2015 Season

Update, 20 July: The 2015 season has now concluded. For the preliminary report on the results of the 2015 season, please click on the following link:

Preliminary Report on the Results of the 2015 Excavation Season at Tel Kabri final version

(NB: The following is no longer applicable, but may still be of interest to those contemplating participating in our next season, during the summer of 2017.)

The 2015 season will be from 14 June – 9 July 2015. Our attention will be focused on the storage rooms of the palace, continuing the excavation of the wine cellar that we found during the 2013 season:



Location and Accommodations

Tel Kabri is located in northern Israel, a short distance from Acco and Nahariyya; a longer drive from Haifa.

We will be staying at the Western Galilee Field School, by Achziv beach just north of the town of Nahariyya.


Workdays and Weekends

A typical excavation day begins in the field at 5 am and ends at 1 pm (yes, you read that correctly; this is a typical schedule for excavations in Israel, designed so that we dig during the coolest parts of the day, for the most part). After lunch and siesta/break, work on the finds continues between 4-6 pm in the excavation camp. For those who are enrolled in the field school, several afternoons a week will be dedicated to lectures and practice of field techniques.

The excavation work-week is Sunday through Thursday, with Fridays and Saturdays free. On those “weekends,” which actually begin immediately after work ends on Thursdays and last through Saturday afternoon, the rooms will still be available, but both volunteers and staff will be on their own for food from Thursday dinner through Saturday lunch, since so many team-members travel on the weekends to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, Haifa, Masada, and the Dead Sea. Team members are expected to be back in time for dinner (usually pizza) on Saturday evening.

Excavation Expectations

On Site

After a quick bus ride, Team Members will be on the tel and ready to work by 5AM. Team Members report to and act under the direction of their Area Supervisor. Supervisors will allocate tasks to the Team, depending on conditions in the field. Team Members are normally assigned to excavate within a single sector or Area to enable them to follow progress over the course of their stay. Weekly tours of the areas of excavation will furnish an overview of the Project as a whole. Back in camp, Team Members are expected to assist with the proper treatment of finds, including the washing and registration of objects.

Morning Working Conditions

Activity on the tel can be taxing, but is balanced between heavy excavation and meticulous work with small tools. Assignments range from loosening soil with pickaxes or hauling buckets or wheelbarrows of dirt, to trimming the sides of baulks with trowels, sifting for small objects or sweeping the ground to prepare for photography. Afraid that you might not find anything? Have no fear — you will be bringing buckets of pottery back to camp every day!

Afternoon Working Conditions

Work in shaded areas at the base camp includes washing and recording pottery and other artifacts, computer data entry, and other light tasks.

Temperatures and Gear

Daytime temperatures range from 82-95° F. (28-35 C.). Most of the excavation areas are shaded, and a steady breeze relieves the heat on most of the tel for much of the day. It is quite humid, however, and hats, sun block, and water bottles are obligatory. Sturdy boots to protect feet and ankles are also a must. In fact we do not allow sandals to be worn during work hours.

Program Dates and Costs

Full Season (4 weeks): 14 June – 9 July 2015

$750 per week ($600 for returnees and consortium members)

(Airfare, the credit course, and food and travel on weekends are not included in the above costs.)

All payments will be due in full by 1 April 2015. Those canceling between 2 April and 1 June will receive a half-refund, while those canceling between 2 May and 1 June will receive only a quarter-refund, and those canceling after 1 June will receive no refund at all, except under extenuating circumstances.

Application Procedures

Prospective volunteers must complete a preliminary application, which can be found by clicking the above “Application” link. For questions, please contact directly:

Eric H. Cline, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
The George Washington University, 335 Phillips Hall, 801 22nd St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20052
Tel: (202) 994-0316, Fax: (202) 994-2156; Email: ehcline@gwu.edu

2 thoughts on “2015 Season

    • One is supposed to be 18, yes, unless accompanied by a parent or a guardian. There is indeed a liability waiver to sign, once one is accepted. The official application form will be posted shortly.


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