).
Application deadline: May 1, 2009
Academic program: A field school in field archaeology will provide university credits (from Bar-Ilan University): 3 credits for 2 weeks ($500 additional payment) or 6 credits for 4 weeks ($1000 additional payment).
An academic field school in archaeological science will also be held in conjunction with the excavation. Students interested should contact Dr. Elisabetta Boaretto (elisa@wisemail.weizmann.ac.il).
Work hours: Excavation - 6:00-1:00; afternoon - various excavation related processes (such as pottery reading) and occasional tours and lectures.
Workdays: Sunday afternoon - Friday afternoon.
Minimum age: 16. Volunteers under the age of 18 must have the consent of their parents/legal guardians.
Minimum stay: 2 weeks
Recreation: Field trips; kibbutz pool.
Lecture/class: Twice a week, in evenings.
Insurance: Applicants must have medical authorization and health insurance (valid in Israel!) and complete medical form.
Contact: Prof. Aren M. Maeir, The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
TEL: +972-3-531-8299; FAX: +972-3-635-4941
E-mail: maeira@mail.biu.ac.il; aren@maeir.com
Website: For more information and registration package see: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~maeira or www.dig-gath.org
 
TEL DOR

Tel Dor is a major Canaanite-Phoenician-Hellenistic-Roman port on the Mediterranean coast, located in present day Israel between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
Our objectives for this season: Digging the elite section of the settlement, including the investigation of large complex in the southern part of the Hellenistic city and large Iron Age Israelite public structure; excavating parts of the Early Iron Age Phoenician town on the southern slope of the acropolis, aiming to reach the Bronze Age city, never before exposed at Dor.

Dates:

July 6 - August 12, divided into two sessions: July 6 -24 and July 26 - August 12

Director: Dr. Ilan Sharon, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University
Accommodation: Kfar Galim boarding school
Cost:

Full season: 2100 Euro (or the equivalent); half season: 1300 Euro (or the equivalent). For North American participants: $3150 and $1950 respectively - includes full (7-days/week) room & board.

Registration deposit: 100 Euro for direct applications to Dor Project; $100 for Prof. Bloch-Smith's group and the Hebrew University Rothberg International School Tel Dor Field School applicants.
Work hours: Excavation: 5:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, sorting finds, office work in the afternoon, lectures. Saturday and Sunday free. Weekend field trips at additional cost.
Academic credit: Through the Hebrew University Rothberg International School, in a program administered by Dr. Bloch-Smith, earn 2 credits for a half-season excavation or 4 credits for the full season. See also University of Washington Tel Dor Archaeological Program and Field School
Recreation: The school campus provides beach access, a swimming pool, indoor and outdoor sports facilities.
Minimum age: 18
Minimum participation: Two weeks.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact:

Tel Dor Project, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905; Tel. +972 (0)2 5881304
Fax. +972 (0)2 5825548
E-mail: dor-proj@mscc.huji.ac.il
In the USA:
Prof Sarah Stroup, Department of Classics, Box 353110 , University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-3110; tel. (206) 543-2276; fax (206) 543-2267; E-mail: scstroup@u.washington.edu
or
Prof Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, Villanova University and St. Joseph's University; tel. (610) 664-7829;
E-mail bloch-smith@msn.com

Website:

If you wish to register from North America as part of Prof. Bloch-Smith's group please click here.
For the University of Washington Tel Dor field school (cost includes 12 UW credits, open to students and non students), contact scstroup@u.washington.edu
Elsewhere: http://dor.huji.ac.il/registration.html

 
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.
In this season we plan to: Continue the excavation of the Roman Monumental Arch area; reveal the Roman Monumental Building; complete the documentation and preservation of the North West Church; complete the excavation and preservation of the North East Church; continue the excavation of the Roman Byzantine Bath.
Director: Prof. Arthur Segal, University of Haifa
Dates: July 5-30. The season is divided into 4 weekly sessions. Preference will be given to those who apply for the entire season.
Accommodation: Volunteers will be lodged at the youth hostel and flats at Kibbutz Ein-Gev (not final), on the shore of Tiberias Lake. Full board, a/c.
Cost: 330 Euro per full week (Sun-Sat) or 1180 Euro for all the 4 weeks season (including weekends).
Registration fee: 80 Euro (nonrefundable) in personal or bank check. Fee will be deducted from total cost of participants.
Work hours: Excavation (Sunday-Thursday): 05:00-12:00, with additional work assignments and lectures in the afternoon and evenings.
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: One working week (Sunday-Thursday). Preference will be given to those who apply for the entire season.
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: hippos@research.haifa.ac.il
Website: For registration details and application form http://hippos.haifa.ac.il/
 
RAMAT RAHEL

Kibbutz Ramat Rahel is located on a hilltop (818 m above sea level), about midway between the Old City of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Previous excavations at the site unearthed a large scale citadel with a royal palace from the time of the last kings of Judah - the only royal palace ever found from the kingdom of Judah. Our main goals in this fourth excavation season will be to unearth more parts of the water system, the gardens around it, and the fortifications of the citadel. Other goals include defining the nature and the limits of the site during the Persian and Hellenistic periods. We will also search for evidence from the eighth century BCE.

Directors: Dr. Oded Lipschits (Tel Aviv University) and Prof. Dr. Manfred Oeming (Heidelberg University)
Dates:

July 19 - Aug 14, divided into four week-long periods.

Accommodation: Full room and board at Kibbutz Ramat Rahel - hostel lodging (4-star facility).
Cost for volunteers:

Weekly fee per person, covering full board, use of all hotel facilities (pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym): $902 / $629 / $580 / $552 for 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 per room.
Price includes: participation in the dig, full room and board, wo academic lectures, evening tours at Jerusalem (including the city museums), afternoons archaeological programs and social activities. Price does not include: flights to and from Israel, transportation within Israel, insurance, weekend tours, up to $50 per person

Academic program: The Ramat Rahel Archaeological Project allows students participating in the seasonal excavations to gain academic credits by attending the project educational program. Each course is two weeks long, 3 credits each. The price for each academic credit is $100. Responsibility for arranging credit with the home institution rests with the student. For more information see Tel Aviv University website.
Work hours: Workdays: Monday-Friday. Excavation - 5:30-12:45. Afternoons will include pottery washing, followed by academic lectures and weekly summary tours of the site.
Minimum stay: One week
Recreation: Kibbutz pool. Evenings - social, cultural and academic activities. Weekend tours in Israel, some requiring payment for transportation and entrance fees. Students enrolled for academic credit will be required to attend all lectures and tours.
Lecture/class: Twice a week, in evenings.
Insurance: Applicants must have medical authorization and health insurance (valid in Israel!) and complete medical form.
Contact: For further information about program content, contact: omertelaviv@gmail.com.
For registration please fill the application form and than e-mail to: excavations@ramat-rachel.org.il for hotel reservation.
 
NAHAL MAHANAYEEM OUTLET

The Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet is a Mousterian site located at the outlet of the Mahanayeem stream to the Jordan River, some 10 km north of the Sea of Galilee. The  artifacts (Mousterian lithic tools including, primarily, points and blades) and animal bones found within black muddy clay suggest a swamp environment at the time of occupation, about 200,000 years ago.

Director: Dr. Gonen Sharon, Hebrew University
Dates:

Aug 23 - Sept 17

Accommodation: Lodging is at an air-conditioned hostel with swimming pool at Kibbutz Gadot.
Insurance: All volunteers must carry proof of an internationally valid health/accident insurance policy during their stay at the excavation and in Israel.
Contact: Dr. Gonen Sharon - gonen.sharon@mail.huji.ac.il
Website: For registration details see website.
 
TIBERIAS

A new excavation project began in Tiberias in March 2009 dealing with a colonnaded structure in the heart of the ancient city. The building, originally called a covered market, may be a congregational mosque dating from the Early Islamic period. The main focus of the first season was to excavate the area of the colonnaded building, defining its phases, dating and architecture. Initial data prompted further research questions dealing with the building, its phases and its urban context.

Director: Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman, Hebrew University
Dates:

Oct 11 - Nov 6

Accommodation: Highly recommended and preferable to stay at the Aviv Hotel with the rest of the volunteers and archaeological staff, a 10 minute walk from the site.
Cost:

$400 (double room) / $500 (single room) per work week (Sunday evening until Friday morning)

Registration fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Work hours: Workdays: Monday-Friday. Excavation - 6:00-13:30. Afternoons will include Fieldtrips and pottery workshops, with lectures at the hotel in the evening.
Minimum stay: One week
Recreation: You will be close to all the tourist attractions in Tiberias: the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias Hot Springs, and the Promenade with its restaurants and pubs.
Insurance: All volunteers must carry proof of an internationally valid health/accident insurance policy during their stay at the excavation and in Israel.
Contact: For further information about program content, contact: Shulamit Miller at: tiberiasexcavation@yahoo.com.
Website: For registration details and application form see website.


Israel Antiquities Authority

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 information on volunteer opportunities available at the IAA, contact Mrs. Meyrav Shay, tel. 972-2-6204679, 972-52-4284408.

Volunteers from abroad should also prepare a photocopy of their insurance policy. 

Download IAA volunteer form

 
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