For one month in May-June 2013, I lived in a kibbutz called Yizre'el in the Jezreel Valley on top of the hill that was a short drive away from where our dig site is located. Technically, there were three separate areas of excavation but I only worked on the one in the field near the spring. The other two were on the “tel”: one was the wine press and the other was the excavation of the cisterns around worked stone that could have been a fortification wall. I used quotes previously because technically the hill we worked on is not a tel in the archaeological sense of the term even though most call it that. As stated previously, I worked out in the field above the spring in Square T-14 with Michael Kolestos and Susannah Morris.
|Kayla (left) and Vanderbilt University graduate student Susannah (right).|
In my square, for the first three weeks we worked on removing large rocks as well as layers of smashed mud-brick and collecting any pottery, flint shards, and animal bones we had found. During those three weeks we weren’t sure if we had found a wall or an altar, so we affectionately dubbed it “Walter”. In the last week, we officially found a wall and a professional architect who specializes in ancient construction told us that “Walter” was actually two walls which were built over our third wall! These two walls which made up “Walter”, however, were not connected in the sense that they create one building. Unfortunately, we did not find anything else which would help us identify what these walls were part of or what they were used for.
Outside of excavating five days a week from 5:00 in the morning to 12:00 in the afternoon, we went on a variety of field trips or had an exciting lecture after dinner. I went on every single field trip, and visited archaeological sites like Megiddo, Hazor, Bet She’an, and Gezer as well as major cities like Jerusalem and Nazareth. While I had to go on all of these trips as a part of my credit course, I definitely had a fun time on each trip. As for lectures, they focused on interesting subjects such as games, the importance of horses, and the sexuality behind cultic figurines.
But what really made this trip and field school worth it to me was all the people I met and became friends with. Actually, I would say more than friends. I lived in a house with about 18 other people and saw everyone in the whole dig school every day, working side by side with them, sharing meals with them, and experiencing some of the most amazing things with them that will forever stay with me. I will never forget the four weeks I participated in the Jezreel Field School and mainly this is due to the people I spent it with. As Nate Biondi states in thevideo on YouTube, “we are one really big…weird family.” I wouldn’t mind having a family reunion by attending another season of the Jezreel Expedition Field School.