This list of archaeological expeditions which accept volunteers is compiled by the Israel Foreign Ministry as a service to the public. The archaeology excavation details below been published by the archaeologists in charge of the individual expeditions, who bear responsibility for their contents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Listed by starting date)
This is a preliminary list. Additional digs will be added as the information becomes available.
There will be no field excavations at Tel Gezer in 2010. The next excavations will take place June 13 - July 15, 2011.
The next excavations at Mount Zion will take place in June/July 2011.
Ein Gedi January 4-28
Omrit Late May - Late June
Bethsaida May 23 - June 5; June 6 - June 19
Zeitah June 6-30
Ashkelon June 6 - July 16
Megiddo June 12 - July 29
Tel Rehov June 15 - July 16
Tel Hazor June 20 - July 9; July 11-30
Khirbet Qeiyafa June 20 - July 30
Hippos (Sussita) July 4-31
Tel Dor July 5 - August 12
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