Anglo-Georgian Expedition to Nokalakevi: Volunteering


Prospective volunteers are invited to register their interest for the 2018 summer season
If you are seriously considering joining the team, you must download and read through the orientation pack and application form. Together with the website, it will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the expedition and what to expect.
If, after reading the pack you would like to join the team, please contact the members of staff outlining your interest. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

Download Orientation Pack
PDF (3.98 MB)

Download Registration Form
PDF (103 KB) DOC (456 KB)


  • What to expect
  • Facilities & Food
  • Health
  • Contribution & Costs
  • Grants
  • Dates

The Expedition provides travel, food and accommodation for participants and will receive a programme of training in all aspects of the fieldwork. This is likely to comprise  excavation, recording, planning and level taking (based on a modified MoLAS single context system), wet sieving, washing and recording artefacts, ceramic analysis and possibly some immediate restoration and conservation. Volunteers are offered a site tour and excursions will be arranged for rest days to other sites in West Georgia and the Black Sea coast. Working hours, subject to change, are:

  • 6:30am = first breakfast
  • 7:00am - 10:00am = excavation
  • 10:00am - 10:30am = second breakfast
  • 10:30am - 2:00pm = excavation
  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm = siesta\swim
  • 3:00pm = Lunch
  • 4:00pm -8:00pm = rest / finds and archive processing
  • 8:00pm = dinner

Our expectations
Whilst participating on the Anglo-Georgian Expedition to Nokalakevi, every effort is made to make your experience a comfortable and enjoyable one. However, you are expected to be responsible for your own well being and you will be kindly asked to observe any instruction regarding your general safety.
We also expect from you a level of responsibility, common sense and maturity of actions that will command the respect of your Georgian hosts and supervisors. Above all, we expect you to enjoy your time with us!

The local infrastructure has much improved over the past few years, though it is still basic by western standards. Nokalakevi generally has an adequate electricity supply though one should not be surprised at power cuts. In past years, the supply has been very poor with a low voltage, so charging electrical equipment is slow and may have undesirable effects on batteries and equipment.

Volunteers live a few minutes walk away from site with host families in the village, sharing their facilities. Our host families are kind and very hospitable. Squat toilets will be a novelty for many of our volunteers, but are not as frightening as some suppose. Water comes from a well. Our meals are taken communally at the Expedition dig house, which is located on site.

The dig house has cold running water for washing and squat toilets. However, the River Tekhuri is a few metres away from the dig house and is excellent for swimming, washing yourself and your clothes. Except when it rains, the river runs crystal clear over a bed of gravel and stone, warmed slightly by a sulphur spring around half a mile up stream. It provides welcome relief from the heat and humidity after a hard days work!

The local food is excellent, consisting of a varied and healthy balance of meat, vegetables and fruits, the majority of which is produced locally. We can accommodate vegetarians and other dietary requirements, but it is important that you discuss these issues with a director before enrolling.  Our water is drawn from a local well and in good conditions, comes up pure and cold. However, Georgia is well known for its mineral waters if you prefer to drink bottled water.

You will be expected to organise your vaccinations well in advance of the Expedition, as some require several weeks before a potential exposure. As well as ensuring your Tetanus is up-to-date, it is recommended you be immunised against Hepatitis A/B, Typhoid, Diphtheria and Polio. More detailed advise can be found in our orientation pack and current medical and travel advice advice for British, American and Australian participants on our links page.
Mosquito nets and iInsect repellents are advised and you should bring your own sterile medical equipment pack.

AGEN provides travel, food and accommodation for volunteers during their time on expedition. Including airline tickets, it costs us £1500 a head to run the expedition. We ask our volunteers to raise an equivalent amount of funds in donations for AGEN.
We encourage all volunteers to explore what avenues are available to them for raising some or the entire donation through grants; depending on your situation we may be able to provide advice.

Additional costs:
Visa: The cost of a visa (most volunteers, including all EU citizens, will not require one - please check with your Georgian Embassy to make sure)
Travel insurance: You will be expected to purchase your own travel insurance.It is essential that you check with your insurance company that they cover risks associated with volunteering on an archaeological dig.
Vaccinations: The cost of your immunisations,
Other: such as the items outlined on the 'things to bring' list in the Orientation Pack."

Please check back here for future oportunities

The project will run for 4 weeks from Friday 29th June to Monday 30th July 2018 (to be confirmed). Flights will be organised for all British participants and those from other countries who wish to fly via London. You must check with your Georgian embassy to see if a visa is required (most do not require one). You will be met at Tbilisi airport and driven to Nokalakevi by minibus. This journey takes five or six hours allowing for rest stops.




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