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Excavations

Masada. “The Strongest of them all”.

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017

Masada. “The Strongest of them all”.

            A month excavating the remnants of Romans, Rebels, Monks and a Monarch Photo credit: Omer Ze’evi Atop the forbidding, isolated rock plateau of Masada, students of the program, took to the dry desert dust with trowels in hand. Each student worked the tools of the modern archaeological excavation, from trowels and turreahs, to total stations, and carried with them a knowledge of the intricate history of the site, having spent a semester in the classroom led in study by dig director, Dr Guy Stiebel. Photo credit: Hai Ashkenazi Overlooking the...

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Summer Excavations in Israel: Tel Megiddo and Tel Azekah

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016

Summer Excavations in Israel: Tel Megiddo and Tel Azekah

Part of TAU’s International MA Program in Archaeology is a 4-week excavation. This year the two options for excavations were Tel Megiddo and Tel Azekah. Each excavation was 4 weeks long, with Megiddo running from mid-June into July and Azekah from mid-July to August. Both are very famous excavations, with over one hundred participants attending them each excavation season. I was fortunate enough to participate for a short time at the Megiddo expedition in addition to my month at Tel Azekah. Below you will find my overview of daily life and experiences at both sites.   Tel...

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Excavating in the Desert: The Central Timna Valley Project

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016

Excavating in the Desert: The Central Timna Valley Project

Recently I was privileged to participate in an excavation at the site of Timna, the ancient copper mines of the Aravah. Located approximately 20 kilometers north of Eilat, Timna, known in the public sphere as the site of King Solomon’s Pillars, is an extensive area where copper mining and smelting has been conducted for the last 3000+ years. The most recent excavations, led by Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University, began in 2012, and run every year during the winter. The reason it happens during the winter is because it is located deep in the desert, where work conditions in the intense...

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Digging at Azekah – Summer of 2015

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015

Digging at Azekah – Summer of 2015

So the day had come for me to set out to the Valley of Ellah where legend held that the shepherd boy David fought against the giant Goliath. Although Goliat is long since gone and there are no more giants to fight, the site itself presents a “gigantic” mystery. According to ancient sources, the Assyrians had captured and destroyed the fortified city in 701 BCE. Enigmatically, so far no real evidence of the Assyrian had been found in Azekah. The set out goal for the 2015 expeditions was to try and identify what had been suggested to be a siege ramp, similar to the one that had been exposed...

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Four and a Half Weeks at Megiddo – A Summer’s Summary 2014

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014

Four and a Half Weeks at Megiddo – A Summer’s Summary 2014

After four and a half weeks at Megiddo, my time here has sadly come to an end; but the memories and the experiences from the excavation will be treasured forever.  This being my first excavation ever, I was uncertain of what to expect. I figured that since I enjoy both the outdoors and archaeology – the excavation will be fun. However, it really was so much more than I could ever have imagined.  There were of course sacrifices that had to be made such as waking up very early and the intense physical labour. These however added to the experience, and in hindsight were even very enjoyable...

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My Top 5 Archaeological Related Experiences at TAU

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014

My Top 5 Archaeological Related Experiences at TAU

It’s been almost two years since I arrived in Tel Aviv in order to pursue an MA in Archaeology of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. During this time I have trekked near and far throughout Israel, the Middle East, and Europe in pursuit of archaeological knowledge and adventure.  I must admit I am incredibly jealous of those of you who grew up in countries with a documented history older than a handful of centuries. Eastern and Western Europe and the Middle East have been like historical and archaeological playgrounds for me in the past two years and it is hard to choose only five things I’ve...

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Second Week at the Megiddo Excavation – Summer of 2014

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014

Second Week at the Megiddo Excavation – Summer of 2014

In the last post my classmate, Laura, shared experiences from the first week at the Megiddo excavation. The first week involved a lot of cleaning and setting up so in terms of archaeology it wasn’t too groundbreaking. However, during the second week, more interesting finds started to reveal themselves in every area of the Tel.    Working in area H  First things first, I suppose that a small introduction to my area is in order. I work in the area H of Tel Megiddo. Legend has it that both professor Oded Lipschits and professor Chris Rollston excavated this area in the past. In fact,...

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First Week at Megiddo – Summer of 2014

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014

First Week at Megiddo – Summer of 2014

My name is Laura Lilla Farkas, and I am student from Hungary currently living in Israel.  As a part of the International M.A. program in Archaeology at Tel Aviv University I have decided to join the excavation in Megiddo. The first week here at the excavation was both exciting and exhausting, and it has been nice to meet people from all over the world who decided to participate in the excavation. So far this excavation has given me the opportunity to learn from many experts from various sub-fields of archaeology. We even got a private personalized tour of the Tel from the world renowned...

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What to Expect on the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition?

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014

What to Expect on the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition?

Digging season is only a few months away! As excitment and preparations for the third excavation season at Azekah are well felt all around here at TAU, I thought I’d share with you, dear excavators and digging enthusiasts, what to expect from the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition, based on my experience from last year’s dig. So get your trowel ready… And let’s go! Good morning! 4:00 A.M. wake-up calls are standard on any archaeological excavation where the late afternoon temperatures would find you in a puddle on the floor of the square you are digging. Better to...

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Digging at Megiddo 2012 – an Experience of a Lifetime

Posted by on Aug 5, 2012

Digging at Megiddo 2012 – an Experience of a Lifetime

It has always been a dream of mine to have the pleasure and the ability to get involved in an excavation in Israel or the Middle East in general. Insufficient funds, summer classes, and various odd jobs have always been a barrier in my ability to even think about excavating at Tel Megiddo. However, on July 8th, 2012, as part of the International MA Program in Archaeology and History of the Land of the Bible, those barriers fully collapsed and my ambition for the field has only begun.  Working in Area S I was assigned to Area S at Megiddo. Boy, was I in for a ride. For some reason other...

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Digging at Azekah 2012 – The First Week

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012

Digging at Azekah 2012 – The First Week

The first week of a dig is always a bit chaotic and crazy.  Sunday wasn’t a full day of work and as it was the first day of the dig season here at Azekah things were different schedule-wise. On Sundays we come back to site after the weekend off.  We have a few meetings when we get to NesHarim (our living area) and then we go out to the field for a few hours in the evening to work before coming back for dinner followed by another session. First full day at Azekah Monday marked the first full day of digging and that means wake-up call at 4 AM and we are at the site by 5. Now I’m a...

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