hippos (sussita) excavations Project
Join the dig
* The 2022 season is full and we no longer accept new participants for this summer. Join us in 2023.
The site is located above the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a short distance from kibbutz Ein Gev.
Active excavation areas:
the Martyrion of Theodoros (aka the "Burnt Church", the Southwest Church),
the Roman-period theater,
the western decumanus maximus and a cardo.
The season will last three weeks, July 3rd - July 21st 2022.
Work hours in the field are 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, with additional lab work activities in the afternoons.
Each week a couple of archaeology-related lectures will be held. Two guided tours to sites in northern Israel taking place throughout the season are included in the cost.
Participants are free on weekends to relax in the kibbutz or travel on their own.
Participants must arrive to kibbutz Ein Gev at latest on the evening before the first working day of the week.
Those who wish to arrive earlier or stay on for a few days after the weekend must coordinate in advance.
Beginning July 3rd, work will proceed according to the following schedule, Sunday through Thursday:
4:10 Wake-up (on your own)
5:00 Work in the field begins
8:30 Breakfast in the field
9:00 Return to work
12:00 End of field work
13:00 Lunch at the kibbutz
14:00 Rest and optional swimming in the Sea of Galilee
16:00-18:00 Afternoon activities: Processing finds, lectures and guided tours
Fees and Accommodation
Volunteers will be lodged in the hostel of kibbutz Ein Gev, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, about 5 min. drive from the site. The kibbutz is a 20-min. drive from Tiberias and 1.2-hr. drive from Haifa.
There are 2-4 occupants in each room with shared facilities. It is possible to arrange a single room for an extra fee (ask us in advance) with shared facilities.
All rooms are air conditioned and have wi-fi access. Linens and towels are provided. Free of charge collective laundry services is available once a week.
Your Excavation Mailing Address (from Europe, mail takes about 5 days; from the US it takes about 10 days):
Hippos Archaeological Expedition
Jordan Valley 1494000
Kibbutz Ein Gev
Cost & Application Procedure
One week participation (minimum) = $790
Three weeks (full season) participation = $2,150 (may be paid in your currency).
This cost includes full board and lodging in kibbutz's air-conditioned rooms, including on weekends (3 meals a day, expedition tours, leisure activity, lectures, etc.).
Participants should fill up and submit the Application Form,
After the form is submitted, we shall get back to you within a day to confirm.
The full payment should be made no later than May 15th 2022.
The payments can be made by credit card, wire transfer or personal/bank check through the non-profit organization Israeli Institute of Archaeology. The contact person for all payment-related issues is Efrat Asraf (email@example.com). Once your application is approved and the details of your participation agreed upon, Efrat will contact you with instructions, according to the payment method you prefer.
Cancellation before 15th of May – full reimbursement except for the banking fees
Cancellation after 15th of May – half reimbursement
Cancellation after 20th of June – no reimbursement
It is mandatory for each participant to provide a proof of full medical insurance covering all aspects of illness or possible injury before arriving to the kibbutz. It is mandatory for all participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for our mutual protection.
Hippos is located in a basalt terrain surrounded by cliffs overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
The excavation areas are shaded and safe, but still it is vital to consider local hazards during the excavation and around it.
The sharp basalt stones, the heat of the Israeli summer, and the creatures living peacefully in Sussita Nature Reserve, are among those to prepare for. In addition, the weekly excursions require good basic traveling gear.
Dress Code? Not at all! You will find the dig and the vast majority of Israel very liberal and without any dress codes. If you plan on visiting sacred places, such as churches and mosques, do bring long sleeve shirt and long pants/skirt.
Bring things that are sturdy, light in weight and color, and easy to launder. As the sun is very intense, long sleeves and pants are recommended.
Remember that loose clothing is more comfortable than close-fitting, and synthetic fibers tend to be hot unless designed for heat and quick sweat vaporizing.
Pants – best if pants cover the shoes so the earth won't get into them. You may wish to bring up to two pairs of long pants for the dig and trekking and a couple short or other light clothing for the afternoons.
Shirts – from our experience, heat condition designed shirts with UV protection serve well. Many companies nowadays manufacture such shirts. For example, our institute purchases UV protected shirts from SunWay Company and we find them just great. You may come to the dig with just a couple of simple T-shirt, it is up to you. No matter what, we all get very dirty and sweaty in a short time.
Shoes – good work shoes are a must! Shoes should be strong, with high ankles, and comfortable, provided with solid traction soles for protection and footing on rocks. Good tracking shoes will do the job and serve you well during the excursions and your traveling on the weekends as well.
Sneakers or sandals are not permitted at the dig. We suggest that you bring them for off-field activities.
Gloves – gloves will be supplied by the dig but there is nothing that can substitute good sturdy personally fitted gloves. Their main aim is to protect the hands from thorns, rocks, and ware while using tools such as pickaxe. Remember that it is hot, so don't bring polar gloves.
Sun hat – sun hats or head coverings are important at the dig, if working out of the shade at times, and are essential during the excursions.
Sunscreen – bring your preferable sunscreen lotion that suits your skin and lasts in sweat and water. You'll be using it while swimming too.
Sunglasses – you'll find good sunglasses an essential item in your kit. The sun is harsh and they'll supply a great comfort in the field, while traveling, and by the shore
Water bottle – a personal water bottle is recommended. We supply cold water during the dig from which you can supply your personal bottle. We have some Hippos field bottles for sale at a low cost.
Swimming gear – do not forget our leisure time and bring your top of the fashion swimming gear, if you wish to enjoy the Sea of Galilee and even the Mediterranean during the weekends.
Casual clothing – bring with you some casual clothing for after work and weekends.
Please, do not arrive with two huge suitcases of clothes; it is not a survival expedition nor the Next Top Model competition!
Israel is very small and relatively very easy to get around, with a rather good net of roads. Public transportation is good though scarce during weekends (Friday noon to Saturday evening).
Most of the people in Israel speak English and will be glad to assist.
The expedition lodges some 5 min. drive south from Hippos at kibbutz Ein Gev located just on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Emergency/Informational contacts while in Israel:
+972544913042 Arleta Kowalewska, +972528699835 Michael Eisenberg, 0545658162 Efrat (from the kibbutz).
Getting to Israel and to the Kibbutz
Landing in Israel
You'll be landing in Ben-Gurion International Airport, located not far from Tel-Aviv. You may wish to spend a day or two in Tel-Aviv area before arriving at the Kibbutz. You will find the terminal very aesthetic and easy to navigate. The train terminal is located here as well as busses and taxis.
Getting to the Kibbutz
It is best to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport during the week, Friday morning or Saturday afternoon as the public transportation does not operate during the Jewish weekend (Friday evening to Saturday afternoon). Best would be to catch a direct bus to the Kibbutz from Tel-Aviv central bus station. Do consider traveling a day or two before the dig and then arriving at the Kibbutz.
There are several ways to get from Ben-Gurion Airport to the Kibbutz (about a 2.45 hr. drive). The price for bus and public taxi is controlled. The Israeli currency (Shekels) can be obtained at the bank counter inside the terminal near the exit and in the exchange branches.
Please arrive to Kibbutz Ein-Gev itself (not the resort). The Kibbutz is a small and friendly community so it's very hard to get lost!
You can check available connections from the airport (Ben Gurion) to Ein Gev (kibbutz) via the Israeli Ministry of Transportation website.
The cost is about 70 Shekels (bus drivers accept shekels only). This data may change so verify once planning.
If you are traveling on other day or from other destination you may have more options, so please consider that (for example, Tiberias is just 20 min. drive from the Kibbutz). You can also combine your bus route with taxi fare (for example, arrive to Tiberias by bus, and from there take a taxi to the kibbutz).
Another option would be arriving to the nearby Zemach Junction, taking a local bus, a taxi or even hitchhiking to the Kibbutz.
The train terminal is located just one floor under the air-port terminal; the train can take you to Haifa, but not to Tiberias or the Kibbutz. For train schedules check Israel Railways.
Taxi services are located just outside Ben-Gurion Terminal.
Public Taxi services (about 10-passengers, called Sherut) are controlled by Airport Authority and will usually take you to your destination within major cities including Haifa but not to Tiberias. If traveling in a group, consider ordering a special group taxi directly to the Kibbutz. If you contact us in advance, we can organize this (driver will meet you holding a sign with your name).