March 27, 2013

“We all grew up digging through dirt and had visions of finding treasures,” says a recent participant in Dig for a Day archeology adventures in Israel. “Here you are actually finding treasure!”

The two- to three-hour experience is led by the Archeological Seminars Institute and attracts people from all over the world.

Ian Stern, director of ASI, says the tour begins by familiarizing participants with the history and geography of the 5,000 subterranean caves that make up the Sidonian Caves and Bell Caves near Beit Shemesh. Then they get to dig, and afterward to sift through the excavated dirt and finally crawl through a cave system not yet excavated.

“It’s a great opportunity to connect to people physically, emotionally,” says one participant, “to their past – to all of our pasts.”

Video by Elahn Zetlin

Music by Yair Yona