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Hippos (Sussita): Summer 2014 Excavation Season

For the 2014 dig brochure

Link to the Hippos dig at the International School, University of Haifa

In Summer 2014 the Fifteenth Season of Excavations at Hippos (Sussita) will begin.
The site is located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a short distance from Kibbutz Ein-Gev.
The city of Hippos is naturally bordered by cliffs and slopes of the hill on which Hippos was built overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

The Staff

  • Dr. Michael Eisenberg - Dig Director
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Prof. Mark Schuler - Co-Director, Head of the Northeast Insula Project
    Head of the Concordia University Team, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
  • Yana Vitkalov - Ceramics Coordinator and Registrar
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Dani Chechelnitsky - Administrator
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Haim (Kiril) Shkolnik - Area Supervisor
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Arleta Kowalewska - Area Supervisor
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Julia Maria Burdajewisz - Director of Conservation Team and Master Conservator
    Warsaw, Poland
  • Dr. Alexander Iermolin - Small finds conservator and metal detector operator
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Amir Genach - Master Conservator on behalf of The NPA
    Caesarea, Israel
  • Ariel Berman - Numismatics
    Kiryat Tiv'on
  • Dr. Bradley J. Bowlin - Numismatics and Metal Detector
  • Reuven Peretz - Ceramics Expert
    Jerusalem, Israel
  • Tania Meltsen - Draftswoman
  • Prof. Adam Lajtar - Epigraphist
    Warsaw University, Poland
  • Prof. Guy Bar-Oz - Fauna research
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Dr. Lior Weissbrod - Micro Fauna research
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa
  • Anat Regev - Graphics and Computer Design
    Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa

Sign Up

This season's plans:

  • Excavations of a Roman period Basilica
  • Excavation of fortification segments
  • Excavations of the Roman-Byzantine southern bathhouse
  • Continue preservation treatment in all sites exposed so far
The Fourteenth season will last 4 weeks, from June 29th - July 24th 2014.
The first two weeks and the second two weeks are each considered as a single session; Preference will be given to those applying for the entire season.

Volunteers will be lodged at the youth hostel at Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan (changes may occur, with updates in advance of the excavation), 5 min. south of the Sea of Galilee, about 15 drive from the site. The kibbutz is a 15-minute drive from Tiberias and 50 minutes from Haifa.
About 2 - 4 occupants per room. Due to space limitations, couples are not promised to share a single room but usually do (please ask us in advance).
All rooms are air conditioned and weekend laundry services are provided free of charge.

Your Excavation Mailing Address [From Europe, mail takes about 5 days; from the US it takes about 7 days]
(Your Name)
Archaeological Expedition
El Mul Golan Country Lodging
Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan 1514500

Emergency/Informational Contacts while in Israel
052-8699835 Michael Eisenberg (Cell) or Dani Chechelnitsky 052-6090465 (Cell)
052-8664101 Shelly (from the Kibbutz; Cell)

Program Schedule
Work Hours are 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, with additional work assignments in the afternoons and evenings. Each week lectures will be held and one guided tour to sites in the north of Israel (all costs are included).
Participants are free on weekends to relax or travel on their own, or enjoy the shore of Sea of Galilee.
Participants must be at Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan on the evening before the first working day. The volunteers may arrive to the Kibbutz as early as Friday. Those who wish to arrive earlier or stay on for a few days after the weekend must coordinate in advance.

Daily Schedule
Beginning June 29th, work will proceed according to the following schedule, Sunday through Thursday:

4:10 Wake-up
5:00 Work begins
8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Return to work
12:00 End of field work
12:45 Lunch
14:00 Rest and optional swimming at the swimming pool of the Kibbutz
16:00 - 18:00 Afternoon activities: Processing finds (mainly pottery), lectures and guided tours.
18:30 Dinner

All volunteers are expected to respect and follow basic rules and regulations.

The program is rewarding but demanding. The hours are long and the sun is hot and bright. Anyone lacking the energy and enthusiasm to benefit from four weeks of hard work and enjoyment should not apply.

Recommended Equipment

Work Clothing
(for the field):
Bring things that are sturdy, light in weight and color, and easy to launder. As the sun is very intense, you may need to wear long sleeves and pants (best if pants cover the shoes). Remember that loose clothing is more comfortable than close-fitting, and synthetic fibers tend to be hot.
Work Shoes: These are a must!
Shoes should be strong, with high ankles, and comfortable, provided with solid traction soles for protection and footing on rocks (work area is rocky basalt). Sneakers or sandals are not permitted (at work) at all!
- Sun Hat or Head Covering - You will not be permitted in the field without it!
- Sunscreen and sunglasses are also recommended.
Gloves will be handed out at the excavation site but if you have your own sturdy comfortable pair of gloves, you may find them very useful.
If you wish to enjoy the Kibbutz swimming pool please bring a bathing suit and a towel.
Casual Clothing (for after work and weekends)

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 there before arriving at the Kibbutz. You will find the new terminal very aesthetic and easy to navigate.
Getting to the Kibbutz:
It is best to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday morning or Saturday afternoon as some of the public transportation does not operate during the Jewish weekend. Best would be to catch the 12:30 PM 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 3 hr. drive); keep in mind that public transportation during Shabbat (from Friday noon to Saturday evening) is limited. The price for bus and public taxi is controlled, and not too high. Shekels can be obtained at the Hapoalim Bank counter inside the terminal near the exit and in the exchange branches.

* Please note that you should get to the Country Lodging of Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan. The Kibbutz is just few minutes drive south odf the Zemach Junction. The Kibbutz is a small and friendly community so it's very hard to get lost!

Egged is still Israel's main intercity bus company (see link for rates and schedule. The data is valid for 2011 and may change):
Click FROM - Tel Aviv Central Bus Station; TO - Zemach Junction or Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan.
Friday Arrival: Only one direct bus from Tel Aviv to the Kibbutz - Line 843 Departing at 12:15 and line 834 at 14:15 (3 hr. drive)
Saturday Arrival: Only one direct bus - Line 843 Departing at 20:30
COST: 47 Shekels (bus drivers accept shekels only)
- Direct buses travel from Tel Aviv Central Bus Station to the Kibbutz
- Buses from Tel Aviv to Tiberias depart about every 30 min. (until Shabbat begins). From Tiberias to the Kibbutz, there is a bus about every hour, which is about a 15 min. drive.
- One may travel through Haifa and Tiberias
Golan Transportation- a new bus company which operates lines from Tiberias to Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan. Direct phone *3254.
TRAIN: Located just adjacent to the terminal; the train can take you to Haifa, but not to Tiberias or the Kibbutz. For train schedules check Israil.
TAXI: Taxi service is located just outside Ben-Gurion Terminal.
PUBLIC TAXI: Public Taxi (10-passengers, called Sherut, around 50 shekels)

Optional Routes:
- Train or bus and from there by bus to Tiberias and then the Kibbutz
* If traveling in a group, consider ordering a special group taxi (sherut) directly to the Kibbutz. If you contact us in advance, we can organize this (driver will meet you holding a sign with your name) at a cheaper rate than catching one on arrival.

Don't hesitate to send your flight schedule and we will advise you.

Cost & Application Procedure (Minimum of 1 Week!)
One Week of Volunteering = 545 Euro (may be paid in your own currency)
Full Season (29.06 - 24.07.13) = 1,950 Euro (may be paid in your own currency).
This cost includes full board and lodging in Kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan in air-conditioned rooms including weekends (3 meals a day, expedition tours, leisure activity, lectures, etc.).
Participants should complete and submit the Application Form and are asked to send a registration fee of 80 Euro no later than April 20th 2014. This fee is a part of the price mentioned above, and will be deducted from your total cost.
Full payment must be made no later than 1st of May.
All payments should be made by personal or bank check ONLY and in the applicant's national currency (e.g. US in $, Europeans in Euros etc.).

Payment via wire transfer to the University's account:
Account name: University of Haifa
Bank name: Bank Hapoalim
Branch number: 745
IBAN: IL16 0127 4500 0000 0005 004
Account number: 5004
Swift code: POALILIT
Full address of account:
Street name: Mt. Carmel, Abba Khoushi Blvd.
Town: Haifa
Postal Code/Cedex: 3498838
Country: Israel
Once wired please email us the exact sum and date of the transfer.

Refund policy:
- Registration Fee is Non-Refundable!
- Cancellation before 15th of May – full reimbursement except for
the registration fee
- Cancellation before 1st of June – half reimbursement except for the registration fee
- Cancellation after 1st of June – No reimbursement

After completing the application, please mail registration fee to:

Dr. Michael Eisenberg
Hippos Excavation Project
Zinman Institute of Archaeology
University of Haifa
199 Aba-Hushi Avenue
Mt. Carmel, Haifa 3498838

Tel: +972-4-8249392 Dr. Eisenberg
Fax: +972-4-8249876

* Mandatory for each participant to provide proof of full medical insurance covering all aspects of illness or possible injury.



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