Tuesday, December 4, 2012

UE Graduate Creates Archaeology Game App

UE Archaeology and History alumna, Lierin Holly-Falzoni (left) has developed a new Archaeology game app designed to teach people some of the basic concepts of archaeology while they play a fun and challenging game.  Lierin and her husband, Marco Falzoni (standing beside Lierin) founded Zombie-Cricket Studios, a company that makes game apps. 

Lierin and Marco demonstrated the app (right) to UE students and administrators last week.  The game simulates an excavation at a Colonial American site as players draw plans, excavate, and even sift for artfiacts by shaking their phone or tablet!

The couple also signed an agreement (below) donating a percentage of their profits from the game to the Department of Archaeology and Art History's Browning-Miller Advancement for Archaeology Endowed Fund.  Scholarships supported by the Fund will underwrite the expenses of UE students traveling to field schools or internships beginning next summer.  We are all very appreciative of Lierin and Marco's generous donation!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Israeli Archaeologists Visit and Lecture

Students and visitors to the department's fundraising event.  Left to right:  Hilda Torres, Sarah Carlton, Norma Franklin, Mark Browning, Delores Browning, David Ilan, and Alan Kaiser 
 The UE Department of Archaeology and Art History was lucky enough to receive a visit from two prominent Israeli archaeologists, David Ilan and Norma Franklin.  Dr. Ilan of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem delivered a lecture at Temple Adath B’nai Israel.  Read more about it in the article from the Evansville Courier and Press.  Dr. Franklin, who is affiliated with the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa and is the co-director of the Jezreel Expedition with our own Dr. Jennie Ebeling, shared the stage with Hilda Torres, Sarah Carlton, and Kelly Goodner at a panel discussion about recent archaeological work at Jezreel.  Students also had the opportunity to meet with our guests in small groups throughout their time in Evansville and both archaeologists came away impressed with the high caliber of UE students. 

Drs. Franklin and Ilan were also honored guests at a fundraising event (pictured above) for the Browning-Miller Advancement for Archaeology Endowed Fund, a scholarship to help students attend field schools and internships.  The fundraiser gathered so many of the Evansville elite that it made the society page of the Courier and Press!  

Dr. Ilan's visit was supported through a partnership between the Patricia H. Snyder Concert and Lecture Series and the Bronstein Trust.  Dr. Franklin's visit was made possible through the generous support of the University of Evansville.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Student Elizabeth Frost Digs at Poggio Civitate in Murlo, Italy

This summer I participated in a dig at Poggio Civitate in Murlo, Italy. Since this was my second summer there I was able to specialize in conservation where I cleaned and preserved Etruscan artifacts. Over the summer I worked with two professional conservators who taught me the process. First I learned to clean the different types of recently found artifacts we work with, such as terra cotta, bronze, and iron. I put artifacts back together and learned how to stabilize them using plaster and other materials.

I worked on one project through the entire six weeks I was there. It was a fragmented pan tile that had been previously worked on but not finished. This is what it looked like before:

I spent many hours figuring out which pieces went where, like an odd puzzle. Then once I figured out where they went and which ones did not even belong to this artifact, it was time to adhere it together, which I did at least three times because it kept falling apart (It was a really humid summer!). But finally after much hard work and determination I finally finished it!  Now all that’s left to do is to paint the fills.

Although it could be frustrating at times, this was one of the best ways I could have spent my summer. I learned many new things, all of which helped me figure out I want to go to graduate school for conservation. Life on any dig is interesting, but life at Murlo is something I will never forget.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Graduate Melanie Miller in Belize

This summer I participated in the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project (BVAR). This project focuses on the research of Maya sites in the Belize Valley and it is presently working at three sites: Cahal Pech, Lower Dover, and Baking Pot. I had the opportunity to work at latter two sites.

 I spent the first couple days in San Ignacio, Belize learning the basics of excavation before I went with a group to the remote jungle site of Lower Dover for two weeks. We stayed in cabins in the jungle where we slept with mosquito nets, showered with rain water, and walked with flashlights at night to avoid stepping on tarantulas. The site was about a half mile hike in the jungle from the camp. Lower Dover is a Terminal Classic site where excavations only recently began in 2010. This field season focused on excavating a plaza structure to determine its architecture to establish a chronology of Lower Dover. I helped to excavate a ceramic cache, which also contained faunal remains and obsidian, and then painstakingly re-uncover it with a spray bottle and paintbrush after a torrential downpour covered it in mud. I also worked in another unit to establish the site’s chronology by uncovering as many stratigraphic levels as quickly as possible before the season ended. This involved recognizing when there was a level change and very reluctantly having to break through several plaster floors of the plaza with a pick.

The last two weeks I worked at the site of Baking Pot, which has been under excavation for about 20 years and dates back to the Preclassic Period. Baking Pot is covered by modern farms and we had to navigate through a maze of corn fields to reach the mound under excavation. The objective was to expose the architecture of one structure and determine the mound’s chronology with a test pit that measured around 20 feet at season’s end. Since it was the end of the field season, most of the work at the mound was last minute digging, endless screening, and backfilling. Most of the time I was washing and processing artifacts at the ‘lab’ located on a livestock farm. The lab was really just a barn for storage, the porch of the livestock veterinary office, and the outdoors. Thus, we had some curious four-legged visitors that would attempt to eat or play with our equipment and we periodically had to run for cover whenever a stampede of cattle ran through the lab area while we crossed our fingers that they would not trample our drying racks full of 

On the weekends I visited other Maya sites in Belize and Guatemala. I’m looking forward to participating in another field school next summer, whether it is with BVAR again or another program in Belize. Overall, I learned a lot from my experience in Belize and gained invaluable insight into archaeological fieldwork. Nothing in the classroom can ever completely prepare you for work in the field, but fieldwork offers invaluable experience and the best stories definitely come from the field.

Graduate Rachel Lawrence Interns in Illinois

I volunteer at the Peoria Historical Society in Peoria, IL, where I have been designing a virtual exhibit that supplements the new museum in Peoria and the Smithsonian.  I planned everything from formatting to information to images.  In addition to that, I catalog artifacts in our collection, including items from the arrival of the French in the mid-17th century to photographs and books.

I also have just started an internship at Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewiston, IL.  In September I was one of two archaeologists to lead their "Be an Archaeologist for a Day" program where fifteen students from the ages of 10-12 participated.  Now, I am helping to plan some of their events for October and November as well as learning to lead tours and other group activities.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dr. Heidi Strobel on The Trend

Dr. Heidi Strobel recently discussed the past and future of Evansville's historic Alhambra Theater on The Trend.  For the full interview, follow the link below:

Dr. Heidi Strobel on The Trend

Student Sami Miller Participates in the Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project in Italy

This summer I participated in the Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project in Italy. Elizabeth Frost and I had been accepted into the program in Summer 2011 and were invited back as staff members for the 2012 season. Instead of working as a student, I was a junior staff member. This meant that I was working as an assistant Trench Master, learning proper archaeological documentation methods, both on and off the field. I learned that actually running the trench is very different from working in it. I still played an important role in my trench, but instead of helping to dig it, I was recording what everyone in the trench did. This included setting up the trench, drawing the trench and all the artifacts found, keeping a daily record of any action taken in the trench, and elevations of the trench floor.

This season was very different from last season. Last year, trench masters had their excavation areas in specific spots that were within walking distance of each other. This time around the area I was working in had trenches that were side by side for a total of ten trenches covering an approximate area of 16 meters by 12 meters. We were working off the side of what is known as the “medieval road” which is a medieval era footpath still used today. On the other side of the road there were eventually six trenches that uncovered lots of material from the Iron Age, Etruscan Orientalizing and Archaic periods.

One unique opportunity I had in the trench was to excavate what is potentially a post hole, which involved a lot of lying down on my stomach with my head and one arm inside this hole. There is the big taboo about sitting in the trench, so there was a great rush of excitement about getting to actually lay down in one, but that euphoria was soon diminished when I realized lying down with your head below your body was not a good feeling. Especially in 100 degree weather and no shade. It was a great experience overall and I learned the finer points of delicate excavation, but which can come in handy later if I ever encounter another post hole. Because of an injury later in the season I spent the last two weeks working in the lab with alumni Theresa Huntsman cataloguing artifacts (meaning Theresa did the cataloguing and I did whatever task she told me to, which was usually munselling new finds and entering the colour designations). 

My first summer here I learned about the Italian Iron Age, which has become one of my favourite topics in archaeology. This interest evolved into my honors thesis with which I received UE’s Undergraduate Research Grant, which allowed me to return to Poggio in the summer of 2012.  Every weekend I was going to a new museum or city to conduct research, and I was able to build on the Italian that I learned last year.  If you want to learn the basics from an exceptional field school, consider Poggio Civitate.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Student Lydia Maurice at New Harmony

This past summer I participated in USI's field school in New Harmony, Indiana with several other students. The first day we stayed inside, listening to our instructor, Dr. Mike Strezewski, explain what we would be doing at the site and what kind of things we would be looking for.  He explained to us that we were looking for pottery left behind the Harmonists, a group of people who came from Germany to start a utopian community at the site.  After that first day, we drove out every morning to New Harmony and began setting up our units.  We practiced digging straight down 10 centimeters at a time until we got the feeling of maintaining a flat surface across the bottom of the unit. At the end of each section, we had to fill out paperwork describing the unit and what we found in the soil. We found many bricks and rocks as well as some pesky mole holes that always seemed to appear in the unit I was digging. We also had to describe the soil color and texture, any charcoal or organic material within the soil, and, most importantly, if there was any mottling within the soil.

Lydia poses with dig mascot, "Christoph Weber."
After going down about 30 centimeters, we took all our units down to the same level and some features began to emerge.  While some of us worked on digging and cleaning the units, others screened the dirt, looking for pottery sherds and other artifacts that could tell us more about the people who once lived there.  Every morning two people would clean the artifacts we had found the previous day so we could better identify what they were.  Many people came to visit the dig while we worked, and if Dr. Mike was busy one of us would explain what we were doing at the site. We worked out at New Harmony for five weeks and only had to leave early one day due to bad weather conditions. Towards the end of the dig we also took half a day to visit a local potter and got to try making our own pottery.   
Fragment of a chamber pot found at New Harmony.
Overall I took a lot away from this course and gained some new insight as to what it was like working at a dig. Working at New Harmony taught me how to work with others, take careful notes and measurements, and handle delicate artifacts.  As much fun as I had, this dig helped me realize that, while I liked digging, I preferred doing the paperwork and the cleaning. I would recommend the New Harmony dig to anyone who wants to get out there and experience some cool local history with new people.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SAHA Welcomes Students

The UE Society for Archaeology and the History of Art sponsored a party last Sunday night to welcome the new archaeology, art history, and classical studies majors.  SAHA provided an archaeology-themed cake.  Some alumni also returned to make the new students feel at home.  Welcome new students!

Cake-designer Emily with her creation.

Everyone agreed that the cake was not just pretty...

...it was yummy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Student Carissa Kepner at Angel Mounds

Interning at Angel Mounds during the spring semester and in summer 2012 has been one of my most enjoyable college experiences so far. I have had many opportunities to solve problems and be creative and inventive, and I have really enjoyed getting to know the Angel Mounds staff.

Carissa stands next to a seed sorter at the spring Farm Fest event at Angel Mounds.
The first thing to know is that Angel Mounds isn’t a big museum, and you shouldn’t go into an internship at this site thinking that you’re going to be handling and cataloguing a lot of artifacts. In fact, most of what the interns do is interact with the public and help plan and run events. I have developed my people skills and improved my public speaking skills at Angel Mounds by giving presentations to visitors and helping out with off-site presentations in the community. I am very proud of my ability to talk to people on the phone, as when I started I was terrible at it and now I can talk smoothly and professionally. This summer I have been planning, setting up, and running events for the four themed day camps organized by Angel Mounds. I was even allowed to plan one entire day of camp with help from the staff. There is a lot of give and take between the interns and the staff that makes Angel Mounds feel like a family. There is a lot of trust that develops between the staff and their interns, and the staff members really made me feel like my work was contributing to the good of the site.

I helped kids build this boat for Angel Mounds Extreme Egypt camp and we all got to try it out.
I learned a lot from my time there, not only about the history of the site and Mississippian culture, but also about all of the different kinds of work that go into running a museum. Although the internship is unpaid, it is well worth your time, especially during the summer when you keep constantly busy. If you are willing to learn and work hard, you will have a lot of fun.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Student Carly Herrud Participates in the Island Archaeology Program in Maine

I didn't know what to expect on first experience of my first dig, let alone my first field school. What I came to find out was that a lot of effort is put into archaeological fieldwork, and seagulls are evil during their nesting season. I spent one week in summer 2012 working on Smuttynose Island as part of the Island Archaeology Program through the Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine. Smuttynose Island first entered the historical record during the colonial period, when it was used for fish processing, most often giant cod. There was also a tavern that once stood on the island, but there are only two buildings left standing: Gull Cottage and the Hayley House.

Carly (right) in her trench.
I got to experience digging from the sod all the way down to Level 8 (prehistoric) in a standard 1 m² unit with my trench partner, Danielle. The number of artifacts we collected during one week was astounding. We found copious amounts of smoking pipes, glass, ceramics, and plenty of fauna (animal bones). Fish bones were the most common find, but we also found multiple cat skeletons in our unit. Danielle even found a lithic (stone tool)! Professor Nate Hamilton of the University of Southern Maine was the head faculty overseeing this excavation; the assistants were his former students Lindsay and Katherine. Even though most people were from schools much closer to the island than me, everyone was so nice. I’ll always remember Nate’s phrase of choice whenever we stumbled upon a cool find: wicked!

This experience was not only new to me because it was my first field school, but the living conditions were new to me as well. All of the students working through the Shoals Marine Laboratory resided in dorms on Appledore Island, which was a short boat ride away from where we worked. Shoals is very energy conscious, having purchased a wind turbine and composting toilets for the dining hall. With this awareness came the unfortunate limit on even navy style showers, which made cleaning up every day after field work nearly impossible. Dirtiness and aggressive seagulls aside, I had an amazing experience learning the basics of archaeological excavation and enjoying the beauty of this island environment.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Student Alyssa Reynolds at New Harmony, IN

“You’ve got to go dig those holes."
-“Dig it” D-Tent Boys

Having never been on an archaeological dig before, I have to admit I was a little worried. Will I get along with the other students? Since I’m not experienced in field methods, will the professor cast me off to the side? Those were just a few questions racing through my mind. However, after participating in the USI field school from May 9th – June 8th at New Harmony, IN, all of my doubts were erased.

Alyssa with a Harmonist red ware cup.
The focus of the 2012 field season of USI’s excavations at New Harmony was Christoph Weber’s pottery kiln. Previous field schools had uncovered the firebox for the kiln, but we were hoping to expand further on this feature. Much to director Dr. Michael Strezewski’s surprise, the kiln was larger than he had anticipated. Not a big surprise - considering this is archaeology. One of the most interesting artifacts discovered was a Harmonist redware cup. My digging partner and I were so excited when we pulled this out of the ground! Other artifacts unearthed included Harmonist pottery shards, rotary scissors, and kiln furniture. While expanding the kiln feature, the remnants of a church wall built after the Harmonist period and a brick floor from the Harmonist period were also discovered.

The amount of knowledge which I obtained from the field school was immense. I learned how to draw maps, measure, document, and dig using correct excavation methods, all while having a lot of fun. Making new friends was easier than I thought. Being in a hole with somebody for an extended period of time makes you get to know that person rather quickly. I will never forget this experience and all of the people I met. We all had such a good time together. Filling in the holes on the last day was a bittersweet experience for all of us. We reminisced about our five weeks together in the hot sun digging holes and discovering the past. We laughed, hugged, and vowed to do it all again if possible. I thank them for making my first field school unforgettable and reaffirming my career choice – archaeologist.

Alyssa in a trench at New Harmony.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Washington D.C.

Dr. Heidi Strobel was in Washington D.C. last weekend to do some research at the Folger Library and to see the "Royalists to Romantics" exhibition of late eighteen and early nineteenth-century female artists at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  She visited with recent Archaeology & Art History alum Leah Thomas, who will be starting a M.A. in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall.  Dr. Strobel also made several visits to the National Gallery, where she is pictured below, along with Jean-Pierre-Antoine Tassaert's amusing sculpture Painting and Sculpture (c. 1775).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jezreel Expedition featured on local public radio

UE Associate Professor of Archaeology and Co-Director of the Jezreel Expedition, Jennie Ebeling, was interviewed by Micah Schweizer on WNIN's The Trend on July 13, 2012.  Click here to listen to the interview (it's about halfway through the program).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

UE Students Excavate Armageddon

Hilda (in blue hard hat) and Emily (far right) work the bucket line at Megiddo.
The eight UE students and recent graduates who participated in the 2012 Jezreel Expedition also had the opportunity to excavate nearby Megiddo - biblical Armageddon - for one week in June. The students really enjoyed the chance to dig at one of the most famous sites in "biblical archaeology" and learn excavation techniques with more than one hundred students and staff from all over the world.

Megan at Megiddo.

Nate works the sifter at Megiddo.

Sarah (red shirt) in her little corner of Megiddo.

Mike in his trademark white shirt at Megiddo.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jezreel Expedition - June 15, 2012

By Kelly Goodner

One of many rock-cut tombs discovered by the Jezreel Expedition.
Waking up at 4:10 this morning was as difficult as ever but of course we all did it. As we stumbled into the cars for the short trip to the slopes of the area around the tel, the realization that this was our final day of survey for the Jezreel Expedition set in. While the work was tiring and occasionally stressful my experience working with the team members and other students has been great.  Actually doing archaeology is such a different experience than sitting in a classroom or studying at a desk.  Exploring caves and cisterns, finding pottery and tombs: these are experiences that I will never forget and I am grateful that I got the opportunity to participate in the first season at Jezreel. I can’t wait to learn about the future work Norma, Jennie and the rest of the team will accomplish here!

Cooling off in Ein Yizreel (the spring) after a very hot morning.

Aces in the Hole June 14, 2012

By Emily Mella

While all of us on the trip are very interested in archaeology, sometimes some of our favorite moments have nothing to do with the discipline. Today's highlights for me were pancakes and pomegranates. We began the morning dragging a little, but perked up after Dr. Ebeling promised pancakes to the student who found the most interesting feature as we were tagging. Eventually we learned that the rumors about pancake Thursdays at the kibbutz were true and that we were all going to participate. We were excited to eat something different from our usual breakfast fare, and probably put a little too much syrup on our pancakes because we were a bit loopy after breakfast. We had been working for awhile when I discovered that some of the girls had been putting pomegranates into my backpack without my noticing, and the game began. We were working near a pomegranate tree and eventually the goal was to get a pomegranate into every adult's backpack without them noticing. It was a lot of fun and a nice way to distract ourselves from the heat. We recorded many cisterns today, as well as a few interesting tombs. Today was a very nice and lighthearted second-to-last day at Jezreel!

One of the 90+ cisterns that dot greater Jezreel.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jezreel Expedition June 13, 2012

By Megan Anderson

Our spirits were high as we set out in the dark morning hours. We all piled into the cars and headed out to the site. We spent a very interesting day recording the old village walls which dotted the landscape, but what made today especially exciting was that Emma was the first to finally see one of the snakes that live in the undergrowth. Apparently more afraid of her than she was of it, the snake slithered away…hopefully never to be seen again.

Recording walls from the village.
That afternoon, instead of returning to the field, we had the opportunity to visit Tel Megiddo, or biblical Armageddon, where we joined members of the Tel Aviv University’s Board of Governors from Canada for a tour. Dr. Norma Franklin, who was a member of the Megiddo team for 19 years, explained the site and its significance. It was very interesting to hear how interpretations of the site have changed over the years as new evidence is uncovered. To end our tour we took 180 steps down into the water system, which was not only impressive, but more importantly on a hot day—cool.  The spring there is still active and we stood over a small pool of water deep inside the bedrock, where a tiny frog was entertaining himself by watching tourists.

Ending our day we came back to the kibbutz for dinner, and like the old ladies we are fast becoming, we were all sound asleep by 9:30pm.

Megan found this pot on the surface during survey.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aces in the Hole June 12, 2012

Nate Biondi

“It’s time to make the doughnuts” is what I think every morning when I wake up at 4:15 AM.  It took us boys awhile to get ready this morning (us boys being Mike, Ian and me), but once we got moving we were good to go.  In fact, we had quite a bit of energy.  I started the day off singing “it’s getting hot in here” by Nelly and that got me in a good mood.  We spent the morning tagging possible features with caution tape so we could record them later. 

A sea of caution tapes marking potential features.
On previous days I usually did the locus sheet, making sketches, recording points, and describing the feature in general.  Today, I decided to change it up and measure because I feel bad about my illegible handwriting, which would make it difficult for anyone trying to piece the area together. Measuring isn’t as easy as it looks; I almost fell into a cistern twice.  This morning, however, we did find an exciting cave that had several niches cut in it.  People in antiquity made tombs out of pre-existing caves by cutting into the walls to make “rooms.” This cave could have had seven of these rooms.  Judging by the proximity to a modern path, knowledge of the existence of the cave is not in question, but I don’t know if anyone knew it was used as a tomb.  Later on that day Dr. E took a recording of Emily and me to ask us about our experience in Israel.  This is truly the most beautiful place on earth.  The climate is awesome, there is amazing vegetation, and the people are extremely welcoming.  I am very lucky to have a chance to help Norma and Dr.E.  Speaking of Dr E, we started tagging on the same piece of land where you may have seen Stonehenge in a previous posting.  We were not finding much until Dr. E popped up on a hill and found nine tombs. Nine!!!! Some of them were not completed, meaning that the carving wasn’t working out or the stone mason built them incorrectly. I guess it’s just an average day for the Rock Goddess (Dr. E). 

One of nine rock-cut tombs we found today in Area K.
This has been the best experience of my life.  It is not every day that I get to travel to a foreign country with eight of my best friends and other amazing people.  This brings today to a close, as for tomorrow morning… “It’s time to make the doughnuts!”

Jezreel Expedition blog June 11, 2012

Michael Koletsos

Today was a day that would test the patience of even the most experienced archaeologist.  We arrived at the site just before 5am, but could tell very quickly just how warm it would be throughout the day.  The humidity was so incredibly high that it felt like our clothes would never dry from our perspiration.  By 6:30am everyone was ready for a break.  We continued to make many discoveries from our surveying, but by 10am it was clear that we could not work anymore.  Most of us were still tired from our weekend excursion to Jerusalem.  So we headed back to the kibbutz, cleaned up, and had lunch.  People seemed to relax as we traveled to the University of Haifa to visit the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, which is sponsoring the project along with the University of Evansville.  Our group met a number of friendly archaeologists who gave us a tour around their facilities.  It was quite an enjoyable experience for us all.  We even explored the Hecht Museum located on the University’s campus, which was filled with a diverse collection of artifacts from many areas of the world.  I enjoyed the organization of the collection and the displays.  One of the most interesting displays for me involved ancient toys and game boards, since they were similar to items many of us had as children.  Looking forward to our work tomorrow!

Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute explains a display of Heracles/Hippos at the University of Haifa.

June 8, 2012 Report from Jezreel

Hilda Torres

Our work this morning was an interesting start to the day. We were running a little late, but we were able to catch up with the tags that we had not finished yesterday. My team, “Jezebel’s Revenge,” was able to find many different rooms that we originally thought were disconnected walls. The other team, Willendorf Warriors, ended up finding more dead cows today. They have such great luck with finding dead cows. My team also measured plenty of different caves. I ended up going into two caves today and there were some hidden treasures in them.

In the first cave that I went inside by myself, I found an old horse shoe. The second cave that I entered with Mike Koletsos had a nice jar handle attached to part of a vessel. Mike was the one who spotted this wonderful piece of pottery that could have belonged to the villagers from the area. Another great discovery I made today consisted of small chunks of tesserae that belonged to a floor. Sadly, I was not able to find the floor from which these pieces of tesserae came, but now we know that there are plenty of floors to uncover.

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 7, 2012 Aces in the Hole

Sarah Carlton

Sarah and Mike measure a wall "hidden" in the undergrowth.
Thursday proved to be an interesting day in most every regard. Today we finally split up into two groups in order to “bag ‘em and tag ‘em” more efficiently; what I mean is we went through loci much more quickly. Sadly, though, I wore my shorter pants in the morning and nearly died due to the evil, prickly plants. In the afternoon we continued our morning’s work of recording features, and, lo and behold, another dead cow was found! The poor beastie had fallen into a cave of sorts and died inside. L My team found several caves with wall enclosures, and Megan giddily explored them all. All in all the survey of the site is running along smoothly. Also, team Willendwarf Warriors (pronounced  Villaindwarf Warriors) are much, much better than team Jezebel’s Revenge – just sayin’.

Nate and Megan recording the GPS coordinates of a feature.

June 6, 2012 Aces in the Hole

Kelly Goodner

Surveying through very tall weeds in the early morning hours.
So 4:30 am in Israel comes early but not bright. Waking up when it’s still dark outside is always hard but hey I’m in Israel so it’s worth it.  Instead of talking about the survey, I am going to talk about the field trip we took in the afternoon.  Rather than returning to the field on Wednesday afternoon we took a field trip further North to Tel Hazor where Dr. E  picked up ground stone tools that she plans on doing further research with.  Our first stop was Tel Hazor where we were given a tour by Dr. E.  FYI the tel is bottle shaped; yes Mom I did learn something in college!  The highlight of the tour was the water system the residents of the tel built for retrieving water in times of siege.  This was the highlight for two reasons: it was impressively sized as well as much cooler then standing out in the hot sun on the tel.  For lunch Dr. E treated us to falafel, a tasty mix of fried chick peas and salad goodies stuffed into a pita.  On our way back to the kibbutz we stopped at the Mount of Beatitudes on the Sea of Galilee, which includes a church and grounds with spectacular views of the sea and surrounding areas.  We then stopped at the Israeli baptism spot on the Jordan River. It was a beautiful area and we got to see two cute little otter-like creatures. The final stop on our field trip was a parking lot with a great view of Tel Bet Shean.  We then returned to the kibbutz for dinner exhausted and hungry. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jezreel Expedition blog June 5, 2012

By Emma Dunleavy

…and on the third day we began our survey near the spring of Jezreel. We trampled, traversed, and tripped our way through grass, weeds, and plants taller than our heads. Surprisingly, we were able to discover a path in the undergrowth which might have been used in the 20th century. After our heroic stamping through the bush we surveyed a cleared open field and collected fragments of pottery, flint and basalt. We found many fragments of pottery dating from the Early Bronze Age to the Byzantine period. In the late afternoon session we returned to Jezreel to survey a large remaining section of the eastern slope. Many of us felt like mountain goats while surveying, and I believe a few bleats could be heard coming from our team. The finds this afternoon were among the most interesting yet: a large olive or wine press cut into the rock as well as an unfinished sarcophagus still in a quarry.

Surveying on the terrace near the spring in the morning.