Megiddo Expedition – Final Post

By the end of six weeks at the Megiddo Expedition, the rhythm of dig life had fully ingrained itself in my consciousness as the best and seemingly only way to live. Waking up at 4:30 am was natural, manual labor for seven hours expected, and pottery washing and office work in the afternoons nearly enjoyable.

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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.

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Future Shock

It’s been about two weeks since I have left Ireland, add a few more days and it has been almost three weeks since I left Achill Island. I haven’t had any huge culture shock, but I do greatly miss my field school. When you wake up to a house of fourteen other college students and travel to an archaeological excavation site at precisely 8:45AM for six weeks, it’s strange to find yourself getting out of bed into a quiet apartment without a mountain climb awaiting you. Results from the excavation site have not been released to my group of students yet, but the Facebook group said they will post them soon.

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Square Holes and Enigmatic High Crosses

Monday, August 6 – Friday, August 10

The last week of Achill Field School went by in a flash. Besides the usual scraping back more layers of dirt and cutting further into the middle section of rocks, there were a few new interesting things for me to do on site. In one section of dark brown dirt running down the side of the middle rock section, Rory had me cut a square hole. He told me to dig until the reddish orange material appeared. Once we knew how deep to go, it was faster to scrape the rest of the dark brown strip back. Rory told us to keep our eyes out for a piece of pottery in the dark brown material because then we could plausibly match this context to another dark brown material present in another part of the site that yielded pottery. We did not, however, find anything. Something frustrating about the pottery piece found in the other dark brown section was that the pottery found came from a modern century. The modernity coupled withthe depth at which the dark brown material occurred means that the site is probably not Neolithic, thus not a tomb. There was still a lot more digging to do when the week was over for the eventual new kids, so I still hold hope!

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Quartz and Lords

Monday, July 30th

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