Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2012

Archaeological Excavations in Israel 2012


Rare gold bell discovered in excavations in Jerusalem (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)


This list of archaeological expeditions which accept volunteers is compiled by the Israel Foreign Ministry as a service to the public, and is not an endorsement of any of the projects listed. 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.


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.


(Listed by starting date)

This is a preliminary list. Additional digs will be added as the information becomes available.

Ein Gedi Jan 2-26
Omrit May 16 - June 22
Tel Megiddo East May 24 - June 12
Khirbet el-Maqatir May 26 - June 9
Tel Gezer May 27 - June 15
Ashkelon June 8 - July 21
Tel Burna June 10-29
Bethsaida June 17-30
Tel Dan June 21 - July 19
Megiddo June 16 - Aug 2
Tiberias June 24 - July 20
Khirbet Qeiyafa June 24 - July 21
Tel Hazor June 24 - Aug 3
Kfar HaHoresh June 24 - Aug 3
Tel 'Eton June 24 - July 6
Tel Rehov June 26 - July 7
Tel Akko June 30 - July 28
Hippos (Sussita) July 1-26
Tell es-Safi/Gath

July 1-27

Tell Azekah July 15 - Aug 24
Apollonia-Arsuf Aug 6-31

Note: No excavations will be carried out at Tel Dor in 2012.


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.
In January 2012 we intend to reveal a large dwelling house by the synagogue that was partly excavated in the 70's, which may be "Halfi House" mentioned in the synagogue inscription.
Director: Dr. Gideon Hadas, Kibbutz Ein Gedi. The expedition operates under the auspices of the Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 
Dates: Jan 2-26, 2012
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 -,
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.

Youth hostel: $345 room and board per 5-day week (Sunday afternoon 14.00, till Friday morning, 10.00)
Volunteers wishing to remain at the Youth Hostel over the weekend will make arrangements to do so at the Youth Hostel reception desk.
Those wishing to set up their own tent will participate in the cost of meals. Public showers are available at the Ein Gedi beach.

Registration fee: $35 (non-refundable). Returning volunteers exempt.
Minimum participation: One week
Application deadline: Dec 1, 2011
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:
Website: For more information and application form see website
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. Omrit is one of the few examples of Roman imperial presence and rule in Israel, untouched, and virtually intact.
Directors: Prof. J. Andrew Overman from Macalester College, St. Paul, USA
Dates: May 16 - June 22
Accommodation: Kibbutz Kfar Szold, hotel-style rooms with air conditioning and kitchenettes.
Cost: $3200 (payable in two installments - Jan 30 and Feb 29). Includes international airfare (departure from and return to Chicago), airport transfers in Israel, room and board, dig equipment and supplies. Deposit of $500 is due with application.
Application deadline: April 26, 4:00 pm
Academic credit: It is possible to take the course for summer school credit through Carthage College. To receive credit for the course, it is necessary to attend for the entire time.
The cost of course credit is not included, and will be approximately $1000.00 more.
Carthage Course Designation - Religion/Classics 325: Field Archaeology Supervised on-site archaeological fieldwork experience and research problems.
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. On Sundays, excursions to places like Akko, Caesarea Maritima, Tel Dan, Banias, Sephoris, and other sites. At the end of the trip we spend two days in the south and visit Jerusalem, Masada, and Qumran.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance, and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Professor Dan Schowalter, Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, WI 53141. Email
Website: For more information and application form see:
TEL MEGIDDO EAST In 2010, the Jezreel Valley Regional Project began exploring the vast Early Bronze Age settlement known as Tel Megiddo East. The acropolis of Tel Megiddo is currently under excavation by the Megiddo Expedition, and surveys indicated that a large and contemporaneous settlement lies across the modern highway from the remarkable remains of the 5,000-year-old Megiddo temple. In 2011, the JVRP began full-scale excavations of the Early Bronze city, revealing houses, grain storage facilities, and large terrace walls supporting major structures contemporary with the Great Temple. In 2012, the JVRP will continue its exploration of the city of the Great Temple builders, focusing on several new areas never before investigated.
Director: Dr. Matthew J. Adams, Bucknell University, Classics Department
Dates: May 24 - June 12
Accommodation: Mul HaCarmel, a bed-and-breakfast at centrally located Kibbutz Ramat HaShofet.
Cost: Standard room & board, early bird rate (Pay by Feb 1, 2012): $1600
Standard room & board: $1750
Meals on free days (Wednesday) not included. For shorter say contact
Registration fee: $100 non-refundable deposit
Minimum participation: Flexible
Work hours: Excavation - 5:00-13:00; Processing work at kibbutz - 16:00-18:00. Special programming (eg, lectures) - 18:00-19:00
Workdays: Thursday morning through Tuesday afternoon.
Recreation: The kibbutz boasts a grocery store, swimming pool, pub, free wi-fi, sports facilities, and BBQ facilities.
Application deadline: Submit a completed Medical Form, Liability Release Form, and proof of medical insurance by May 1, 2012
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance valid in Israel in advance, and offer proof of doing so.

Matthew J. Adams, 667 Franklin St.,State College, PA

Website: For more information and application form see JVRP website
KHIRBET EL-MAQATIR The location of the city of Ai mentioned in Joshua 7-8 has long been a matter of mystery and controversy. Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir have uncovered topography, fortifications and pottery that strongly suggest this site as a candidate for the site of the enigmatic city that the Biblical narrative recounts as having been conquered by Joshua's army.
Directors: Prof. Bryant G. Wood, University of Toronto, for the Associates for Biblical Research.
Dates: May 26 - June 9
Accommodation: Yad Hashmonah
Cost: The full GROUND ONLY (Saturday May 26 - Saturday June 9) price for this trip is $2399 (own flight, double occupancy, and meals). Partial trips can be priced on an individual basis.
Registration fee: $500 deposit
Minimum participation: None
Application  deadline: Final payment in full is due NOON April 30, 2012.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance valid in Israel in advance, and offer proof of doing so.

Henry B. Smith, Jr.
Associates for Biblical Research
P.O. Box 144
Akron, PA 17501
Phone: 1-800-430-0008
Fax: 1-717-859-3393

Website: For more information and application form see ABR 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. Excavations will focus on re-opening the ancient water system that was first discovered in the early 1900’s but was not entirely explored.

Dr. Steven M. Ortiz, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Tsvika Tsuk, Director of Archaeology for Israel Parks Authority

Dates: May 27 - June 15
Accommodation: Air-conditioned suites at Neve Shalom, full room and board. Each suite sleeps four individuals and has one bathroom.
Cost: $1500 for the 3-week season, or $500 per week. The price does not include airfare to and from Israel or weekend study tours.
Weekend Travel: The expedition will arrange several field trips covering key areas of Israel.
Registration fee: $500 deposit
Academic program and credit:

Undergraduate or graduate course credit for up to 6 semester hours is available. Additional tuition fees apply.

Minimum participation: Preference to volunteers who join the project for the full five weeks of the excavation season. It is possible to arrange for a minimum two week stay upon approval by the project directors.
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: May 1, 2012
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.
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.

Dr. Dan Warner ( or Dr. Dennis Cole (

Website: For registration details and application form see blog and website.
ASHKELON From the Canaanite era (2000-1200 B.C.), Ashkelon is the oldest and largest seaport known in Israel. In 2012, we will uncover Ashkelon's history from the Bronze Age through the Crusades. One area will continue to trace Canaanite courtyards and Philistine houses, another will focus on Hellenistic villas, and a third will trace the history of the monumental architecture at the heart of Ashkelon's Roman forum.
Directors: Lawrence E. Stager and Adam J. Aja, Harvard University
Dates: June 9 – July 20
Accommodation: Dan Gardens Hotel - rooms shared by four persons.

Full Season: $3300. Half Season: $1650. Summer School Program: $5500

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. Half season participation is possible but credit is only available for full season participants.
For more information and application see website.

Application fee: $50 (nonrefundable)
Application deadline: April 9 (February 3 for Harvard College students applying for funding)
Minimum age: Students must be at least 18 years old, have completed at least 1 year of college or be a first-year student, and be in good academic standing to apply.
Minimum participation: Half season session: June 9-30 or June 30-July 20
Work hours: Sunday-Friday: Excavation - 5:30-1:00;
Pottery washing - 4:30-6:30 except on Fridays.
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: Ashkelon Excavations,, or Sandy North, volunteer coordinator, (617) 495-9385
Website: For more information and application form see Harvard excavation website or Dig Ashkelon.
TEL BURNA Tel Burna is located in the Shephelah region, which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age. A fertile area that supported agricultural production, the region became known as the breadbasket of the south and is believed by some scholars to be a candidate for Biblical Libnah, a Canaanite town that was conquered by Joshua who allotted it to the tribe of Judah. The first two seasons at Tel Burna began revealing Late Bronze and Iron Age II levels, including the fortifications and a series of silos. They provide the first step in a long-term investigation of the site’s history, particularly stressing its location along the Judean-Philistine border.
Director: Dr. Itzhaq Shai and Dr. Joe Uziel, Institute of Archaeology, Bar Ilan University
Dates: June 10-29
Accommodation: Standard lodgings are 4-6 people per room.
Cost for volunteers: $450 per week.
Registration fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Application and payment deadline: May 1, 2012
Minimum stay and age: One week.
Volunteers under the age of 18 must have the consent of their parents/legal guardians.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance, and offer proof of doing so. All participants must be of sound mind and body, enabling participation in an exerting physical activity, in (occasionally adverse) outdoor conditions. Participants are required to undergo a medical examination prior to the excavation and present a medical doctor's authorization.
Work hours: Volunteers will participate both in excavation (ca. 6AM-1PM) and in post-excavation activities such as pottery washing which will be conducted in the afternoon and evening.FONT>
Contact: Itzhaq Shai or
Joe Uziel
Institute of Archaeology
Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, Israel, 52900
Telephone: 011-972-544-70-0596, 011-972-526-427-645
Website: For more information and application form see:
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: June 17-30
Accommodation: Ginosar Inn on Kibbutz Ginosar, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee
Cost: $603-1,177 per week according to type (dorm, triple, double, single)
Registration fee: $200 deposit (refundable until April 2, 2012)
Minimum participation: One week
Work days:

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: or
Website: For more information and application form see:
TEL DAN Tel Dan is one of the most important sites for the archaeological and historical recovery of ancient Israel. The city of Dan represented the northern border of the Biblical kingdom of Israel. It was here, 2,900 years ago, that King Hazael of Damascus punctuated his invasion of Israelite territory with the erection of the famous House of David inscription, the oldest document to mention the historical King David.
Directors: David Ilan - Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Union College
Dates: June 24 - July 21
Cost: $590 per week. Academic credit for 4-week stay: 3 credits/$500
Registration fee: $100 registration fee (refundable if applicant is not accepted)
Application deadline: May 1, 2012
Minimum participation: Two weeks (4 week stay required for academic credit from Hebrew Union College)
Accommodation: Kibbutz Snir Inn
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: or
Levana Zias, Hebrew Union College, 13 King David Street, Jerusalem 94101 ISRAEL
Website: For more information and application form see

Strategically perched above the most important land route in the ancient Near East, the city of Megiddo dominated international traffic for over 6,000 years - from ca. 7,000 BCE to biblical times. As civilizations came and went, succeeding settlements at ancient Megiddo were built on the ruins of their predecessors, creating a multi-layered archaeological legacy that abounds in unparalleled treasures that include monumental temples, lavish palaces, mighty fortifications, and remarkably-engineered water systems. Megiddo's location explains its longevity: it controlled a bottleneck on the Via Maris, the "Way of the Sea," 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 Megiddo Expedition is directed by Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin (Tel Aviv University), with Eric H. Cline (The George Washington University) serving as Associate Director (USA). The expedition is undertaken under the auspices of Tel Aviv University, in conjunction with The George Washington University as Senior Consortium Member and Loyola Marymount University, Vanderbilt University, and Chapman University as Consortium Members.

Dates: June 16 - July 5; and July 7 - Aug 2

Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet. All rooms have private facilities with up to 4 people per room. Full room and board during workdays (Sunday-Thursday). You are free to stay on the kibbutz for the weekend or take day trips - meals not provided.

Cost: Both sessions (7 weeks): $2850
Session 1 (3 weeks): $1475
Session 2 (4 weeks): $1900
Discounts for returnees and Consortium students.
Academic credit:

The Educational Program aims to integrate the excavation experience into archaeological theory and into contemporary archaeological and historical knowledge of Megiddo, the Jezreel Valley and the wider region. Field trips are included for registrants.
Each course is worth 3 credit hours from Tel Aviv University.

Registration fee: $50 non-refundable deposit
Work hours: Sun.-Thurs. Daily work on the tel and in the camp begins at 5:00 AM and finishes by 1:00 PM. It resumes in camp at 4:00 PM with the processing of finds, a requirement for all Team Members.
Recreation: Swimming pool and sports facilites on kibbutz. Weekends at leisure.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Norma Franklin -
Website: For more information and application form see: Megiddo Expedition website

Several excavations have been conducted in Tiberias during the past fifty years, uncovering finds from the Calcholithic through the Ottoman periods. A new excavation project began in Tiberias in March 2009 dealing with a colonnaded structure in the heart of the ancient city, recently been shown to be not a market but a congregational mosque dating from the Early Islamic period. Special finds to date include: a mosaic floor, Arabic inscriptions, complete oil lamps and hundreds of coins, all of great importance in dating the site's phases.

Director: Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman, Hebrew University

June 24 - July 20. First half season (June 24 - July 6); Second half season (July 48-20)

Accommodation: The expedition will be staying at the Aviv Hotel, a 10 minute walk from the site along the promenade of the Sea of Galilee, and a five minute walk from the city center of modern Tiberias. All rooms have a private bathroom, TV, air-conditioning and a balcony; there is also free Wi-Fi access in the hotel lobby. Single and double rooms are available, as are camping options.

Half season - Hotel $1350; campsite $250. Full season - Hotel $2550; campsite $425. Prices include full room and board from Sunday evening check in through Friday morning check out from the hotel as well as all excavation related activities, field trips and lectures.
Special discounts will be given to: Students (particularly of archaeology and related disciplines), returning volunteers and two people sharing a room - applicable to volunteers who complete registration by June 1, 2012.

Registration fee: $100 (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: Half season
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:
Website: For registration details and application form see website.
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.

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

Dates: June 24 - July 21
Accommodation: Bet Meir Hostel, 15 minutes drive from Jerusalem and 25 minutes drive to the site. 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: Lodging expenses (Sunday afternoon through Friday morning) will be assessed upon arrival ($400 per week or $2,000 per season) and will be paid directly to the hostel (credit card preferred). Anyone wishing to stay at the hostel for the weekend must arrange this directly with reception and pay an additional fee (ca $50 per day).
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 $80 registration fee and $120 per credit. Application form:
Work hours:

Sunday: 13:00-20:00
Monday-Thursday: 5.00-13.00
Pottery washing and pottery reading daily 16.30-18.00.

Lectures and trips: From 18.30 to 19.30 (Monday-Thursday) a lecture illustrated by slides on the archaeology of ancient Israel will be given.
Once a week there will be a tour to nearby archaeological sites, like Tel Jarnuth, Mareshah, Lachish, Gezer, and the Israel Antiquity Authority storage rooms.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: For registration and academic credit inquiries, please contact Prof. Yosef Garfinkel:
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. 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.

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

Dates: June 24 - August 3. The season is divided into two 3 week sessions: June 24 - July 13; and July 15 - August 3. Preference will be given to those who apply for the entire 6-week season.
Accommodation: Kfar HaNassi
Cost: $1440 per session ($480 per week x 3) or $2700 for those who register for the entire period.
Registration fee: $75 nonrefundable registration fee. Remittance by personal or bank check must be payable only to: The Israel Exploration Society. Payment by credit card is also possible.
Credit courses: Students may arrange to receive academic credit (undergraduate or graduate level) through the Rothberg International School. These credit points can be transferred to the student’s home institution. The cost is 80$ for the application fee and 120$ per 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 14:30 p.m. - excavation and pottery washing.
Lectures: A series of lectures during the week will provide training in field archaeology and the interpretation of finds.
Recreation: The kibbutz has a swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts. On weekends participants may stay at Kfar HaNassi and relax or travel on their own.
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
Website: For registration details and application form see Hazor website.
KFAR HAHORESH Kfar HaHoresh is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) site located on the southern bank of Nahal Tzvi, a small wadi issuing into the Jezreel valley from the western flanks of the Nazareth Hills in lower Galilee. The excavated areas at Kfar HaHoresh, now totaling 500 sqm, include at least six distinct architectural levels. Numerous human burials have been documented at Kfar HaHoresh. Based on its location, together with the wide range of unusual architectural and mortuary installations and practices on-site ,as well as the varied nature of the material culture remains and their contextual co-associations, Kfar Hahoresh has been interpreted as a mortuary and cult site, likely serving portions of communities in nearby settlements in the lowlands.

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

Dates: June 24 - Aug 3
Accommodation: Participants will share room with two or three other volunteers in a Kibbutz guest house. Food is provided.
Cost: $500 per week
Registration fee: $150 (non-refundable) payable by 1 May 2010
Application deadline: 1 May 2012
Minimum participation: 3 weeks
Credit courses: Students participating in the program can receive academic credits through the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University. This entails additional fee of $120 for 1 academic credit point, each equals 1 week of participation. There is an additional $80 application fee.
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, together with confirmation of their acceptance to the dig.
Field program:

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. 

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

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
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
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

TEL 'ETON Tel 'Eton is a large site, located in the southeastern Judean Shephelah (lowland). The site, which lies at an important crossroads, was inhabited during the Early, Middle and Late Bronze Ages, as well as most phases of the Iron Age and in the late Persian or early Hellenistic period.
Major finds: Destruction layer from the time of Sennacherib (701 BCE), which sealed many buildings of a well-planned Judahite city. The structures were found with the finds still in situ. Most notable among the buildings is a large (250 sq.m.) and well-built four-room house, which probably served as the governor's residence. Other finds include the city's fortifications as well as strata from the Iron IIA, Iron I and Late Bronze Age.

Prof. Avraham Faust, Bar Ilan University

Dates: June 24 - July 6
Accommodation: Kibbutz Kramim in the northern Negev, not far from Beer-Sheva. All rooms are air-conditioned and have private facilities (4-6 people in a room).
Cost: $450 per week (Sunday afternoon - Friday morning). Separate arrangements can be made for staying during the weekend.
Registration fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Minimum participation: One week, preferably two.
Academic credit: The educational program will discuss the finds from Tel 'Eton, and will integrate them within those found in the Shephelah and in the entire country. The focus will be on the time-frame from the Late Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age and the Persian-Hellenistic period. Two weeks participation gives 3 Bar-Ilan University credits (the course costs $400).
Working hours:

Sunday-Friday, daily work on the site and in the camp begins at app. 5:00 AM and finishes at app. 1:00 PM. It resumes in camp at about 4:00 PM with the processing of finds (pottery washing, pottery reading, etc.). On Sunday we excavate in the afternoon. 

Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.

Zev Farber (Emory University), at; cell: 404 693 4494 (1749 N Holly Ln, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329)


Located on the Mediterranean Sea and the only natural harbor in the region, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Acre/Akko is the focus of this unique and cutting-edge archaeological field school. Known locally as Tell Napoleon or Tell el-Fukhar, excavations on this ancient mound, situated east of the modern city of Akko, have uncovered remains of Canaanite, “Sea Peoples,” Phoenician, Persian, Greek, and Hellenistic culture. During more recent times, it is famous as the city that withstood Napoleon's two-month siege and marked the end of his campaign to conquer the Middle East. The field school includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of archaeological fieldwork, and science diving training.


Dr. Ann Killebrew, associate professor of archaeology in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Department of Anthropology at Penn State.

Dates: June 30 - July 28
Cost: The estimated program fee of $6,581 (6 credits) includes tuition as well as the class fee.

The program is open to all Penn State students and students from other institutions with a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.

Academic program: Several 3 and 6 credit course options are available, including field excavation and diving. An additional post-excavation 3-credit study tour of Israel (July 29–August 8) is also available.
Registration fee: The $1,000 nonrefundable deposit must be submitted to complete an application. If the student is not accepted, the deposit is refunded. Otherwise, the deposit is applied to the class fee.
Application deadline: February 17, 2012
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Regarding program content:
Dr. Ann E. Killebrew, Pennsylvania State University, 319 Weaver Building, University Park PA 16802, Phone: 814-865-1686, Email:
Regarding application process:
Judith Meder, Program Planner, Pennsylvania State University, 240 Outreach Building, University Park PA 16802, Phone: 814-865-4591, Fax: 814-865-3749, Email: 
Website: For more information see website. Submit your online application through Penn State Education Abroad.

Excavation at Tel Rehov, the location of the largest ancient Canaanite and Israelite site in the Beth-Shean Valley, began in 1997. In 2010, we plan a five week season, focusing on exposing more of the 10th century BCE beehive area in Area C, including a newly exposed structure where last season two complete cult stands were found and that appears to have a cultic function. Another focus of our excavation is a large public structure dating to the Late Bronze IIB in Area D. 


Professor Amihai Mazar, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Dates: June 26 - July 7

Volunteers will live at Kibbutz Bet Alfa - 3-4 people in air-conditioned suite with attached kitchenette, shower, toilet, and cable TV. 

Cost: 2011 FIGURES: Full board - First week (6 nights: June 14-19): $315; second, third and fourth weeks (7 nights a week: June 20-July 10): $365 per week; fifth week (5 nights: July 11-16): $265. Double and single rooms available for an additional fee.
Minimum stay:

Three weeks 

Work hours: Workdays Monday-Friday: Excavation - 5:30-12:30; pottery washing and sorting- 16:30. Lectures one-two times a week - 20:00.
Recreation: Kibbutz swimming pool, parties and barbeques. Weekends free.
Registration fee: $50 non-refundable registration fee (deducted from final payment).
Application  deadline: April 1, 2012
Academic credit: 4-6 academic credits will be granted from the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Academic Credit Tuition Cost: To be announced shortly.
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: For general information: 
Website: For more information and application form see:
HIPPOS (SUSSITA) Hippos (Sussita), one of two cities of the Decapolis located in Israel, is located on the eastern shore of Tiberias Lake, a short distance from Kibbutz Ein-Gev.
This season's plans: Excavations of a Roman period basilica, excavation and preservation of the North-East insula, excavations of the Roman-Byzantine southern bathhouse, excavations at the living quarters, and continue preservation treatment in all sites exposed so far.
Director: Dr. Michael Eisenberg, University of Haifa
Dates: July 1-26. 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, 2-4 per room, on the shore of Tiberias Lake. Full board, a/c.
Cost: 455 Euro per full week (Sun-Sat) or 1612 Euro for the entire season (including weekends).
Registration fee: 80 Euro (nonrefundable) in personal or bank check. Fee will be deducted from total cost of participants.
Application deadline: May 1, 2012
Work hours: Excavation (Sunday-Thursday): 05:00-12:00, with additional work assignments and lectures in the afternoon and evenings.
Recreation: Guided tours; 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: Dr. Michael Eisenberg, Co-Director, Hippos (Sussita) Project, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
Tel. 972-4-8249392; Fax: 972-4-8249876
Website: For registration details and application form
TELL ES-SAFI/GATH Tell es-Safi, identified as Canaanite and Philistine Gath (home of biblical Goliath!) and Medieval "Blanche Garde," is one of the largest pre-classical sites in the Levant, settled continuously from late Prehistoric through Modern times. Since 1996, excavations at the site have revealed fascinating and groundbreaking finds, including the earliest known siege system in the world, the earliest deciphered Philistine inscription, and extremely rich and well-preserved evidence of various cultures, peoples, and historical events, spanning some six millennia of occupation.
In the 2012 season, excavation will continue on several levels, with particular emphasis on the Early and Late Bronze Ages, and various stages of the Iron Age.
Director: Prof. Aren Maeir
Dates: July 1-27
Accommodation: Kibbutz Revadim. Air-conditioned rooms, 4-6 per room; single and double rooms available at extra charge, subject to availability. If you are interested in staying on the kibbutz for the weekend, an additional payment is required.
Cost for volunteers: US$450 per week (Sunday afternoon - Friday morning), or US$1750 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, 2012
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 (
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
Website: For more information and registration package see
TELL AZEKAH The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition is part of the regional Ellah Valley project, which includes a regional survey and excavations of Tell Azekah.
Director: Prof. Oded Lipschits
Dates: July 15 - Aug 24
Accommodation: Nes-Harim guest house - fully air conditioned wooden cabins, 4 per room - full board (Sunday-Friday).
Cost for volunteers:

US$465 per week (Sunday afternoon - Friday morning). Includes academic lectures, bus-service, evening tours, afternoon archaeological programs and social activities.

Payment deadline: May 1, 2012. If you withdraw from the expedition before May 1st, you will receive a full refund less US$100 cancellation fee.
Academic program:

Students interested in academic credits can join one or more of the three academic courses:
- Introduction to Field Archaeology
- History and Archaeology of the Judean Lowlands
- Theology Course
Each course is three credits, $300 per course.

Work hours:

Sunday: 13:00 - Complimentary bus leaving from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem central stations
15:30-19:30 - Short digging session
Monday-Thursday: Excavation - 5:15-13:00; afternoon sessions and pottery washing - 16:30-19:00 .
Friday: Excavation - 5:00-10:45.

Minimum stay: Two weeks
Recreation: Weekend tours to other parts of Israel (with an additional fee)
Insurance: Applicants must have medical authorization and health insurance (valid in Israel!) and complete medical form.
Contact: Project administrator, Omer Sergi, Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University
Website: For more information and registration package see website
Apollonia-Arsuf is located in the northwestern part of the modern city of Herzliya on a kurkar (fossilized dune sandstone) ridge overlooking the Mediterranean shore some 15 km. north of Tel-Aviv. A modest coastal settlement in proto-historical and biblical times, it became the only maritime center of the southern Sharon Plain from the late 6th century B.C.E. until the mid-13th century C.E. It was also the central site for primary and secondary glass production on the coastal plain in the Byzantine period. Excavations at Apollonia-Arsuf will continue to explore the site's economic basis and political affinity, as well as its cultural and economic interactions with other Mediterranean centers during its periods of successive occupation.
Director: Prof. Oren Tal, Institute of Archaeology, Tel-Aviv University
Dates: August 6-31. The season is divided into 4 weekly sessions.
Accommodation: Tadmor Hotel, Herzliya - tourist-class hotel, fully air-conditioned, with a swimming pool.
Cost: US$ 500 per week, including hotel accommodation, breakfast and lunch on working days, breakfast on weekends.
Registration fee: $100 (nonrefundable)
Work hours: Excavation (Monday-Friday): 07:00-14:00.
14:45-17:00: Occasional lectures on subjects of general interest and/or pottery sorting workshop
Recreation: Adjacent Mediterranean beach.
Deadlines: May 1, 2012 - Full participation fees due.
Minimum participation: Minimum of a one-week session, preferably two
Minimum age: 16
Insurance: Volunteers must arrange their own medical and accident insurance in advance and offer proof of doing so.
Contact: Volunteer coordinator: Ilan Shachar
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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