Join the Dig!

Information for Participants in the Yavneh-Yam Excavation, 2011 
July 18th - August 12th, 2011

General Information

The 2011 season of excavations at Yavneh-Yam will run from July 18th to August 12th. We are looking to recruit volunteers interested in a 'working holiday', helping us to uncover some of the secrets of the past. Previous experience on an archaeological dig is obviously desirable, but certainly not essential.
The minimum age for volunteers is 16 years. There is no maximum and the dig is open to anybody in good health that feels capable of manual work in the field.
You may join us for the whole season, or for a minimum of a one-week session, preferably two. Experience has taught us that, for most volunteers, one week is barely enough to get into the swing of things, and then as you really start to get involved, it is almost time to leave!
The participation fee is $500 per week, which includes accommodation, all meals, daily transportation to and from the excavation site, on-the-job training, evening lectures and organized weekend excursions. It does not include transportation to and from Israel, or transfers to and from the Ayanot Youth Village, where the expedition will be based. For week-end-over-stay at Ayanot Youth Village (from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening) an extra fee of US $ 80 is requested. This should be arranged 2-3 days before the weekend in order to prepare the Youth Village staff. Those participating for three weeks or more will benefit from a 5% discount.

Registration is now in progress. We ask you to read carefully the terms and conditions as set out in the application form, and then forward it to us, Professor Moshe Fischer, at the following e-mail address:
Your application will be processed and you will receive written confirmation when it has been accepted.

Ayanot Village

We'd like to give you some important information about your participation in the excavation and your stay at the Ayanot Youth Village, which is a 15 minute drive from the excavation site. Ayanot is situated approximately 20 kms south of Tel Aviv, along road No. 42, between Rishon Lezion and Yavneh.
You can reach Ayanot either by taxi or by public transport (there is a bus stop in front of the main gate of Ayanot Village). There are buses to and from Tel Aviv via Rishon Lezion. The line numbers are 310 and 178. The buses run every 20 minutes. From Tel Aviv you can reach all parts of the country.


We ask you to arrange your travel plans so as to arrive at Ayanot the day your session starts, which is on one of the Sundays (July 17, 24, 31 or August 7), no earlier than 2 pm and no later than 10 pm. 

Working in the field under the Near East Sun

We will erect screen netting that provides a degree of shade, but the sun is strong and you will be spending several hours each day in the field. You should provide yourselves with suitable, comfortable working clothes, strong shoes (not open sandals), hat, sunglasses, and skin protection (sun block). We will provide work gloves.
It is essential to drink water continuously, in order to prevent dehydration . We will provide cold water during the time spent in the field, but personal water bottles are also recommended.

Board and Accommodations

You will be staying in the Ayanot dorms in air-conditioned rooms for 3-4 people, each room with toilet and shower.  Bed linen is provided, but you should bring your own towels. There is a refrigerator in the clubroom, which you can use for storing perishables.

Meals (kosher kitchen) will be served as follows:

Breakfast: will be brought to the site.
Lunch: will be served at the Ayanot dining room, between 1:00-2:00 pm
Dinner: will be served at the Ayanot dining room, between 7:00-7:30 pm

In addition, an afternoon snack will be provided at your accommodation.

Daily Schedule (Mondays through Fridays)

4:20-4:50 am .................... Wake-up and facilities for self-service hot drinks

4:50 am ............................. Transportation to the site

5:00 am ............................. Work starts

9:00-9:30 am .................... Breakfast

12:00  ................................  Work finishes

1:00-2:00 pm ....................  Lunch

2:00-4:30 pm ...................   Rest period

4:30-6:30 pm  ...................  Treatment of finds (mainly pottery washing) - Not Fridays

7:00 pm ............................  Dinner

8:00 -10:00 pm ...............  Lectures, other activities

First Aid Kit

There is a first aid kit on the premises for first aid only. In case of and emergency please inform one of our staff.


The excavation site is located right on the seashore. However for logistic and safety reasons, bathing is not permitted during meal breaks or at the end of the daily work session (12:00 noon). Ayanot Youth Village is located inland, several kilometers from the beach. We will organize transport back to the beach one or two afternoons a week for those willing to sacrifice their rest period (2:00 - 4:30 pm), but participation in pottery treatment sessions (4:30 - 6:30 pm) is obligatory. Those wishing to make independent arrangements to visit the beach, local restaurants, bars, etc. can hire taxis, subject to the obligations of the daily work schedule.


Internet access from the Ayanot Youth Village is not always available, but several local cafes provide access for those owning laptops with Wi-Fi capability.

Weekends and Excursions

During the weekends (Friday afternoon - Sunday evening) you can stay and relax at Ayanot (for en extra fee of US $ 80 for those 2 days), or you may make private plans. In any case, please inform us a few days in advance. There will be organized excursions to places of interest in Israel on two or three of the intermediate Sundays (July 24th, July 31th and/or August 6th). Further information will be provided on your arrival.

Very Important !!!

You are going to be spending the next weeks in Israel and you must appreciate the importance of informing us if you leave the Ayanot village. Although this area of the country is as safe as can be, the situation being as it is in Israel requires us to be doubly safe and it is important that we know your whereabouts. We would also advise you not to hitchhike in Israel. Though this may still be a common way for young people to travel in Europe, it is not recommended to use this form of transportation in Israel.

Please also note that the Ayanot Youth Village has a security guard on the main gate and that this gate closes at MIDNIGHT!

Additional Information

If you have any other questions before your arrival, please contact us directly or at During the excavation, please do not hesitate to contact our director, Professor Moshe Fischer,
or any of our staff.

Address and Tel. & Fax of Ayanot

Address: The Ayanot Agricultural School
                   D.N. Emeq Soreq 70490
Telephone: 08-9404655; 08-9404635; 08-9404682; 08-9405558
Fax: 08-9404785

For mail, telephone and fax please mention always: Yavneh-Yam Group/Moshe Fischer.
There are also several public phones in the Ayanot village. They can be used with telecards. These can be purchased on arrival at our office.

There are two ways to apply.
The first is by printing the application form and sending it via mail, or by filling the form and attaching it to an email.
The second is by filling an online application form and submitting it.

(1)   --  Click to download a printable application form 
Mail to:
Professor Moshe Fischer
Yavneh-Yam Project
Department of Archaeology
Tel Aviv University
Ramat Aviv 69978

(2)   --   Send an online application form (Secure Server)


We wish you an enjoyable stay in Israel and a successful excavation.
The Yavneh-Yam Project