The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Homepage Qeiyafa Ostracon Eshbaal Inscription The Gates Publications Media & Reports Photo Gallery

Khirbet Qeiyafa Volunteer Information

This section was organized by Ethan Fichter, Baltimore Hebrew University


Date of arrival: Sunday June 23rd 2013
Date of departure: Friday, July 19th 2013
Expedition Location: 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.
Rooms: 4 beds in an air-conditioned room, with adjacent shower/restroom.
Food: Mediterranean-style food is served in the hostel's dining room. Breakfast and dinner are vegetarian/dairy and lunch, with meat/chicken, is the main meal of the day. Vegetarian food is served at lunch as well. Food is kosher. There is a small supermarket in the village.


In order to register, a $50 registration fee is required to be sent along with the completed application to the excavation (check made out to the Israel Exploration Society) while lodging expenses will be assessed upon arrival ($400 per week or $1,600 per season) and will be paid directly to the hostel (credit card preferred).

Academic Credits

If seeking to receive academic credits for this excavation period, volunteers will need to apply through the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in addition to applying to the excavation. This can be done whiled being in the excavation. Three academic credits are offered. There is an $80 registration fee and credits are $120 each; thus, the fee for three credits is $440. Please make the check out to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The application form may be found on the HUJI website at: If there are any questions or concerns about the application process or tuition payment, they may be directed to:

Dept. of Summer Programs and Special Academic Programs
Rothberg International School
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Boyar Building, Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905

Tel: +972-2-588-2602
Fax: +972-2-588-2363


Before traveling to Israel, volunteers should obtain the documentation necessary for travel and in case of emergency. Photocopying passports and other vital documents (including credit cards, health documents, contact lists, etc…) is recommended in case an original or copy is lost or stolen; volunteers should keep at least one copy of their documentation on their person and in each piece of luggage at all times.

In addition to a passport, volunteers should check the extent and type of international coverage they have with their insurance providers; if not covered, volunteers must secure their own health and travel insurance. Student volunteers may want to learn more about obtaining an international student identity card which provides basic health and travel insurance and may include discounts on admissions to historic sites (for more information, check the CIEE website at
Volunteers should ensure they have received a tetanus shot recently before excavating and may be interested in receiving their hepatitis vaccination before traveling abroad.

Volunteers are also encouraged to inform their banks of their upcoming travel abroad and learn about their individual bank policies with regard to foreign exchange and transactions.
Be sure to bring several forms of currency as a contingency plan; i.e. cash, ATM and credit cards.


The following is designed to help volunteers prepare for excavation and travel while in Israel; this is not a complete list of required items but ideas to keep in mind when packing and planning.

Cellular Phone

Cell phone rentals will be left to the individual to organize. Talk 'n' Save and Israel Phones are trusted carriers in Israel and are highly recommended to volunteers. In order to setup delivery and payment, use the links provided below;
if you are interested in having the phone delivered to the hostel, please call Ramot Shapira at +972-2-533-1666 ahead of time to obtain permission.

Recommended Providers

  • Talk 'n' Save -
  • Israel Phones -

    Other Providers

  • Amigo -
  • ATS Telecom Systems -
  • Cellular Abroad -
  • Planet Omni -
  • Travel Cell -


    It is important to note that, while the weather in Israel during the period of excavation is very hot and dry, the early morning and later evenings can be relatively cool which volunteers should prepare for. It is also recommended that work clothing be of little or no value as they may be destroyed in the course of excavation and discarding work clothes following the dig will also allow for extra luggage space to accommodate purchases made in Israel. Above all, volunteers should pack light-weight clothing that provides protection from the sun. Below is a list of suggested articles of clothing all volunteers should bring.

  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Short and long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Light jacket and/or sweater/sweatshirt
  • Cotton shorts and pants
  • Swimsuit
  • Pajamas
  • Undergarments and socks
  • Work/walking shoes (closed-toe and ankle-height)
  • Sandals
  • Beach towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Work gloves (provided)

    Personal Supplies

    The following list of items includes necessities for daily life, the field and travel.

  • Toiletries
  • Grooming utensils
  • Foot powder
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry bag
  • Rucksack
  • Money belt/document courier
  • Map/Travel guide
  • Personal fist-aid kit (w/ needed medications)
  • Thermos/Nalgene or CamelBak
  • Notebook & pens/pencils
  • Power adapter/converter (120/240 volt)
  • Batteries
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Pocketknife
  • Corkscrew and bottle-opener


    Volunteers will be responsible for organizing their own travel to and from Israel and are likewise responsible for arriving at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem on time for Sunday morning pick-ups. It is recommended that volunteers join the Khirbet Qeiyafa 2009 Facebook group in order to meet fellow excavators and coordinate itineraries. Cabs can be quite expensive and unfamiliar travelers may not be comfortable with organizing their own public transportation. Below are the links to bus, train, taxi and car rental services.

  • Egged Bus Lines -
  • Israel Railways -
  • Taxi directory -
  • Car rental directory -


    The weekends begin Friday mornings after breakfast at 9.00 and end Sunday mornings at 10.00 when all participants must reconvene near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem to return to the hostel. Volunteers are asked to gather at the bus stops south of the Central Bus Station. A detailed map of this area is found here, below.
    In case of an emergency, contact Prof. Yossi Garfinkel at: +972-2-525-9220 (from outside Israel) or +05-2-525-9220 (from within Israel).

    Be sure to have tentative weekend travel plans organized before traveling to Israel; much of the public transportation stops running Friday afternoon and does not resume again until Saturday evening. Internet access may be limited and time to organize may be difficult to come by once excavation begins. While in Israel, volunteers are recommended to have cash reserves in case a credit card is lost, stolen or damaged. Additionally, volunteers should note that by paying for hotels with foreign currency or credit card, the VAT tax (16.5%) can be avoided when away from the hostel.

    Upon request Yossi can lead the first weekend a walking tour in the old city of Jerusalem that visits the four quarters. It will start at the Jaffa Gate at 9.00 Saturday morning and will last 3 hours.


    During the work week, volunteers will receive all they need from the hostel (room, board, transportation…) and is therefore unnecessary to spend money during the excavation; additionally, there is no store at the hostel to make purchases of items that were forgotten, lost or stolen. The expedition will present lectures in the evenings throughout the weeks which are open and free to all volunteers whether they are paying for academic credits or not.

    Daily Schedule

    The expedition will work five days a week, from Sunday to Thursday.

    Sunday: A bus will leave from Jerusalem's Central Bus Station each Sunday at 10.45. We will arrive at the hostel at 11.15, get our rooms by 11.30, have lunch at 12.00 and will leave for the site by 12.30.
    Meeting point every Sunday, near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, at 10.30 morning. Meeting Point at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem
    Work on Sunday will last until 20.00. Refreshments will be served at the site at 15.30 and 18.00. Dinner will be served at the hostel.
    Monday-Thursday: Wake-up is at 4.15 and departure to the site is at 4.40. Work will last from 5.10 to 13.00. There will be three breaks during the morning: 7.00-7.10 for coffee and biscuits, 9.00-9.30 for breakfast and 11.00-11.15 for watermelon. We will reach the hostel by 13.45 and have lunch immediately upon arrival. After a siesta, we will have pottery washing and pottery reading between 16.30 and 18.00. From 18.30 to 19.30 (Monday-Thursday) a lecture illustrated by slides on the archaeology of ancient Israel will be given. Dinner will be served at 20.00.
    Once a week there will be a weekly tour to nearby archaeological sites, like Tel Jarnuth, Mareshah, Lachish, Gezer, and the Israel Antiquity Authority storage rooms. In some of these days lunch will be served at the site instead the hostel.
    Friday: No work will be performed in the field. Breakfast will be served at 8.00 and at 9.00 a bus will depart for the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. 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).