Jezreel Valley Regional Project Archaeology and History of a Regional Landscape


Copyright Jezreel Valley Regional Project © 2017

All essays appearing on this website are authored by members of the JVRP.

Authorship credit is given where appropriate, as is credit for revisions and additions.

When citing from any of this material, please cite the credited authors

and note the date and time retrieved, as all content is subject to update and revision.

Life on the Dig FAQ

Essential Rules

1. We expect that all Team Members will be ready to work on time and at their best capacity each work day. To achieve this goal, we expect that all TMs will take care of their physical well-being to the best of their ability—TMs will stay well hydrated, will not drink alcohol such that it impairs their ability to work, will not engage in illegal drug use of any sort, and will alert us to any serious medical issues in advance of the expedition.

2. Because this is such a serious issue in the Middle East, we will list it again: Illegal Drug use is absolutely prohibited. This is a deal breaker. If found in violation of this rule, you will be removed from the expedition immediately without refund of any fees.

3. Any behavior that threatens the well-being of any TM and/or threatens the successful execution of the excavation and/or that is in violation of Israeli law is forbidden. Such behavior (assault, vandalism, theft, etc.) will result in immediate expulsion without refund of any fees.

4. All TMs will respect the property and environment of Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek, Kibbutz Megiddo, and the National Park of Tel Megiddo. This rule is especially important concerning Mishmar HaEmek: We are guests of the Kibbutz, which is home to nearly 700 people. We will all treat their property, buildings, pool area, and facilities with care. We will clean up after ourselves. We will respect residents’ privacy and will obey all Kibbutz regulations. We will be friendly and gracious when interacting with kibbutzniks.

5. All TMs will observe Quiet Time in the area of the camp after 9:00PM. No loud noise, music or conversations, in person or on the phone, in the outdoor areas around our rooms. Anyone wishing to talk, hang out, play music, etc. after 9:00PM may go to various other public areas of the Kibbutz. Noise will not be tolerated after 8:00PM.

May I have a guest visit me at the kibbutz and may that guest spend the night?

All guests and arrangements for that guest to spend the night must be cleared with the director at least 24 hours in advance. Additional costs for room or meals may be required.


Do I need a special visa?

No matter which passport you hold, you will receive a tourist visa when you go through customs at Ben Gurion Airport. As long as your stay is for 90 days or less, this visa will be sufficient for the dig. Technically, you are considered a tourist who is participating on a dig during your vacation.

What is the daily schedule like?

Our work week begins Sunday morning and ends Thursday afternoon. Fridays and Saturdays are free--relax, sleep in, go to the pool, have a BBQ, travel! Friday and Saturday accommodation provided, but meals are not.



4:45 AM

5:00 AM - 8:30 AM

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

11:15 AM - 1:00 PM

1:00 PM

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

8:00 PM -

Bus departs for the site

Excavation work on site

Breakfast on site

Excavation work on site


Excavation work on site

Bus departs for the Kibbutz


Leisure time

Processing work at Kibbutz

Special programming (eg, lectures)


Rest and relaxation


What should I bring?

Firstly, and especially if you're traveling alone, we suggest you pick up an Israeli SIM card for your (unlocked) cell phone. You can buy them at the airport or anywhere in Tel Aviv, and you can top up at grocery stores, etc.

Also, make sure that you have at least three copies of the information page of your passport with you. You should email a scan of it to yourself, too.

Essentials which can be purchased on the Kibbutz include detergent (you can have the Kibbutz do your laundry for a nominal fee, but many people do their own laundry), hair-care items, feminine products, masculine products, bug spray, coffee, tea, toothpaste and soap.

You may bring your own trowel and handpick if you own them already, but we are stocked and will provide you with one if you don't.

Alarm clock or watch with alarm

Shoes with high ankles/work boots/hiking boots, preferably also breathable because of the heat. Tennis shoes will do, but if you can find something more protective for your ankles and toes, you'll be better off.


A hat you like enough to wear every day (baseball cap, sun hat, fedora...)

Many, many pairs of socks (as in one for every day of the week); you won't want to wash yours every day, and they will get DIRTY.

2 towels, one for the pool and one for the shower. If you can find quick-dry towels you might want to bring those, as they're much lighter and take up much less space than regular towels.

Hand sanitizer (just a small bottle) or baby wipes, so you can have your on-site meal with clean fingers.

Gatorade powder or salt tablets. Anything to ensure that you won't get disinterested enough in regular water to get dehydrated.

Durable water bottle

A dig bag, such as a small backpack or tote to bring your stuff to site. Make sure it zips up, and make sure you don't like it too much, because it will get dirty.

Shirts: We usually dig in tank-tops or t-shirts, particularly ones that are lightweight and easy to wash. You might want to pick up an Underarmour or Techwick shirt if you think you'll use it again, but you certainly don't need one. We suggest that you bring 5 or 6 dig shirts.

Bottoms: We usually dig in khaki pants (often the ones that zip into shorts for the hotter days), cotton shorts, cargo shorts or mesh shorts. Some people dig in jeans, but be advised that it can get very hot when you wear those. Bring around 4 pairs of dig bottoms.

Sunglasses you won't mind ruining, if you're a sunglasses person

A sweatshirt or light jacket--it's cold at 4:30am!

Shoes: Definitely bring a pair of flip-flops or more rugged sandals for the pool/Dead Sea/everyday use. You really only need these and your dig sneakers, but some people like to bring a nice pair of flat shoes for days off.

A bathing suit

A pocket multi-tool, if you have one. Useful things include the bottle opener, pliers and can opener.

If you don't want your hands to blister, you may want to bring a cheap pair of (preferably tight-fitting) gardening gloves

If you have room in your luggage, throw in any (easy to tote around) snacks you think you'll miss from home. Quick energy and protein should be kept in mind: some of our team's personal favorites are beef jerky, granola bars and fruit leather.

If you are a coffee- or tea-drinker, you might also consider bringing a few packets of instant coffee or some tea bags for the first day, to hold you over until you can go to the Kibbutz store to stock up.

Enough clothing for lounging around after work and on weekends. Bring things you like to wear around home in the summer. You may also want to pack a nice outfit or two, because we have dinners out on occasion, and because you'll have the weekends off to do what you like (i.e. be clean and respectable).

If you are planning on traveling to Jerusalem, the Baha'i Gardens or other religious sites, you will need to bring appropriate clothing. For ladies this is either long pants or a long (knee-length or longer) skirt and a shirt that covers your shoulders. For men it is regular pants, and sometimes also long shorts.


When should I arrive?

Plan on being at the Kibbutz on June 24, 2017. A bus from either the bus station in Tel Aviv or Ben Gurion airport will be arranged by the excavation. The details will be arranged closer to the excavation season. Check back for details (we will also be in touch via email).

How do I get to Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek?


The excavation will rent a bus that will take volunteers from Ben Gurion Airport directly to the Kibbutz. Time will be announced closer to the excavation season and will be based on arrival times of volunteer's flights.

Egged Bus website

There are a variety of options for getting to Mishmar HaEmek from other locations in Israel. Check out the Egged Bus website for bus schedules and route planning. Buses do not run on Shabbat


It is possible to hire a Taxi from Tel Aviv to Mishmar HaEmek. This will cost at least 350 NIS.