Frequently Asked Questions

Often, excavation volunteers have a number of questions that relate to travel dates, airport arrival, payments, our cancellation policy, their time in Israel, and departure.

To make this information more freely available, we have answered a number frequently asked questions. If however, you are unable to find your answer here or elsewhere on the website, feel free to email Alex at masada.expedition@gmail.com

Payments and Cancellations

Q: When do I have to pay for the excavation?

A: Volunteers must complete payment prior to the launch of the season.

Any (unexplained) delays in the payment may unfortunately compromise an individual’s registration.Volunteers with payment problems are encouraged to contact us to discuss possible payment plans.

Invoices for Masada 2018 will be delivered in December 2017.

Q: What does my payment fee cover the cost of?

A: The excavation fee at Masada accounts for the

  • Accommodation at Masada Youth Hostel Saturday night through to Thursday afternoon (for the duration of your registration),
  • Food (3 meals a day, Afternoon Tea),
  • Weekly tours to neighbouring archaeological sites (every Tuesday),
  • Access to on-site guest lectures from world renowned experts,
  • Transport from TLV/Jerusalem to the excavation accommodation each Saturday and Thursday,
  • Transport to and from the archaeological site, Sunday through to Thursday

Q: Do I incur a fee if I cancel my registration?

A: Cancellation prior to December 23 2017 is a full refund, minus a $300 cancellation fee for all four weeks, and a $50 USD registration and banking fee.

Cancellation after December 23 2017, until the beginning of the dig: A full refund, minus a $300 cancellation fee for each week, and a $50 USD registration and banking fee.

Cancellation during the season or without announcement: no refund.

Q: Who has to pay for the tax associated with the bank transfer?

A: Volunteers are responsible for accounting for the cost of any tax generated by their preferred form of payment, so please be sure to pay close attention to the additional fee.

The Excavation

Q: Can I connect to other volunteers prior to the excavation start date?

A: Definitely! Head to our Facebook page and join our 2018 Masada event. We invite you to post, chat, and share travel details in the event to network with other volunteers.

Q: When will I receive an equipment list and the details for the Saturday afternoon bus?

A: Information regarding equipment, transport, and the excavation schedule will be sent to all registered volunteers in December 2018.

Q: Can people volunteer who are under the age of 18?

A: We do accept volunteers of many ages, however a legal guardian must accompany volunteers aged between 12-15. Volunteers who are 16-17 must submit a signed form of consent by a legal guardian alongside a photocopy of their guardian’s passport.

Q: Can I request roommates?

A: Absolutely! Attach to your registration your roommate preferences. Alternatively, feel free to email us at masada.expedition@gmail.com with your request.

We will do our best to accommodate your request, but in some cases it may not be possible.

Q: Where do I stay on the weekends?

A: Across the weekend (Friday evening until Sunday afternoon), volunteers are required to vacate the Hostel. Buses depart from the Hostel to Jerusalem, then onto Tel Aviv on Thursday afternoon, where volunteers are invited to organise their own weekend accommodation.

A break from the site affords volunteers with the opportunity to explore Israel’s many sites and customise their weekend experience.

If you would like to stay at the Hostel over the weekend, please organise your accommodation directly with Masada Youth Hostel. The excavation assumes no responsibility for any plans arraigned outside of the excavation working week.

Q: What if it rains?! 

A: Flooding is common in the desert, particularly in February. Volunteers are encouraged to pack extra clothes and supplies in case of unplanned delays caused by flooding. Floods will interrupt the journey back to Jerusalem/Tel Aviv, as key roads may be affected.

Q: What is the weather like?

A: The weather at Masada in January and February is very dynamic. Volunteers can expect to experience wind, rain, and sun. As a result, we encourage volunteers to pack clothes for a range of weather and bring essentials such as:

  • A jumper/sweater
  • A rain-resistant jacket
  • A scarf
  • Lip Balm (to combat wind)
  • Sunscreen

Q: Equipment? What do I bring?

A:

  • Five changes of socks. (Don’t underestimate how much you will want clean socks at the end of a digging week.)
  • First Aid Kit: We also recommend that while we have First Aid on site, it never hurt’s to prepare your own. i.e. Band-Aids/Bandage tape (blisters, they can happen), needle and thread (trust us, you may lose buttons or tear work pants…), antiseptic cream (for the odd scratch!), moisturise, standard: Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin.
  • Weather Smart Clothes: long pants for excavation, long-sleeved/warm shirts, rain jacket (if you have one), excavation gloves, a hat (for good measure), a large water bottle or two (you must bring 2 Liters of water to site each day).
  • Sunscreen/Lotion 30+
  • A backpack for the field (for the above mentioned water, hat, and sunscreen).

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