May 24, 2015 - June 13, 2015

One, Two or Three week participation is available for volunteers.

Cost and Travel Details

All Subject to Change without Notice (Last Updated 3/10/15)

1. The Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations will be extended to 3 weeks in 2015 (Sunday May 24 [3 PM Check in Time]- Saturday June 13, 2015 [AM Check out]. Several packages are available for one, two or three weeks. They are as follows:

a. One Week: Check in Sunday May 24, 2015 PM, Check out Saturday May 30, 2015 AM (or any 1 week interval). Price for one week: $1100

b. Two Weeks (discounted): Check in Sunday May 24, 2015 PM, Check out Saturday June 6, 2015 AM (or any two week interval). Price for two weeks: $2149

c. Three Weeks (best rate!): Check in Sunday May 24, 2015 PM, Check out Saturday June 13, 2015 AM. Price for three weeks: $2999

NOTE: Diggers may join us during any interval of time during the 3 weeks. At least one week participation is preferred, but not required. Contact Henry Smith, Administrative Director, with questions or for a price quote.

These rates include Double or Triple occupancy (no singles are available this year) and 3 meals a day, transport by bus to and from the Dig, and evening education classes. Rates for participation other than 1, 2 or 3 weeks can be priced on an individual basis, depending on the availability of hotel rooms. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel arrangements, including flight and transport to and from the airport. Deadline for signup is April 15, 2015, though we will take applications after that date if rooms are still available.

2. ABR does not arrange group flights. In order to minimize costs,  travelers make their own flight arrangements in order to find the best deals possible.

3. A $500 per person deposit is due on a first come, first serve basis. We highly recommend sending in your deposit asap to reserve your space. The deposit deadline is April 15, 2015.

a. Final payment in full is due: April 15, 2015.

b. Upon receipt of deposit, travelers will receive paperwork that requires immediate attention. Please review it thoroughly and submit to our office right away.


There will be two touring options during the 2015 Dig season.

A. Weekend Touring: During the Dig, two weekends trips will be made available to diggers. Park entrance fees, bus and/or van costs are not included in package pricing above, but will be paid by participants while in Israel. The costs are very reasonable, about $30-$50 per day. The weekend options are (itinerary is subject to change and is tentative as of 7/28/14):

Saturday May 30, 2015: Free day in Jerusalem

Sunday May 31, 2015: Bus tour to Shiloh, Mr. Gerizim, Mt. Ebal, Jacob's Well, Joseph's Tomb, and Shechem

Saturday June 6, 2015: Free Day in Jerusalem

Sunday June 7, 2015: Benjamin-Shephelah Bus tour with Bill Schlegel of IBEX, an expert in biblical geography. Sites include:

1. Michmash-Geba Pass, where Jonathan battled the Philistines, and what eventually became the Israel-Judah border. 2. Gibeah, capital under Saul 3. Gibeon (view from Nebi Samwil) 4. Beth-shemesh and Sorek Valley 5. Samson country and return of the Ark of the Covenant from Philistia Valley of Elah 6. View from Socoh, where David fought Goliath 7. Kiriat-jearim, home of the Ark for over 100 years.

B. Post Dig Tour: A post-dig tour package is being offered. Tourists will stay at the Ritz Hotel. Includes van transportation and breakfast, boxed lunch from the hotel, and dinner. Park entry fees are not included. Itinerary is subject to change without notice. Price for the post dig tour is $1,000.

Saturday, June 13 - Free day in Jerusalem
Sunday, June 14 - Negev, Beersheba, Arad, etc.
Monday, June 15 - Philistine Sites
Tuesday, June 16 - Dead Sea Sites
Wednesday, June 17 - Jordan Valley Sites
Thursday, June 18 - West Bank Sites
Friday, June 19 - Jerusalem Sites



4. Download these TWO PDF Forms. Both forms must be filled completely filled out by hand, not electronically! (click below):

a. Registration Form in PDF

b. Application and Liability Release Form in PDF


5. Safety is of primary importance on this excavation. Each year, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (or KAMAT) and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) review the situation locally, and determine if it is safe for ABR to dig at the site. Our permit is not granted unless they are sure our site is safe. Previous experience has shown that the locals are friendly and helpful to ABR staff and volunteers. Security guards will be required and provided by ABR at the site, and the IDF monitors our activity. The excavation is very safe.


6. While digging, we will be staying at the Ritz Hotel Jerusalem, located in downtown East Jerusalem (8 Ibn Khaldoun Street, Jerusalem 9710204). It is nestled in the heart of the commercial district, an enjoyable stroll to the Old City of Jerusalem with magnificent holy and historical sites, and is less than 30 minutes from Khirbet el-Maqatir. The hotel is within walking distance of the Old City, allowing volunteers to easily visit prominent historical and Biblical sites during off-time and weekends. You will easily be able to visit sites such as: the Temple Mount, Western Wall, City of David, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and many more.

Individual Transportation from Ben Gurion Airport to Ritz Hotel / Jerusalem To get from Ben Gurion airport to Ritz Hotel / Jerusalem, take a communal taxi known in Hebrew as a “sheroot” or “nesher”. Take the taxi/sheroot service stand to Jerusalem, which is on the curbside just outside the airport arrival hall. Tell the driver you want to be dropped off at: Ritz Hotel / East Jerusalem, Ibn Khaldoun St # 8. Tel (02) 6269900.

The drivers are familiar with the location. Other passengers will ride in the same taxi/van with you. They run 24-7, except on Yom Kippur. The cost is $17.00 (65.00 Shekels) from the airport to Ritz Hotel. For a private taxi the cost is around $80.00 (300.00 Shekels).

7. Internet access is available in the lobby and rooms.

8. Single rooms are NOT available for the 2015 Season.

Traveler's and Health Insurance

9. We strongly recommend the purchase of travelers insurance in the event of a family emergency, illness, etc. ABR CANNOT GUARANTEE THE RECOVERY OF ANY MONIES PAID FOR THE TRIP! Be sure your insurance covers travel in the West Bank, which is where our site is located. Atlas Travel covers travelers in the West Bank, according to a referral from a recent ABR traveler.

10. All Travelers MUST have Medical Insurance coverage for this trip. ABR cannot and will not be responsible in any way for any hospital or doctor visits or ambulance transport needed by travelers, whether the result of sickness or injury. MEDICARE IS NOT ACCEPTED OUTSIDE THE US! All travelers must thoroughly document their medications, and provide family and doctor emergency contact information.

11. Medical Evacuation Insurance as well must be purchased as well, in case a traveler need to be transported to the US. Without insurance, this could cost more than $75,000. 


12. No visa is required if you have a passport from an APPROVED country and are staying less than 90 days. If you have other plans or have a non-US passport, please visit the Israeli Embassy website.

13. Passport must have an expiration date that expires SIX MONTHS beyond your last intended day of stay in Israel. For purposes of the ABR Dig, your passport must have an expiration date that postdates December 15, 2015. If you plan to stay for the post-Dig tour or on your own, please be absolutely sure your passport postdates your last day in Israel by six months. The Israelis will NOT let you into the country!

Tax Deductibility

14. The monies paid toward the Maqatir excavation are not considered a donation to ABR. However, because you are providing volunteer work for ABR, all expenses related to that work may be deductible as expenses of volunteer work for a non-profit ministry. This does not include any touring. If you live in the US, you will receive a receipt in the mail in the January following the dig. Please consult a tax professional for advice. (Download PDF of this IRS Form).

Making Your Payment

Help ABR save on Credit Card bank fees by paying by check, if you are able.

15. To pay your deposit online or make full payment, please follow these instructions with our secure donation page:

a. In the ONE TIME GIFT field, click on OTHER and enter the proper dollar amount.


c. Fill out the rest of the form. You will make your payment through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account. You can use your CC through PayPal.

d. Pay by check and mail with your paperwork to the ABR office.

Last Updated: 03/10/15

24-1 Low Rez.pdf (3.26 mb)

Cover Letter and Registration 2015.pdf (96.38 kb)

Maqatir App and Liab form 2015.pdf (60.21 kb)

Travel Costs for work done for a qualified non profit.pdf (172.56 kb)

ABR Security Statement

ABR is closely monitoring the violence in Israel. While we deplore the violence in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip and the coastal region of Israel, we are grateful that it has not spilled over into the West Bank where the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation is located. Our dig is in Area C, or the disputed territories; therefore, the Israeli military maintains a tight control there, including a guard tower that overlooks our site. In addition, we have armed security guards on our site while we are excavating. We have never needed the guards or felt in any way at risk. The Israeli Antiquities Authority will not allow us to excavate if there is any risk involved. There is no indication that they are concerned. We are confident that the 2015 excavation will be uninterrupted and safe. If the situation changes, we will take appropriate steps. Please join us in praying for peace in the land of the Bible.

Associates for Biblical Research
  • PO Box 144, Akron, PA 17501
  • Phone: +1 717-859-3443 | Fax: +1 717-859-3393
  • Toll Free: 1-800-430-0008
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