Join a Dig This Summer: Registration will Open soon for 2016 Tel Azekah Archaeological Season

Student discovers ancient vessel at Tel Azekah.
Student discovers ancient vessel at Tel Azekah.

Looking for something fun to do this summer?

Ever wanted to be an archaeologist?

Want to get a great tan, get fit, lose some weight and spend a summer touring the Holy Land?

Want to get college credits for learning about real archaeology?

Then come join the international coalition of universities and colleges excavating this summer at Tel Azekah!

Registration is now open for the 2014 Season at Tel Azekah. (See tab at top of page for details.)

As recently featured on the History channel, Tel Azekah is the newest, biggest, and most centrally located excavation in Israel.

And this year, we have a new base camp at Kibutz Gal On, only minutes away from the tel.

So register today for the 2014 Season at Tel Azekah.

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Registration for the 2014 Azekah Season Coming Soon…

Final Day at Tel Azekah 2013
Final Day at Tel Azekah 2013

The 2014 Tel Azekah archaeological excavation season is just around the corner, and registration will open soon.

Please watch this space for information about the 2014 dig season, registration, costs, exciting weekend travel, course credit, midweek lectures by some of the world’s leading scholars, and much more.

Day 16 Revelations

Well, the cumulative effort of weeks is showing. A water cistern or water system was detected in Omer’s section close to closing time and will be explored more tomorrow, and maybe for days. A riddle was solved: Why were there Byzantine coins in mud bricks of what was apparently an Iron Age structure? The mud brick wall washed down and later material got stuck in it. This can be seen in the section- the clear cut of the excavation square side. So the wall is indeed from the biblical period.

A gate in the wall my be visible in Keren’s upper southern section. On the west a series of walls and floor and mud brick walls have been found all over the hillside, and seems to be Iron Age or earlier. On top of the hill more and more finds appear, today including great coins. And in the east, we are opening up more areas as some kind of built system or system are being revealed by painstaking slow work.

Future visitors to Azekah will definitely gain from seeing some of these structures dating between 1500 and 3700 years ago and associating them with the historical events and texts.

We have new volunteers from Heidelberg and other German universities, England, and elsewhere. CoDirector Prof. Manfred Oeming’s presence has started to be felt.

Tomorrow the weekly tour visits Socho who finished their first season today.

On our Facebook and Youtube sites you can see a great video Bob Cargill filmed when a lemelekh MMST jar handle came out of a wall and Omer Sergey took the time to explain it.  Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5I9dJZ9fTk

French views on Azekah’s expedition

French views on Azekah’s expedition
“Four French students taking part in the dig? We want your thoughts on how it’s going!”
Well, we attended the first two weeks of the dig, and now that we are back in France, here are our answers… without our French accent and rudeness, but still, with honesty!
First we want to thank everyone for their kindness… We even find our supervisors cute!
Our favorite times in the day were the breakfast and the beer after dinner and the lecture in the evening (the food was great, we are impressed). Digging itself was fun, when the sun was not too hot!
We have mixed feelings about the guest lectures and the mid-week tours: for some of us, it’s too much (the schedule is pretty intense), for others, it’s very interesting to have multiple views on how to excavate, how to do archeological research, how to focus on various aspects of the area, and so on.
Our worse moments? Bringing the tools to the digging areas and back, the sporadic WiFi, the warmth during the last hours of the dig… But those are only details, we actually are very thankful to the staff for their incredible work.
We already are trying to plan to come next season.
Camille, David, Guilhem and Sophie
If you read french, please have a look at our blog, http://ipt-azeka.blogspot.com
And our home university is the Institut protestant de théologie, in Paris, http://iptheologie.fr “

Day 15 A Scorcher

We moved out as usual and I was first up on the hill of the volunteers. As they day went on the “oven” got hotter  – our Eastern section and Ido’s top section shut down early and we went back to base camp to wash pottery instead. Once again the consideration for the wellbeing of the people is exemplary. But I am happy to report that more walls appeared on the eastern slopes!

More buckets of destruction layer material came out from both the top of the hill and the south side, and bits and pieces of the puzzles are coming together. As more squares are opening and the digging deepens, the chances of interpretation increase.

Excitement in the office –  3D modeling is being prepared and when properly mapped the archaeologists can use it to analyze and predict where to dig. It seems the paths up the hill to ancient Azekah may be identified, which can for example indicate where to look for a city gate. More on this later.

British rabbis-in-training visited. Curator Leora Freud explained artifacts like a stamped jar handle, a sheqel weight, grinding stones and the like, and why bone and charcoal analysis are important.  Then we went out to Lachish and Azekah and they “got the picture.” They wanted to “feel the text in their bones” before going out to teach. Dr. Raphael Zarum of the London School of Jewish Studies was there and was most pleased- he is familiar with the Lachish relief from Sennacheriv’s palace in the British Museum, but had never been to Lachish. The group saw walls first uncovered only hours before! The program was organized by Rabbi Mark Daniels.

Tarah Van De Wiele’s Azekah Top 10!

 Thank you for such an amazing experience which I cannot wait to have again!
My Azekah top 10:1. Sunrise witnessed from the Tel every morning. Why is sunrise so much more amazing when you are digging a hole in the ground? 2. Work that is so hard I actually never thought about my thesis. Impossible. 3. I found things in the dirt almost immediately. Instant gratification! 4. Staring at the ground while the metal detector picks up….love that moment. 5. A banquet for royals that happened to be our breakfast every morning–thank you! 6. The energy and spirit of the team–you are wonderful. 7. Hebrish. 8. Air con in the cabins. Air con in the class room. Air con on the bus. Bless you. 9. Being hopelessly filthy within 10 minutes is liberating. 10. Being in and among all walks of ancient Near Eastern studies on an archaeological dig is an inspiring example for all of the academy. Shalom! Tarah Van De Wiele