hippos (sussita) excavations Project
Join the dig
The 2023 season is closed for new applications. Join us in 2024.
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 western decumanus maximus and a cardo.
The season will last four weeks, July 2nd - July 27th 2023.
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 on Friday or at latest on Saturday evening before the first working day of the week.
Beginning July 2nd, work will proceed according to the following schedule, Sunday through Thursday:
4:20 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
Participants 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 service is available once a week.
Your Excavation Mailing Address (from Europe, mail takes about 10 days; from the US it takes about 14 days):
Hippos Archaeological Expedition
Jordan Valley 1494000
Kibbutz Ein Gev
Cost & Application Procedure
Two weeks participation (minimum) = $1,650
Four weeks (full season) participation = $3,000 (may be paid in your currency).
Four week with 8 semester credit units = $4,600 through CFS
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.).
Interested in joining? Fill up our Application Form. After the form is submitted, we shall get back to you within a day or two to confirm.
Students who seek academic credits should apply through CFS.
Payment of $200 registration fee is required to reserve your place. The fee is part of the full payment.
Application deadline is June 2nd 2023 - few spots left.
The full payment should be made no later than June 5th 2023.
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 Ashraf (email@example.com). Once your application is approved and the details of your participation agreed upon, we will provide you with instructions, according to the payment method you prefer.
Registration fee is not refundable.
Cancellation before May 1st – full refund except for the registration fee.
Cancellation after May 1st – no refund.
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.
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 hiking 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, it is not a survival expedition or a 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.
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, Jerusalem, or Haifa before arriving to the kibbutz.
Getting to the Kibbutz
It is best to land at Ben-Gurion Airport during the week or on Friday morning as the public transportation does not operate during the Israeli weekend (Friday evening to Saturday evening). The best way to get to the kibbutz is to catch a direct bus from Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem central bus station (both can be easily reached by 20 min train ride from the airport). Do consider traveling a day or two before the dig and then arriving at the kibbutz calmly.
Please arrive to kibbutz Ein-Gev itself (not the Ein-Gev resort).
You can check available connections from the airport (Ben Gurion) to Ein Gev (kibbutz) on Friday via the Israeli Ministry of Transportation website. 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 and taking a local bus or a taxi to the kibbutz.
The bus ride from the airport to the kibbutz costs around 40 shekels. The payment can be made by an online application Moovit (if your phone has mobile data connection), by a card called Rav-Kav (which you can buy in the airport and load money on it), or you can buy a paper ticket for one ride at any of the large stations. It is not possible to buy tickets on the bus with cash.
The train terminal is located just one floor under the airport terminal. It can take you to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, or Haifa, but not to Tiberias or kibbutz Ein-Gev. For train schedules check Israel Railways. The payment can be made by an online application Moovit, by a card called Rav-Kav (which you can buy in the airport and load money on it), or you can buy a paper ticket for one ride at the station.
Taxi services are located just outside the airport terminal.
Regular taxis will take around 1000 shekel for a ride to the kibbutz from the airport.
Public taxi services (about 10-passengers, called Monit Sherut) are controlled by Airport Authority and will usually take you to your destination within major cities, but getting a ride to the kibbutz may not be possible (it depends on the willingness of the driver and how many people at the moment will want to travel to a nearby location to your destination).