Information for Participants in the Apollonia-Arsuf Excavation Project, 2015

July 27th to August 21st 2015

General Information

The site of Apollonia-Arsuf is located on the Mediterranean coast in the centre of Israel, just a few kilometers north of Tel Aviv. The location is ideal for those seeking a ‘working holiday’, being close to all the attractions that Tel Aviv (“the city that never sleeps”) has to offer, and right next to beautiful beaches. The 2015 season of excavations at Apollonia-Arsuf will run from July 27th to August 21st. We are looking for volunteers interested in 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.

The last three seasons of excavations were focused on the Crusader Town of Apollonia/Arsur as the fruit of collaboration between the University of Tuebingen (Germany), and TelAvivUniversity (Israel). Given the broad range of new cultural impulses the Crusaders experienced in their new environment in the Holy Land, this project aims at a better understanding of the European and local cultural influences that dictated the structure and organization of the town of Arsur and its hinterland. Muslim Arsuf was conquered by the Crusaders in 1101 and re-conquered by the Mamluks in 1265. The presence of the Crusaders left its mark on the town. Large parts of it were re-planned, while extensive fortifications, private and public buildings, as well as a castle were erected. The town’s abandonment after its Mamluk destruction led to a unique archaeological setting in which the Crusader layers were left largely undisturbed by later settlement activities and thus are highly suitable for intensified archaeological research. The 2015 season of excavations will continue this research as well as excavating earlier periods of occupations (Early Islamic and Byzantine).

You may join us for the whole season, or for a minimum of a one-week session, preferably two. For most volunteers, one week is barely enough to get into the swing of things, and then as soon as you really start to get involved, it is almost time to leave!

The participation fee is US $550 per week, which includes hotel accommodation, breakfast and lunch on working days, breakfast on weekends, daily transportation to and from the excavation site, on-the-job training, occasional afternoon lectures and pottery sorting and classification workshops. It does not include transportation to and from Israel, or airport transfers to and from the Tadmor Hotel in Herzlia, where the expedition will be based.

Note that your participation fee does not include evening meals nor lunches on weekends. There are several restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel and numerous others of all standards just a short bus ride away. Local shops provide all the necessities for self-catering.

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 our volunteer coordinator, Ilan Shachar. Your application will be processed and you will receive written confirmation when it has been accepted.


The excavation week begins on Mondays and ends on Fridays.

Daily timetable:
7:00 am – 10:00 am Field work

10:00 am – 1030 am Breakfast on site

1030 am – 1430 pm Field work

1430 pm – 1530 pm Lunch on site

1530 pm – 1700 pm Occasional lectures on subjects of general interest and/or pottery sorting workshop (when required, according to quantity of finds)

From 1700 pm Free time

Tadmor Hotel

You will be staying at the Tadmor Hotel, which is located within 3 minute drive/15 minute walk from the excavation site. This is basic tourist-class hotel, fully air-conditioned. All rooms have a private WC and a bath or shower. The hotel provides  safes for valuables; you are strongly advised not to leave laptops or other items of value unattended in the guest rooms. Volunteers will be accommodated two or three to a room. Breakfast and lunch will be taken at the excavation site, breakfast on weekends will be taken at the hotel.

How to get to the Tadmor Hotel: By private car or taxi – take the main Tel Aviv – Haifa road (Highway 2) to the Kfar Shmaryahu junction, turn left (west) onto Keren Hayesod Street, left at Ha-Eshel street and left again at Basel Street. By bus – bus Nr. 90 from Tel Aviv stops close to the hotel. Various bus lines stop at the Kfar Shmaryahu junction, including Nr. 601 from Tel Aviv, from where the hotel is an easy 10 minute walk.
Address: Tadmor Hotel, 38 Basel Street, Herzlia 46660, Tel: 09-9525051/00, Fax: 09-9525012

Arrival and Departure

From the airport, you may take a taxi (cost about 200 Israeli shekels), or take the train to Herzlia (changing in Tel Aviv) and then a short taxi ride or bus Nr. 29 which stops close to the hotel. You should arrange your travel plans so as to arrive at the Tadmor Hotel on the Sunday before your session starts, which is on one of the Sundays July 26th, August 2nd, August 9th or August 16th, no earlier than 2 pm and no later than 9 pm. You must check out before 11 am on the Saturday immediately following the end of your session.

Working in the Field under the Middle-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.

Your Health and Safety

There is a first aid kit on site for minor injuries only. In case of accident, illness or other emergency please inform one of our staff. We require all volunteers to purchase full insurance against loss of or damage to personal property, illness and accidents before their arrival. Please note that in the unfortunate and unlikely event of a volunteer requiring hospitalization, tourists are required by hospitals to pay significant charges in advance, either in cash or by credit card.


The excavation site is located right on the seashore. However for logistic and safety reasons, use of the beach is not permitted during meal breaks or before the end of the daily work schedule (1700 pm).


During the weekends (Friday afternoon – Sunday evening) you can stay and relax at the hotel, or you may make other plans. If you plan to spend a weekend away from the hotel, please inform us in advance. We would 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.

Additional Information

If you have any other questions before your arrival, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Ilan Shachar. During the excavation, please do not hesitate to contact Ilan, or our director Prof. Oren Tal.


Download a printable application form. Send to: Ilan Shachar, Coordinator of the Apollonia-Arsuf Excavation Project, 17 Basel Street Herzliya 46660 Israel. FAX: +972-9-9513479 EMAIL:

We wish you an enjoyable stay in Israel

The Apollonia-Arsuf Excavation Project


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