A lengthy list of 1988 volunteer dig opportunities may be found in the January/February BAR (“1988 Excavation Opportunities: Sites,” BAR 14:01). Additional places appear in
A Hellenistic-Herodian site near Haifa poses the question: Is this the site of Gabba-Hippeon, the administrative center where Herod the Great housed his cavalry men? Four seasons of digging at the site, near Kibbutz Sha’ar ha-Amakim, ten miles from Haifa, have exposed a monumentally constructed, Hellenistic building believed to have been a small fortress and a subterranean water supply corridor. Coins, pottery and the style of stone-dressing indicate that the building and other finds date to the third to first centuries B.C.
In August 1988, archaeologists intend to finish clearing the underground water supply system. They also hope to uncover the area surrounding the Hellenistic building. Volunteers may join the dig for two weeks or more. Room and full board will be provided at the kibbutz for $18 (U.S.) per day.
Contact: Dr. Arthur Segal, Archaeology Dept., Haifa Univ., Haifa 31999, Israel.
This excavation investigates an Early Bronze I village (c. 3000 B.C.), located near Beth Shemesh, 18 miles west of Jerusalem. Dr. Amihai Mazar, of Hebrew University, and Dr. Pierre de Miroschedji, of the French Archaeological Center in Jerusalem, will direct the dig, which will be conducted from July 10 through August 5, 1988.
Volunteers must stay at least two weeks. Accommodations will be at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies, which also offers two academic credits (three lecture days are required, and the academic course begins on July 7). Some free accommodations in Jerusalem are also available. Full board and transportation to the site cost $140 a week, with tuition and accommodation for the lecture days costing $150 extra.
Contact: Dr. Amihai Mazar, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel.
One of the largest Bronze Age sites in Israel, Tel Kabri reached the zenith of its occupation during the Middle Bronze Age (2000–1600 B.C.). At that time, a huge earthen rampart and wall fortified the city, which covered more than 79 acres. The city came to its end before the transition to the Late Bronze Age, and later occupation concentrated on the small mound near the site’s southwestern corner.
The first two seasons of excavation, under the direction of Dr. Aharon Kempinski, revealed the Middle Bronze fortification system, part of a planned urban quarter and a portion of a Middle Bronze Age monumental palace.
The 1988 season will take place July 10 through August 11. Food and lodging at a fully equipped camp near the site cost $8.00 per day. Registration fee: $25.
Contact: Elli Miron, Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel.
Significant discoveries from two eras highlight the excavation at Nahal Yattir. One of the best-preserved public buildings from the 11th century B.C. has already been cleared. In addition, the site features a Persian fortress dated to the fifth century B.C. An Aramaic ostracon (inscribed potsherd) found in the fortress suggests the presence of a Jewish community here in the Persian era. The last two hours of the 1987 season exposed a small Egyptian scarab dated to about 1000 B.C.
The cost for participation in the 1988 season, from July 15 through August 13, is $2,145. Academic credit costs an additional $100. Accommodations will be at Beit Yatziv Hostel in Beer-Sheva. Lectures and field trips to sites in the south are planned.
Contact: Prof. Steven Derfler, Dept. of Religion, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN 55104; tel: (612) 641–2392.
Known as the “Masada of the North,” the ancient Jewish city of Gamla, located on the Golan Heights overlooking the Sea of Galilee, fell to the Romans in 67 A.D. According to the historian Josephus, the defenders here, as at Masada, committed suicide rather than surrender at the end of the four-week siege. The site has yielded some ritual baths, ballistae stones from the Roman attack and the remains of the earliest known synagogue in Israel.
The 1988 excavation season will be divided into two sessions, May 1 until May 27 and July 31 until September 9, under the direction of Shmarya Gutmann. The cost is $45 per week, and the minimum stay is two weeks. Volunteers will be accommodated in army tents, with showers provided.
Contact: Gamla Excavations, Golan Museum, P.O. Box 30, Katzrin 12900, Israel.
Is It Safe to Dig in Israel This Summer?
Many people are wondering whether it is safe to go to Israel this summer to work at an archaeological dig.
The answer is yes.
Having just returned from Israel on March 18, 1988, I can report that security does not appear to be a problem if you stay away from obvious “hot” spots. Most excavations are far from disturbed areas. Here life goes on as usual. So I would encourage you to go to these locations and dig. It should be a rewarding and safe summer.
It is also an extremely interesting time to be in Israel. There is much to see and to learn. You are likely to return far more knowledgeable and with a new perspective. So don’t deprive yourself. Go and dig in Israel this summer.
The cult stands in the photographs in the July/August 1987 BAR (“Cult Stands: A Bewildering Variety of Shapes and Sizes,” BAR 13:04) are in the collections of the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums. We are glad to supply our readers with this information. The department is a helpful resource for all of us, and we are pleased to acknowledge its continuing assistance.