Many people have told us that it has been their lifetime dream to work on an excavation. With numerous digs being conducted every year, you can make that dream come true—but not before you read the articles below, which we’ve selected to help you select a dig and to let you know what you can expect when you participate in one.

The articles below were hand-selected by Biblical Archaeology Society editors especially for members of the BAS Library.


How to Pick a Dig
Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1979 By Dan P. Cole

This coming summer more people than ever will join archaeological digs in Israel and elsewhere as volunteer workers. Some will be taking an important early step toward a professional career in archaeology Many will be earning academic credit for their work; others will be seeking adventure and experience simply for its own sake. […]

Eight Not-So-Obvious Questions to Ask Before Joining Your First Dig
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1994 By Jo David

“Find a private place and watch out for scorpions.”

Diggers—From Paid Peasants to Eager Volunteers
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1994 By Kenneth Atkinson

“The best age for diggers is about 15 to 20 years. After that many turn stupid, and only a small proportion are worth having between 20 and 40. After 40 very few are of any use,” advised Sir William Flinders Petrie in 1904.1 Fifteen years earlier, Petriea had ushered in the era of scientific […]

The Volunteer’s Contribution to Archaeology and Vice Versa
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1982 By Ellsworth E. Rosen

Except in Woody Allen movies, there are no “man-in-the-street” brain surgeons. No journal that I know of invites its readers to spend two weeks as volunteer atomic physicists. It’s different with archaeology. From the very beginning, the amateur was a key figure. Heinrich Schleimann, who revealed the treasures of ancient Troy in the 1870’s […]

Volunteer for Life: “Termite” Catches the Bug
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1992 By Theresa Wigginton

Gary “Termite” Lindstrom is a dig director’s dream. Lindstrom owns and operates a termite and pest control company in Oakland, California, and his profession requires him to inspect the dirt under buildings. But each June for the past 22 years, Gary has kissed his family goodbye and headed for Israel to dig in a […]

Volunteers’ Views
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1998

Exploring Biblical Roots