When I asked Professor Daniel Master, co-director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, what he would tell volunteers to read, this is what he suggested:
Selections from Ashkelon 1- It is free to download, and chapters 1, 8-11 provide a nice history. Other chapters can show the range of studies that people have done/the range of things that we find.
For people with a Biblical focus (or at least a Bronze/Iron age focus), Life in Biblical Israel shows how the archaeological remains can be assembled to paint a picture of ancient life.
Stay tuned. More soon.