May 22, 2016 - June 11, 2016

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

Cost and Travel Details

All Subject to Change without Notice (Last Updated 11/14/15)

1. The Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations will be conducted for 3 weeks in 2016 (Sunday May 22 [3 PM Check in Time]- Saturday June 11, 2016 [AM Check out]. Several packages are available for one, two or three weeks. They are as follows:

a. Standard One Week Interval: Check in Sunday May 22, 2016 PM, Check out Saturday May 28, 2016 AM (or any 1 week interval). Price for one week: $1199

b. Standard Two Week Interval (discounted): Check in Sunday May 22, 2016 PM, Check out Saturday June 4, 2016 AM (or any two week interval). Price for two weeks: $2149

c. Three Week Interval (best rate!): Check in Sunday May 22, 2016 PM, Check out Saturday June 11, 2016 AM. Price for three weeks: $2999

As a general statement, if you are able to arrive on Saturday instead of Sunday, it will give you a day to get acclimated to the time change. An extra night is about $95 per person, double occupancy. Feel free to inquire about this if you are interested.

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, 2016, 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 1, 2016.

a. Final payment in full is due: April 15, 2016.

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 2016 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 6/19/15):

Saturday May 28, 2016: Free day in Jerusalem

Sunday May 29, 2016: Bus tour to Shiloh, Mr. Gerizim, Mt. Ebal, Jacob's Well, Joseph's Tomb, and Shechem

Saturday June 4, 2016: Free Day in Jerusalem

Sunday June 5, 2016: Benjamin-Shephelah Bus tour with Bill Schlegel of IBEX, an expert in biblical geography. Sites include:

1. Gibeah, capital under Saul 2. Gibeon (view from Nebi Samwil) 3. Beth-shemesh  4. Azekah 5. Khirbet Qeiyafa.

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 $1000

Saturday, June 11 - Free day in Jerusalem
Sunday, June 12 - Negev, Beersheba, Arad, etc.
Monday, June 13 - Philistine Sites
Tuesday, June 14 - Dead Sea Sites
Wednesday, June 15 - Jordan Valley Sites
Thursday, June 16 - West Bank Sites
Friday, June 17 - 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 in the hotel is spotty at best. There is one public computer available for use.

8. Laundry- a. Wash clothes by hand in bathtubs or sinks and then to hang out the clothes on the balcony (if the room has one). With this option, diggers should bring some detergent from the U.S. in small containers or packets. b. There is a laundry service right across the street from the hotel. A full load, washed and dried, is about $18. Diggers can drop off of their clothes after work and pick them up the next day after work.

Single rooms are NOT available for the 2016 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 11, 2016. 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.

Tool Donation

If you are able, please bring a small wisk broom and metal dust pan with you, and leave it as a small tool donation. These items are difficult to find in Israel, and are expensive to transport en masse. So, your help is appreciated!

Last Updated: 11/14/2015

24-1 Low Rez.pdf (3.26 mb)

Maqatir App and Liab form 2016.pdf (59.13 kb)

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

Cover Letter and Registration 2016B.pdf (188.70 kb)

ABR Security Statement

ABR is closely monitoring the violence in Israel and the Palestinian controlled territories. While the violence is often contained in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip and the coastal region of Israel, it has now spilled over into East Jerusalem and the West Bank where the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation is located. Americans and other westerners are almost never the focus of violence, but we have growing concerns over the security for our guards and other Israeli staff members. Based on these developments, the Winter Dig has been canceled for 2015. There is a possibility that the Maqatir excavations may be postponed in May-June 2016. Presently, we are moving forward with our plans in prayer, as the situation could subside in the coming months. We are working on alternative plans to excavate elsewhere in Israel in 2016, such as Shiloh, Gezer, or the Temple Mount Sifting Project. These projects are all in very safe areas of Israel. If we decide to move our project to Shiloh, this would be a new ABR dig and would hopefully span several years. In any of these cases, we plan to take a group to Israel this coming summer.

While we are being careful to exercise due diligence with wisdom, we have a strong sense of God's providential hand guiding us as we plan for the future. We are confident that ABR will be excavating in Israel this summer, and we are excited about the possibility of you joining us. Please join us in prayer for peace in Israel and for wisdom in making these important decisions concerning our excavations.

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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