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 professors Israel Finkelstein and Eric Cline, who are the directors of the excavation.

Digging in area T of Tel Megiddo 

The first order of business upon arriving at the Givat Haviva Kibbutz was learning the area in which each of us would excavate. Fortunately, I got assigned Area T, in the middle of the Tel, in the area of the Neo-Assyrian palace. I couldn’t be happier in this area especially because it perfectly fits my interest, the Neo-Assyrian period. However, the goal during this season is to expose strata that predates this compound.

Laura in Tel Megiddo: Digging in Area T


Daily schedule 

The day starts by waking up quick at about 4 am and we start work at the Tel at around 5 am. This is pretty intense but watching the beautiful sunrise on the Jezreel valley as well as the Tel at dawn makes it so worthwhile. 

Once we get to the Tel we begin the work day by resetting the shades so we can have a semblance protection from the tough northern Israelite sun. After working hard at peeling the layers for around 3 hours we get to have breakfast at a courtyard, which once was the Chicago Expedition’s personal tennis court.

Between work and pleasure - international students and excavators at Megiddo

Afterwards, we resume our work while the heat gets stronger and after having a break at around 11 am we eventually return to the kibbutz at 1 pm. Once there we get to have lunch, relax for a little bit and we even get to use the pool. 

At 4pm we get to wash pottery, which is nice because we get to see the findings from our area. Afterwards, we have a series of lectures, before and after dinner, which are very informative and at high standards given prominent experts in their respective fields such as Prof. Israel Finkelstein, Eric Cline, Matt Adams, Mario Martin, and so on and so forth. 

First week sum-up 

While the first few days went by in a sort of slow pace as they mostly involved cleaning and removing topsoil, nevertheless, during this stage we still discovered some interesting things. I would say that the most important is the indication that there is indeed an earlier building under the Assyrian palace. We also found some really nice pottery shreds and a nice metal arrowhead. 

Although we worked hard and accomplished much we are also able to have fun since everyone is really friendly and the atmosphere in the square is both positive and inspiring. Overall, the next week seems really promising and I am really looking forward to continue my work.

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