VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY
VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY
ALL TOURS FOR 2021 CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING DATES IN 2022
Get on the “interested” list today! Email [email protected]
Awaken your inner Indiana Jones and get your hands dirty on an active archaeological site guided by professionals from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
This 14-day, All-Inclusive program is for both first-timers and repeat volunteers. It combines 5 days of volunteer work on an IDF base, 5 days of work at a professional IAA dig, and 5 days of custom touring out-of-the-way locations in an air-conditioned bus.
Ideal for all ages, 18 to 80. Trip provides the opportunity to work alongside Israeli university students and also offers a memorable experience various tasks directly aiding the archaeologists in their important mission.
All required services are bundled: assignments, transportation, transfers, housing, most food, touring, admissions, tips, etc. This is not a sterile “mission”, but rather an on-site, hands-on working volunteer experience that creates memories.
-Tour attractions, detailed schedule & additional details subject to change.
-Program open to all English-speaking VFI & Sar-El volunteers.
-IDF base location is revealed at the airport meeting on Day 1.
-The volunteer group will remain together for all IDF, dig, and touring activities.
In addition to signing up through Gil Travel, all U.S. volunteers must apply through regional VFI (Volunteers for Israel) channels for the application and screening process, including medical consent and personal interview, and pay the VFI non-refundable $125 application fee. See www.vfi-usa.org. Non-U.S. English-speakers apply through their home country; see www.sar-el.org.
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
The City of David, just South of Old City Jerusalem, is a world-class archaeological wonderland with rich ancient connections. Just to the West, the Givati Parking Lot dig is the most ancient part of the Canaanite and Israelite City of Jerusalem. The site includes findings from different layers of the city, spanning periods from the Iron Age to the Middle ages. The ancient world’s incomparable biblical antiquities come alive in the modern State of Israel.
Since 2007, the Givati Parking Lot marks the largest active archaeological excavation in Jerusalem today and is continuously uncovering different layers of the city’s life from the Middle Ages to ancient times. The main finds include the basement floor of a large residential building from the end of the Second Temple period that may have been part of the royal property of Queen Helene, a queen who converted to Judaism and lived in the city during that time period. In addition, a massive residential building from the Roman period yielded findings such as a gold earring inlaid with pearls and precious stones and a Roman boxer figurine, used as a weight.
VFI PLUS ARCHAEOLOGY presents an exciting and unique opportunity for VFI/Sar-El volunteers to spend five days excavating alongside an international team of Tel Aviv University and IAA archaeologists. We will have our own dedicated guide, orientation tours, and presentations.
The work area is said to be shaded and the work is clearly physical. Participants will have to be physically fit and have stamina to enjoy this experience. Traditional digging and excavation tools such as picks, shovels, hand trowels, etc., will be provided.
“Dear Ilana: Thank you for a trip that exceeded my expectations in every way. You and your Gil Travel colleagues were so helpful and efficient, from my very first inquiry to your onsite coordination. The communication and assistance from you, Susan, Fred, and Ariel, with every aspect and question, was wonderful and greatly appreciated. Once in Israel, there are not enough words to describe this amazing experience! Julia, our tour guide, was beyond outstanding: her knowledge is encyclopedic, and her site selection and leadership for our tours was excellent. Our bus driver also deserves a shout-out, as his service was seamless. In Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv University archaeology team (particularly Dr. Yuval Gadot, Chananya Rothner, and Ricki) went over and above to make our volunteer archaeological week SPECTACULAR—from their welcome and guidance on the Givati excavation site, to the unexpected lectures and tours (a real bonus)—I felt like I received a year of the highest quality college coursework in just a few days. It was such a privilege and honor to learn from them and work alongside this prestigious University team. Everyone at Givati was incredibly generous with their time and consideration, I cannot thank them enough! In Haifa and Jerusalem, our hotels were comfortable and ideally located, making it easy to explore independently when time allowed. Together, Gil Travel and VFI created a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget and look forward to reliving on a future trip. Thanks again to you, Gil Travel, VFI, Julia, Dr. Gadot, Chananya, and Ricki for coordinating an exceptional experience. It was a truly remarkable trip!” -Ellen W. from Philadelphia
“Ilana, Thank you!!!! I believe that all of us are grateful for your personal diligence in caring for all of us continually from our first questions, on site and now. Thank you is not enough. A 1000 thanks for a great trip.” – Christine M. from California
“I have on numerous trips to other countries, but this trip [VFI Plus Archaeology] has been my favorite. My grandson is ready to go next year when he will be 17 years old and I am looking forward to it.” – Jose L. from Texas
“It was a new and exciting program and time. We had excellent accommodations and facilities on base and at the dig. We met new and exciting people on base and at the dig. I recommend it to anyone.” Said William from CA in 2018
“We are back to Germany after having a wonderful time in Israel. There were many important and interesting parts of our journey. The following was particularly important to me: conversations with the group and with the young female soldiers while working in the warehouse. Also, the explanations regarding archaeological procedures. Finally, the very competent knowledge of Julia and her guidance through Israel.” Said Christa from Germany
“I really didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed actually doing the exhausting physical work of digging, carefully removing dirt around stones, moving debris with the wheelbarrow, sifting, and washing pottery shards, small animal bones, and flint stones. Learning about the site history from our archeology madricha was valuable. I am now more aware of the labor and skill involved in uncovering and preserving historical treasures. It was mindboggling to find objects from 5 to 7 thousand years ago. To sum it all up, I’d say it was a great adventure: team work, patience, exposure to different cultures, learning and discovery.” Said Naomi from Boston 2018
“Working on an IDF Air Force base was a privilege and their hospitality was stellar. Julia’s touring sites were as-advertised, off-the-radar and wonderful, each an exquisite learning experience. But the highpoint was the excitement of extracting 6,000-year-old artifacts from the soil with my own dirty hands, while learning from professional archaeologists. That is quality, tough to match anywhere.” Said Steve from DE 2018