What does it take to run an Excavation and Field School?
Aside from having a site, a permit, an enthusiasm for history, dirt, heat, and sweat, and a deep devotion to a hard task, what does it take to run an excavation and field school? How do we get from the classroom to the dig site? How do we get from Seattle (and all over the world) to a small site on the coast of Israel? How do we get from unexcavated topsoil to artifacts in museums—and articles in scholarly journals? How, in other words, do we get there from here?
First, it takes people: faculty, on-site instructors and staff, and a large contingent of student volunteers. It takes our team. Every year, we need to pay for the airfare and housing of the core Seattle staff; every year, we need to pay for the instructors and staff who teach our student volunteers in the field and in the school; every year, we need to make this opportunity as affordable as possible for the volunteers who wish to join out team.
Second, it takes equipment in the field: tools, tents, buckets, wheelbarrows, transits, and computers. Every year, we must replace old and broken tools with new, so that our work proceeds as safely and effectively as possible.
Third, it takes tools and staff for conservation and analysis: the excavation of artifacts is only the first stage of an excavation. Every year, we have thousands of artifacts that must be cleaned, preserved, and recorded for posterity.
In short, much of what gets us there from here requires money.
Although the program fees paid by student volunteers cover fully the tuition, room, board, and participation fees required by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, these fees cover none of the operating costs outlined above. Our core instructional costs (airfare, where applicable; room and board) amount to approximately $17,000 a year; upkeep of tools and equipment add another $2000. Finally, as we are deeply dedicated to keeping this opportunity as accessible as possible to as many students as possible, our ability to provide program fee offset to all participants, and substantial scholarships to a small number of exceptional applicants, continues to be a top priority.
How is the UW Tel Dor Excavation and Field School Funded?
The UW Tel Dor Excavation and Field School is an opportunity like no other. It is the only field school on the west coast with a site in Israel and, indeed, one of the few in the country. Unlike many other field school, we are the only field school that grants participants a full quarter’s worth of university credit, and the only one that allows participants to work on advanced research projects in their areas of interest. Finally, the UW program enables American, European, and Israeli scholars and students to work, live, and learn side by side for a full six weeks, breaking down cultural barriers and building new bridges of companionship and understanding. The lessons learned during the six week field school change lives and last lifetimes.
Although the UW Tel Dor Excavation and Field School is a University of Washington sponsored program, this sponsorship is a purely administrative and academic one. We receive no financial support whatever from the University of Washington for our project, nor do we have any corporate or institutional sponsors. We are able to continue to offer this innovative, one-of-a-kind opportunity to students and community members—we are able to continue to “do Dor”—only by virtue of the generous donations of private individuals like you.
How Can I Donate to Dor?
Tax-deductible donations may be sent to:
"Friends of Tel Dor" Fund
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3110
Or you may donate online by visiting the UW Classics Department's Support page. You'll find the option to donate to the "Friends of Tel Dor" Fund at the bottom of list.