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 Angela at

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 2021 will be delivered in Summer 2021.

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

A: The participation fee at Masada accounts for the

  • Accommodation at Masada Youth Hostel September 29-October 1, October 3-8 and October 10-15.
  • Food (3 meals a day, Afternoon Tea),
  • Access to on-site guest lectures from world renowned experts,
  • Transport to the excavation accommodation each Sunday and Friday (as well as Wednesday, September 29)
  • Transport to and from the archaeological site, Sunday through to Friday

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

A: Cancellation prior to August 31, 2021: will result in a full refund, minus a 150 NIS registration and banking fee.

Cancellation after August 31, 2021, until the beginning of the dig: Will result in a full refund, minus a 1000 NIS cancellation fee for each week, and a 150 NIS registration and banking fee.

Cancellation during the season or without announcement: Will receive no refund.

Cancellation at any time due to Covid-19 will receive a full refund, minus a 150 NIS registration and banking fee. Please contact our admin for more information.

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 2021 Excavation

Q. Your first week (Sept 29- Oct 1, 2021) is a little unusual, how will it work?

A: Unlike our regular full week, on September 29 we will have pick up very early in the morning (likely around 4-5 in the morning). We will proceed to the mountain and begin excavation that day! We ask that you come dressed and ready with your field bag to open our 2021 season!

Q: Why are we starting in the middle of the week?

A: The days preceding September 29 are holidays (read about them here!) and these days look something like Shabbat. Please contact if you have questions about how this will affect your travel in Israel.

Q: Why does the 2021 season look different than usual?

A: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Masada team decided to postpone our regularly scheduled excavation from February 2021 to September 2021, in order to ensure we could safely continue our exploration of the site and abide by all mandatory health regulations. Not to worry, we also plan to host a regular 4-week expedition in Winter 2022.

Q: How is the Masada Expedition addressing the Covid-19 Pandemic?

A: As an expedition, we are adhering to all Israeli Public Health guidelines, as can be read in English here: With proper social distancing, personal protection equipment and other regulations and orders, we welcome volunteers from within Israel and abroad to participate with us.

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

A: Definitely! Head to our Facebook page and join our 2021 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 Summer 2021.

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 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 Friday 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 customize their weekend experience.

If you would like to stay at the Hostel over the weekend, please organize your accommodation directly with Masada Youth Hostel. The excavation assumes no responsibility for any plans arranged 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: 2021 The weather at Masada in late September is usually very warm. Volunteers can expect to experience high temperatures and little rain, though the mornings and evenings may feel much cooler. As a result, we encourage volunteers to pack clothes for a range of weather and bring essentials such as:

  • A wide-brimmed hat
  • A jumper/sweater for cool mornings and evenings
  • A rain-resistant jacket
  • A face covering/bandana/scarf to block the sun
  • Lip Balm (to combat wind)
  • Sunscreen

A: The weather at Masada in 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?


  • 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!), moisturiser, standard: Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin.
  • Weather Smart Clothes: long pants for excavation, breathable 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).
  • A face mask
  • Sunscreen/Lotion 50+
  • A backpack for the field (for the above mentioned water, hat, and sunscreen).