Megiddo Expedition Update

Shabbat of week three marks the official halfway point of the Megiddo Expedition 2018. Sad goodbyes sent off the week three participants Thursday afternoon, as the volunteer team had become close after spending so much time together. The dig resumes Sunday morning with new students and the students, like myself, spending six weeks at the dig. Area S, where I work, has made significant progress in its attempt to understand the structure of the Middle Bronze Age Megiddo. The area team fully articulated a drain, removed multiple walls, and clarified a consistent destruction layer in the stratigraphy of Area S. Big-picture conceptions of the area coalesce slowly, founded on logic and visual identification by the area supervisors and the co-directors of the expedition. The process of identification of elements, assertion of causes, debate, and re-negotiation of ideas is highly informative. Art history, my discipline of study, is a bounded snapshot of understanding the material culture – participating in an archaeological expedition has expanded my thinking exponentially.

After the digging for the day concludes, the team returns to the Kibbutz for relaxation, then pottery washing and courses. The conclusion of week three also marks the end of the courses, “Field Techniques in Archaeology” and “Megiddo and the Archaeology of Israel.” I enrolled for these courses to fully immerse myself in Levantine archaeology and to clarify how I want include archaeology, particularly its connection with technology and spatial data, in my career. My studies are coming full circle – I enrolled in the Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences course at William & Mary to gain the knowledge and skills needed for archaeology, then pursued attending the Megiddo Expedition to learn how that and similar tools are put into practice. Dr. Adams, one of the co-directors, presented this past week on computer assisted analysis for archaeology. I knew then, if nothing else, that I desire to include computer assisted analysis/ spatial data for archeology within my career.

With three weeks to go, I expect that my understanding of Megiddo, technology for archaeological analysis, and my interest in archaeology will continue to clarify. The opportunity to gain such thorough immersion in Levantine archaeology, in all its facets,   is a fulfilled longstanding dream.