Excavation Opportunities 1981
From Dan in the Galilee to Biblical Lachish, from Tel Michal on the Mediterranean Sea to Bab edh-Dhra on the eastern bank of the Dead Sea, volunteers will join archaeologists on numerous field sites in 1981. Always hoping that the next spadeful of earth will expose a stamped handle, an inscribed ostracon, a glimmer of gold jewelry, an intact vessel—hundreds of people will tolerate heat, sore muscles, shower lines and early morning wake-up calls to participate in digging up the past.
Fascination with the past should not, however, obscure the necessities of the present. The digs are as various as the artifacts: Accommodations, dates, costs, academic credit, climate, terrain, proximity to cities are all variables that should be evaluated by prospective volunteers. As you read through the descriptions of archaeological sites, try to match your taste and needs with what is offered. Write for further details, perhaps requesting the name of a volunteer who was on-site last year and can provide firsthand information to you.
Be prepared to work very hard in unaccustomed positions in unaccustomed heat. Be prepared to live closely together with a varied group of people in an intense situation. Be prepared to discover, regardless of your age, that the mysterious romance of archaeology has made you think about returning to another dig another summer.
The seventh season at Tel el-Hesi begins June 10 and concludes July 31. Hesi was the site in whose eroded vertical section Flinders Petrie was able to recognize that the evolution of pottery forms corresponded to the succession of strata. An as yet unknown number of walled cities from Early Bronze times to the Hellenistic period were built one on top of the other to form the large tel. Almost all known Palestinian archaeological strata are present from Arab times back through to the Chalcolithic era, with the exception of a Middle Bronze gap. The 1981 dig will try to determine the reasons for the site’s temporary demise at the end of Early Bronze III. The Joint Expedition to Tel el-Hesi offers accommodations to volunteers at an on-site tent village. The volunteers will participate in courses, projects, lectures and tours designed to deepen and broaden their knowledge of archaeology and Middle Eastern culture. The project director, Dr. Glenn Rose of Phillips University, will be assisted by professional archaeologists, area supervisors and scientific specialists. The cost of $850 includes room and board, the educational program and six semester hours credit, field trips and orientation. Trans-Atlantic charter flights are available. Volunteers who wish to participate for only three weeks should apply through Earthwatch; 10 Juniper Road, Box 127; Belmont, Massachusetts 02178. For further details and information call: Barbara Turek; Hesi/Volunteer Program; Oberlin College; Oberlin, Ohio 44074.
Lachish, one of the most important cities of the Biblical era, will be excavated again in 1981 during its eighth season. Lachish was already an important city during the third millennium B.C. In Joshua 10:3–10 Lachish is named as one of the cities destroyed by Joshua and the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan. Until its conquest by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. Lachish was the most important city in Judea after Jerusalem.
Sponsored by the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University and the Israel Exploration Society, the dig seeks 85 volunteers/students to work for two consecutive four-week digging sessions, from June 14–August 7, 1981. Four-week volunteers may participate in either a two or three course study program; volunteers may also participate for a minimum of two weeks without the study program. The cost of participating in the expedition is $75.00 per week for the first four weeks; in addition tuition for each course is $130 ($65.00 per credit hour). Volunteers are encouraged to register for the entire eight-week season since they may be asked to stay on for the second four week period at no extra charge. Participants live in a tent camp in a eucalyptus grove one mile from the site. For further information and application write: Dr. Song Nai Rhee; Northwest Christian College; 11th & Alder Streets; Eugene, Oregon 97401.
The opening season this summer at Tel Gerisa is a continuation of the four years of archaeological exploration in the Western Yarkon River Region which began in 1977 at the coastal site of Tel Michal. Tel Gerisa, an impressive 15-acre Biblical site which lies in northwestern Tel Aviv near the suburb of Ramat Gan, was the foremost urban center between Aphek, at the head of the Yarkon River, and the port of Jaffa. The project, which will require at least ten years of excavation because of its size and importance, is under the direction of J. D. Muhly of the University of Pennsylvania. Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University is archaeological field director. Volunteers with or without university affiliations may participate in the four-week dig beginning July 12. Classes in pottery identification and analysis, two four-week credit courses in Regional and Field Archaeology as well as lectures and field trips are available. Costs include a $25 application fee, non-refundable for those accepted in the program, $150 for tuition, $250 for four weeks of room and board. For further information and application forms write to Frederick Brandfon; Department of Philosophy and Religion; Stockton State College; Pomona, New Jersey.
Excavations at Merhav Ayalon have been conducted for the past four years by the Department of Classical Archaeology of Tel Aviv University. The directors are Professor Mordechai Gichon and Dr. Moshe Fischer who receive support and assistance from the Jewish National Fund and the Thyssen Foundation of Germany. One of the four excavation sites in the region known as Merhav Ayalon is Emmaus. Emmaus was first mentioned in the first Book of Maccabees 9:30 as one of the places fortified by Bacchides, the Seleucid general. Emmaus is also cited in Luke 24:13 as the place to which two disciples of Jesus were going when he appeared to them on the day of his resurrection.
The dig will run from June 15 to July 31. Lectures will be given on work-methods, historical geography and classical archaeology. As in previous years, members of the expedition will live in a camp at Canada Park near Emmaus. The Jewish National Fund arranges afternoon recreation for volunteers. For further information and applications write to: Professor Mordechai Gichon or Dr. Moshe Fischer; Tel Aviv University, Department of Classical Studies, Division of Classical Archaeology; Tel Aviv, Israel.
Tel el Efshar
Tel el Efshar, a site on the northern bank of the Alexander River in the Sharon Plain, will be excavated by the State University of New York at Buffalo. A royal Canaanite city, Efshar, Hefer or Hepher, also known as the “Land of Hepher,” was the chief city of one of Solomon’s administrative districts. Only a few miles from both the Mediterranean Sea and Caesarea, Tel el Efshar has yielded many discoveries including: a well-preserved Middle Bronze period “mansion,” the courtyard of a large Late Bronze period house destroyed in an intense fire, rooms of an Iron Age house dated to about 800 B.C., and a Byzantine building with stone foundations constructed of mud brick whose courtyards were paved with flagstones. This building was filled with pottery of the period and also contained evidence of the Samarian revolt (5th or 6th century A.D.). The project, in the field from June 26–August 9, 1981, has both a volunteer and a summer school program. Volunteer costs are $12 per day. The field school will offer two courses, each carrying five graduate or undergraduate credits. All room and board and touring related to course work is $700 for students taking courses; course credit is extra. For further information and application form write to Dr. Samuel M. Paley; c/o Council on International Studies; 125 Richmond Quad, Ellicott Complex, SUNY at Buffalo; Buffalo, N.Y.
Bab edh Dhra
Bab edh Dhra, an important Early Bronze site on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea, will continue to be excavated this summer by Walter Rast of Valparaiso University and R. Thomas Schaub of Indiana University of Pennsylvania who have excavated the site since 1975. This major expedition (see “Have Sodom & Gomorrah Been Found?” BAR 06:05) begins on May 15 and concludes July 4. In addition to the professional staff, there are only 15–20 volunteer spots available this summer, the majority of which have been filled. The stringent prerequisites for acceptance as a volunteer include three reference letters attesting to the volunteer’s organizational capability, attention to detail, and capacity to deal with disparate information. The volunteer must be physically fit, capable of withstanding 110°–115° for a 6-week period and be college age or older. Participants will live in tents or barracks. Credit courses may be arranged. For further information and applications write to: Dr. Marilyn Schaub; Theology Department, Duquesne University; Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The fourth archaeological season at Tel Batash (Timnah) will begin June 3 and continue until July 24, 1981 under the direction of Dr. George Kelm and Dr. Amihai Mazar. Tel Batash, is located in the fertile Sorek valley about 10 miles from Jerusalem. Founded as a Middle Bronze fortress, Batash was later occupied by the Philistines and became a site of Philistine/Israelite conflict. Destroyed by Sennacherib in the 8th century B.C. its final occupation was a Persian village in the fifth century B.C. Previous excavations there have revealed continuous occupation from the Middle Bronze period to early Persian times. A large Late Bronze burnt building containing a storeroom with jar holding carbonized grain and almonds has been discovered, as well as an important collection of seals, weapons and pottery from the 14th century B.C.
Sponsored by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in collaboration with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the expedition’s academic program includes basic field training in archaeological procedure and excavation methodology. The dig’s first session, available June 9–July 3, includes a complete academic program, lectures and sightseeing. The second session, July 6–July 24 does not have an academic program. Volunteers may enroll for either or both sessions. Accommodations are at a first class hotel in the Judean hills. For further information and application write to Dr. George L. Kelm, Timnah Expedition Director; P.O. Box 22417; Fort Worth, TX 76122.
City of David
The City of David excavations on the site of the earliest Jerusalem, enter their fourth season this summer on July 13 and will conclude on September 5. The City of David occupies a rocky spur extending south from the present Old City. Excavations this summer will continue to investigate monumental Israelite remains from the time of David or Solomon which were uncovered in 1980. Cosponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Exploration Society, the dig requires one hundred and twenty volunteers, each of whom will stay for a minimum of two, preferably, three weeks. Special field tours to other sites and to museums are offered as well as lectures. Academic credit is available through Hebrew University. Participants must secure their own accommodations in Jerusalem, though the Project will help if necessary. Fees include a $10 application and registration fee and tuition for any academic credit. For information and application write to: Dr. Yigal Shiloh, Director; The City of David Archaeological Project; Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Jerusalem, Israel.
For the eighth consecutive year Tel Dan will be excavated by a joint team from Hebrew Union College, Harvard’s Semitic Museum and Israel’s Department of Antiquities. Dan is one of the two cities in which Jeroboam instituted the worship of a golden calf after Solomon’s death. Called Laish until it was conquered by the tribe of Dan, it is the place to which Abram pursued the four kings of the east after they had captured his nephew Lot.
In the 1979 and 1980 seasons two remarkable discoveries were made at Tel Dan: A fully standing Canaanite gate tentatively dated from the 19th–18th centuries B.C. and a complete Israelite cultic installation. In 1981 the Canaanite gate and its fortifications will be further excavated and shored up and explorations will continue around the cultic installation. The five-week season, from June 27th–July 31st, 1981, will be directed by Dr. Avraham Biran. A course on the “Introduction to the Archaeology of the Land of Israel” will be given by Professor Keith N. Schoville, chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Only a limited number of volunteers will be accepted. Accommodations will be at a nearby youth hostel. Total cost including air fare, registration, tuition, room and board is $1455 for the season. The fee is $560 for those who wish to arrange travel independently. Three hours of academic credit will be given for the five week program. For applications and additional information write to: Paul M. Steinberg; Dean, Hebrew Union College; One West 4th Street; New York, NY 10012.
The Caesarea Ancient Harbor Excavation Project, sponsored by the Center for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa will have two sessions this summer, May 24–June 18 and June 20–July 7. Volunteers will participate in a four-week program designed to provide an introduction to all aspects of underwater archaeology of submerged coastal sites and to the history and archaeology of Caesarea Maritima, the provincial capital of Roman and Byzantine Palestine. All volunteers must be certified divers, in good health. Volunteers are responsible for most of their own equipment. A week of seminars and discussions at the University of Haifa is required before beginning field work. Three hours undergraduate credit will be awarded for completion of the program. Graduate credit is also available. Week-end trips to archaeological sites of interest will be available. Costs, including room and board, for five days a week, diving costs and insurance will be $800.00. For further information and applications write to: Professor Robert L. Hohlfelder; Department of History, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; 80309.
Situated in the upper Galilee just west of Safed, En Nabratein’s 1981 excavations will focus on major remains from the Roman, Byzantine, and Arab periods including a basilical synagogue that spanned those eras. Scattered remains from Early Bronze, Iron Age, Persian, Hellenistic and Crusader periods are also present. En Nabratein’s season runs from June 10 to July 10. Excavations are directed by Eric Meyers of Duke University. All participants must enroll in Duke University’s Summer School for two courses (Principles of Archaeological Investigation and Palestine in Late Antiquity). Applicants need not be students currently in degree-granting institutions. Graduate or undergraduate credits are available. For further information and applications write to Dr. Carol Meyers; Summer Program in Israel; Department of Religion; P.O. Box 4735; Duke University; Durham, NC 27706.
The Baram excavation of the Yiron Plateau in the Upper Galilee will locate, record and sample Acheulean (prehistoric) sites which date from about 100,000 years ago. The project, which has no credit arrangements, will be in the field October 1–30, 1981. For further information write to Professor Milla Y. Ohel; University of Haifa, Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Mount Carmel, Haifa, 31999 Israel.
Excavation of Tel Dor on the Mediterranean coast, 18 miles south of Haifa, will continue this summer. Returning to the field for the second season of a projected five season project, the Tel Dor excavation is under the sponsorship of Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology and the Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with New York University, Boston University, and the University of Sacramento. The six-week excavation at Dor, one of the largest mounds in all of Israel, will begin July 1. In the 1980 season remains of the Byzantine, Roman, Hellenistic and Persian period were unearthed. It is anticipated, that next season more will be revealed from some of these same periods as well as from the Phoenician occupation of Dor. Four courses for academic credit will be offered. Non-credit participants may be accepted either for the first three weeks or the second three weeks. Those persons not interested in credit should write to Tel Dor; Dr. Neil Richardson, Executive Director; 168 Mt. Vernon St.; Newtonville, MA 02160. Those interested in university credit may write to Professor James D. Purvis; Religion Department, Boston University; 745 Commonwealth Ave.; Boston, MA 02215.
From June 15 through July 15 Petra will be excavated by a group headed by Professor Philip Hammond of the University of Utah. Plans call for completing work on the first–sixth century A.D. Nabatean temple at Petra. Not more than 20 volunteers will be accepted for work at the site. Accommodations including board will be available at semi-hotel standards and will cost $850.00. For further information write to Philip Hammond; Department of Archaeology, University of Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah 84112.
From Dan in the Galilee to Biblical Lachish, from Tel Michal on the Mediterranean Sea to Bab edh-Dhra on the eastern bank of the Dead Sea, volunteers will join archaeologists on numerous field sites in 1981. Always hoping that the next spadeful of earth will expose a stamped handle, an inscribed ostracon, a glimmer of gold jewelry, an intact vessel—hundreds of people will tolerate heat, sore muscles, shower lines and early morning wake-up calls to participate in digging up the past. Fascination with the past should not, however, obscure the necessities of the present. The digs are as various […]