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Have you always dreamed of being on an archaeological excavation in the Holy Land? Now is your chance to join the Associates for Biblical Research team in Israel as we excavate Shiloh in 2021! Sign up today at:


The Associates for Biblical Research is excited to announce that the 2021 Shiloh Dig and Tours are now open for registration.


Shiloh Excavations 2021: Info & Registration

Dear Friends,

I am profoundly disappointed that due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic we were forced to cancel the 2020 summer excavation at Shiloh. My attention has now turned to the 2021 season. The ABR team is on the verge of major discoveries at Shiloh, and I would love for you to be a part of this. We will also be filming a major documentary in 2021. Registration for the 2021 season will open in July 2020.

I encourage you to make plans to register for summer 2021. Each registration that comes in puts a smile on my face.

Digging the Bible!

Dr. Scott Stripling

Director of Excavations

Shiloh, Israel


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

Pre-Dig Tour: Friday May 7 to Sunday May 16, 2021 with Dr. Scott Stripling

Four Weeks of Excavation: Sunday May 16 to Saturday June 12, 2021

Post Dig Tour: Sunday June 13 to Monday June 21, 2021 with Gary Byers, Assistant Shiloh Dig Director


Cost and Travel Details

All Subject to Change without Notice (Last Updated 5/27/20)

I. The Shiloh Excavations will be conducted for 4 weeks in 2021 (Sunday May 16 [3 PM Check in Time] to Saturday June 12, 2021 [AM Check out]. Several packages are available for one, two, three or four weeks. They are as follows:

a. Standard One Week Interval: Check in Sunday PM, Check out Saturday AM (or similar one week interval). Price for one week: $1100

b. Standard Two Week Interval (discounted): Check in Sunday PM, Check out 2nd Saturday AM (or similar two week interval). Price for two weeks: $2000

c. Three Week Interval (better rate!): Check in Sunday PM, Check out 3rd Saturday AM. Price for three weeks: $2900

d. Four Week Interval (best rate!): Check in Sunday May 16, 2021 PM, Check out Saturday June 12, 2021 AM. Price for four weeks: $3600

e. Pre-Dig Tour (Fri May 7 to Sun May 16, 2021, [check out Sunday 5/17 AM for those departing]: $1600

f. Post-Dig Tour (Sat June 12 PM check in to Mon June 21 AM check out, 2021): $1500

g. Pre or Post Dig Tour Price for those who dig one, two or three weeks: $1400

h. Pre or Post Tour price for those who dig four weeks: $800

The tour pricing includes 3 meals, park entrance fees, bus driver tip, bus transport, and hotel.

As a general statement, if you are able to arrive a day early, it will give you time to get acclimated to the time change. An extra non-dig night is $100 per person, double/triple occupancy. Feel free to inquire about this if you are interested.

NOTE: Diggers may join us during any interval of time during the 4 weeks. At least two weeks of participation are preferred, but not required. Contact Henry Smith, Administrative Director, with questions or for a price quote.

These rates include Double or Triple occupancy (SINGLE ROOMS MUST BE REQUESTED AND ARE LIMITED) and 3 meals a day (Lunch is ONLY included on Dig days, and not on weekends during the Dig season). Transport by bus to and from the Dig, and evening education classes are also included. Rates for participation other than 1, 2, 3 or 4 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. Full payment is due March 15, 2021, though we will take applications after that date ONLY if rooms are still available.


II. 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. Students MAY be able to find discounts at:

III. 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 is due ASAP.

a. Final payment in full is due: March 15, 2021 (Minus $300 cash for some participants).

Some Dig participants will be asked to bring $300 US Dollars cash to Israel and submit to the ABR staff as their final payment. Many of our expenses are only payable in cash, and transporting large volumes of cash overseas poses security risks. Check cashing in Israel has also become very difficult due to legal restrictions. Thus, having each digger bring their final payment in cash resolves these problems. Thanks for understanding!

IV. Holy Land Touring

There will be multiple touring options made available during the 2021 Dig season.

A. Weekend Touring: During the Dig, three weekends trips will be made available to diggers. Park entrance fees, lunch, and 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 $40-$60 per day. The weekend options are (itinerary is subject to change and is tentative):

  • Saturday May 22, 2021: Free day in Jerusalem
  • Sunday May 23, 2021: TBA
  • Saturday May 29, 2021: Free Day in Jerusalem
  • Sunday May 30, 2021: TBA
  • Saturday June 5, 2021: Free Day
  • Sunday June 6, 2021: TBA

B. PRE and POST DIG TOURING: (See pricing above in section I)

1. Pre Dig Tour: A pre-dig tour package is being offered, and will be led by Dig Director Dr. Scott Stripling. Tourists will stay at the Ritz Hotel, Jerusalem.  Itinerary is subject to change without notice. ABR will handle payments and registrations for the pre-Dig touring.

2. Post Dig Tour: A post-dig tour package is being offered, and will be led by Senior Archaeologist and Assistant Dig Director Gary Byers. Tourists will stay at the Ritz Hotel, Jerusalem.  Itinerary is subject to change without notice. ABR will handle payments and registrations for the post-Dig touring.

3. Possible Pre and Post-Dig Tour Sites MAY include: Caesarea, Cana, Nazareth, Megiddo, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Beth Shean, Jericho, Qumran, Bethlehem, Elah Valley, City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Israel Museum, Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea, Western Wall, Temple Mount, Old City, Holy Sepulcher.

V. Paperwork and Registration: There are multiple steps involved. All steps must be completed!

1. Download the Liability PDF Form, print it out, sign it and initial it, including the signature of two witnesses. Minors must have a guardian signature as well.
Please scan and email the liabilty form to:
Or mail to:
Associates for Biblical Research
PO Box 144
Akron, PA 17501

2. Click on this link to fill out our Online Application Form (off-site link).

3. Submit $500 deposit per individual via check or card.
Instructions for payment are given at the end of the online application form as well as below.

VI. Making Your Payment

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

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

a. Click the ONETIME GIFT field, and then enter the proper dollar amount in the OTHER AMOUNT field below it.

b. Then, under COMMENT, type: PAYMENT-DEPOSIT FOR SHILOH DIG and/or pre-dig TOUR 2021 / post-dig TOUR 2021.

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 credit card through PayPal.

d. If paying by check, mail to:
Associates for Biblical Research
PO Box 144
Akron, PA 17501

VII. Safety

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. Shiloh is a national park and is enclosed, and is located along the main security road. The excavation is very safe.

VIII. Accomodations

While digging and on the post-Dig Tour, we will be staying at the Ritz Hotel Jerusalem 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 45 minutes from Shiloh. 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. Getting a Sherut on a Saturday can be difficult at times, so plan to use a taxi if you arrive/depart on a Saturday. The cost is $20.00 (70.00 Shekels) from the airport to Ritz Hotel. For a private taxi the cost is around $80.00 (300.00 Shekels).

IX. Internet access in the hotel is spotty at times. There is one public computer available for use. There is an ATM near the hotel. The rooms have safes.

X. 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 use detergent from Israel (US detergent does not work well with the Israeli water). b. There is a laundry service right across the street from the hotel. A full load, washed and dried, is about $20. Diggers can drop off of their clothes after work and pick them up the next day after work.

XI. Single rooms are only available by request, and are limited.

XII. Traveler's and Health Insurance

All travelers must purchase 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. Tokio Marine covers travelers in the West Bank.

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

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.

XIII. Passport

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.

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 your last day in Israel by SIX MONTHS. 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!

XIV. Tax Deductibility

The monies paid toward the Shiloh 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.

XV. Tool Donation

If you are able, please bring a Marshalltown Trowel with you and leave it as a small tool donation. This is difficult to find in Israel, and is expensive to transport en masse. So, your help is appreciated! It is available at Home Depot (Click here). NOTE: DO NOT pack the trowel in your carry on luggage! It will likely be confiscated.

History of the Site

Ancient Shiloh was first established in the Middle Bronze (MB) II period, around 1700 B.C. It was expanded in MB III, around 1600 B.C. and was continuously occupied until the middle of Iron Age I (around 1070 B.C.) when the Philistines destroyed it (See I Samuel 4). It was rebuilt in Iron II (980-587 B.C.) and was occupied through Early Roman times. The Byzantines and Crusaders also built structures there. Most importantly, it was the center of Israelite worship for at least 300 years. The tabernacle was erected at Shiloh and may have been later replaced by a more permanent structure. The city is in the territory of Ephraim, Joshua’s tribe.

History of Excavations

Shiloh was excavated for three seasons by a Danish team between 1926 and 1932 and again in 1963. Israel Finkelstein worked the site from 1981-84. Although a minimalist, Finkelstein confirmed the presence of “proto-Israelites” from the time of the Conquest through the period of the Judges. A very large deposit of burned cultic bones was uncovered, confirming a sacrificial system. Like at Maqatir, the Israelites built their houses against the MB wall. After Finkelstein, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria (KAMAT) renewed sporadic excavations at Shiloh in 1988. To date, ancient gates have not yet been found, but there was a glacis (fortification slope) and fortified wall that surrounded the site, which no doubt will eventually lead to the gate(s). 

Associates for Biblical Research has been excavating at Shiloh since 2017.

pdfExtensive Bibliography on Shiloh: Updated August 31, 2018 (PDF).

Reports from the 2020 Excavation Season

The 2020 Shiloh Dig Study Packet (PDF Download from DropBox)

Reports from the 2019 Excavation Season

Video Reports from the 2019 Excavation Season on YouTube

The 2019 Shiloh Dig Study Packet (PDF Download from DropBox)

Reports from the 2018 Excavation Season

Tel Shiloh 2018 Excavation Report: Submitted to the Staff Officer of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria: PDF Download from DropBox

The 2018 Shiloh Dig Study Packet (PDF Download from DropBox)

The Shiloh Excavations 2018: Season 2 Week 1

The Shiloh Excavations 2018: Season 2 Week 2

The Shiloh Excavations 2018: Season 2 Week 3

The Shiloh Excavations 2018: Season 2 Week 4

The Shiloh Excavations 2018: Season 2 Week 5

Reports from the 2017 Excavation Season

Tel Shiloh 2017 Excavation Report: Submitted to the Staff Officer of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria: PDF Download from DropBox

The Shiloh Excavations 2017: Season 1 Week 1

The Shiloh Excavations 2017: Season 1 Week 2

The Shiloh Excavations 2017: Season 1 Week 3

The Shiloh Excavations 2017: Season 1 Week 4

The Shiloh Excavations 2017: Season 1 Week 5: Conservation Work

Other Resources on Shiloh

Tim Lopez, Scott Stripling and David Ben-Shlomo “A Ceramic Pomegranate from Shiloh.” JSRS Volume 28, No. 1, 2019, 37–56.

Scott Stripling, "The Israelite Tabernacle at Shiloh." Bible and Spade 29:3 (2016): 88-95.

2013 Roundup of Significant New Discoveries "These buildings were destroyed in a fierce conflagration. Burnt floors were found all over. Collapsed burnt bricks accumulated on these floors to a height of more than three feet. Some of the bricks had been baked by the blaze that had raged here. Roof collapse was discernible in many places. All this dramatic evidence of fire must be associated with the destruction of Shiloh by the Philistines after they defeated the Israelites near Ebenezer in the mid-11th century B.C. Jeremiah knew what he was talking about when he later threatened the people with destruction like Shiloh’s."

Livyatan-ben-Aryeh, Reut, and Hananya Hizmi. “The Excavations at the Northern Platform of Tel Shiloh the 2012-2013 Seasons [Translated from Hebrew].” Edited by D. Scott Stripling and David E. Graves. Translated by Hillel Richman. Judea and Samarea Studies 23 (2014): 113–30.

Amihai Mazar, "Archaeology and the Bible: Reflections on History Memory in the Deuteronomistic History," in Congress Volume Munich 2013 (Vetus Testamentum Supplementum), ed. C.M. Maier, (Leiden:Brill, 2013): 350-351. (off site link).

Israel Finkelstein, Shlomo Bunimovitz, Zvi Lederman and Baruch Brandl. Shiloh: The Archaeology of a Biblical Site. Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University. 1993.

Marie-Louise Buhl and Svend Holm-Nielsen. Shiloh: The Danish Excavations at Tall Sailon, Palestine in 1926, 1929, 1932, and 1963: Pre-Hellenistic Remains. The National Museum of Denmark. 1969.

Donald G. Schley. Shiloh: A Biblical City in Tradition. Sheffield Academic Press. 1989.

David Rubin. God, Israel, and Shiloh. Shiloh Israel Press. 2011.

Holy Land Magazine, "Go Now to My Place at Shiloh," 2016. (off-site link)

From Ramesses to Shiloh: Archaeological Discoveries Bearing on the Exodus-Judges Period Fall of Shiloh (l Sam. 1-4). Significant architecture from the Iron Age I, the time of Eli, has been excavated at Khirbet Seilun, ancient Shiloh, 17 km south of Shechem. All traces of Iron Age and earlier occupation on the summit of the site unfortunately were removed by later building activity. On the slopes, however, enough material from the Iron Age I period has been found to determine that the settlement at that time was 2 1/2 to 3 acres in size.

pdfArchaeological-ages-handout-Wood-2016.pdf (29.12 kb)




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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019