Feb 18, 2015

Two hard working volunteers and their reward.

Alex and Mark with their reward.
Two of our volunteers relaxing after a long day of digging and rewarded with a whole jar. They took 3 entire jars from this same location, a juglet, bowl and this beautiful jar. They only had to dig down 1.5 meters to reach it. To date 12 whole vessels have been excavated out of my squares in 9 seasons at Tall el-Hammam - 3 Iron age, 6 Roman / Byzantine and 3 Middle Bronze Age. Of course thousands of sherds and many diagnostic sherds have been excavated from the squares but whole vessels are rare and extremely important for dating our locus in our squares. Great job Alex and Mark. Alex has been working with us for 9 seasons and Mark just joined us but plans to be back.

Feb 15, 2015

Start of week 4


Daniel our photographer and videographer taking the photos of our disassembled tabun (ancient oven). We will make a 3D image of the installation to preserve it for future analysis.
Our team this week.



Feb 13, 2015

Square at the end of second week

Here is a shot of our square at the end of the second week. We have gone down about two meters.

Two hard workers.

Alex (left) and Mark (right) working in the square. Alex is a nine year veteran of Tall el-Hammam and works away like a well oiled machine. Mark is new this season but has caught on very well.  I set up my office in the square because it was so windy the last two days and needed to be down below the walls to protect from the wind. It has also been very cold the last two days compared with other years. We hope the weather will warm up next week. We are not digging tomorrow as it is our one day off this week since we got blown off the tell on Thursday.

Feb 10, 2015

Balk Etiquette

Irina highlighting her water bottle while Josh does his paperwork for his square beside ours.
Some people wonder why we leave all those stones in the balk (walls).  Well here is the answer. They are shelves to hold our water bottles. The golden rule on the site is "Love your neighbour and keep a straight balk." The balk is very important as it is critical in reading the occupation levels in the square. It was originally developed by Mortimer Wheeler and then brought to Palestine by Kathleen Kenyon. It is now sometimes called the Wheeler Kenyon method of excavation (6X6 meter squares with a one meter balk.)

Feb 8, 2015

Week 3 -Lunch on the Tel

Abdule Rachman sitting on his truck after delivering our lunches.

Irina serving us lunch.
Yes Lunch is delivered and brought to the site each day by our local landowners son and his new truck. We have either a falafel or a shwarma with either Coca Cola or Fanta. We burn off the calories in the afternoon moving dirt and rocks.

Feb 3, 2015

Tuesday Second Week - Sling Stone

Our square after the second week. Still looking for the illusive wall but think we found it and a sling stone. Our colorful team is working very hard and the weather is great. Hot day today at the site but we had a breeze. We will see if it is a wall tomorrow.

Jan 30, 2015

Opened Square 21SS - Day 4

21SS Day 4
We put in our squares today. Here is 21SS with just a few stones showing up. The level we are working in at the moment is Iron Age 2. We shall see what lies beneath us. The person in the photo is walking on a road that was put in by the military so that shows how deep we could go this season. I will periodically take a photo from the exact location to give an indication of our progress. We will be trimming our baulks tomorrow.

Tall el-Hammam Team Season 10 - Day 4

Tall el-Hammam Team for Square 20SS and 21SS
Our team in our two squares this season. The team represents three from New Zealand, one from Russia, one from Australia, one from Canada, and several from the USA. We have an international team doing a great job.

Joshua Errington (Australian), on the far left, is one of our square supervisors. Josh is working on a degree in Archaeology from Tel Aviv University.

Craig (far right) is working on his PhD at Dallas Theological Seminary. Craig is originally from New Zealand.

Peter and Helen are also from New Zealand and Peter (blue shirt) is a pastor there. Helen (back row far right) is also in charge of cleaning the pottery every day.

Ron is in real estate and can move lots of dirt with his pick.

Thea beside my wife in the orange was given this trip as a gift from her husband and has always wanted to go on an excavation.

James in the backrow is back for his second season and knows exactly which stone to remove and which rock to leave. 

Mary is in the back row in the middle and the sister to our photographer but Mike did not know she was coming and they kept it as a surprise. 

Beside me is my wife who has been excavating with us now for six seasons. Yes of course we are wearing our Tilley hats!!

Everyone is doing an amazing job at moving dirt and trimming baulks.