by Ross Claar

For the past three days–starting on the 19th of July–at Tel Akko, I have been working with Survey. While there I have experienced the full beauty of Tel Akko, seeing the Tel in a way that most of the other excavators would not experience. I had not originally intend to participate in survey, however since that first day of walking around the side of that hill and digging survey holes, I would not missed it for the world!

On the first day, when I first arrived at the excavation site, I was asked if I was interested in joining survey for the day, to which I responded with a yes. And so I set off to the survey area. When I arrived there I was taught how to dig a survey hole—I however ended up digging a few bathtub shaped holes due to the looseness and collapsing nature of certain areas of the site. And that was my task for the entirety of the day.The Hills

During that time I managed to uncover various amounts of pot sherds of large sizes as well as a basalt grinding stone! I was happy to manage the feat of digging six holes that day. The strangest thing that I did uncover were the onions the size of human heads— although they appeared very appealing they are poisonous, and their liquid is potent enough to cause a rash on a person’s skin!Onions

On the second day, I spent the entire of the day holding a stadia rod with a prism on top (the rod is also referred to as the “The Staff of Ra”), walking across the hillside. For the first part of the day I was surveying the holes that were dug the on past day. To survey a hole the rod barer has to place the rod at each of the four corners of the square while someone at the total station takes a reading of all four points. After all of the survey holes had been surveyed they were then filled in. Afterwards I moved on to laying grid points across the hillside. Walking diagonally across the hillside and falling down many times.
SurveyOn the third day, I managed to dig four holes before being called over to help hammer stacks into the ground, while digging the survey holes, I recovered various amounts pottery sherds and onions. After a while I was then asked to hammer stakes into the ground, which I continued to do until the last two hours, where I switched to refilling the surveyed holes.

I am so happy that I decided to participate in survey, as it
has opened up a whole new way of experiencing Tel Akko and learning her hidden secrets.

Ross Claar
About Ross Claar

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Surveying, Onions, and Falling