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by Megan Ashbrook

4:45am: Wakeup and 1st breakfast

Well sometimes I get up later… it’s hard to get out of bed before sunrise. But I always have to get a little something to eat before working on the tel.

5:40am: Arrive at Tel Akko

The first thing we all do in the morning is grab our supplies and sweep the park path around the dig site. Our supplies include black buckets for dirt, colored buckets for pottery and small finds, a brush, a trowel, and a patiche. A patiche is almost like a smaller, thinner hammer.

5:40-8:30am: Excavation

In the morning, we give our square a general sweep to collect all the loose dirt that blew in overnight. Then we get our plan of the day’s dig from our square supervisor (Darcie is the best square supervisor). Then finally we can start digging!

8:30am: Tel Breakfast aka 2nd Breakfast

Tel breakfast is one of the best meals of the day! Every morning I have hummus, green olives, and tea. Depending on what else there is I also have fruit, vegetables, or a peanut butter and jelly pita sandwich. Breakfast is also nice because it is served family style with all of us siting at one long table. I really enjoy passing the food and talking to my friends and find out what is happening in their squares.

9:00-11:30am: Excavation

After breakfast we all reluctantly get up from the tables and get back to work. Sitting and relaxing for a while makes its hard to get back to work. I usually pick up where I left off before breakfast. For an example, if I was trimming a baulk before tel breakfast I would go back to doing that. A baulk is the half meter section of dirt left on each side of a square. Baulks are helpful to see the stratigraphy of the square. When trimming it the idea is to make the baulk straight and at a right angle with the floor of the square. Plus it makes the square look clean and nice.

The best part of my day is excavating. Excavation includes so many other parts I didn’t know before coming to Tel Akko, like trimming baulks. I also have learned how to use a dumpy level to take elevation points in our square. I find it easy to use and a nice change from digging all day. We take elevations when something significant or special is found like a unique artifact. Also elevations are taken at the end of each day not only in my square but every one being dug at the site. Taking end of the day elevations tells us exactly how far down we excavated that day. I have learned how to identify so many things from digging the past three weeks like bone, vitrified earth, and tabun pieces (aka pieces of an oven made out of thick clay). This really helps when sifting all the dirt that is pulled out of my square (another skill I have learned).

11:30am-12:00pm: Cleaning and Closing the Square for the Day

Just like at the beginning of the day we do a general clean sweep of the square to get all the dirt we kicked up throughout excavation. Then I usually help Darcie check all our finds for the proper tags and fill out end of the day paperwork.

12:00-12:30pm: Find of the Day

Now that all the squares are closed for the day we can see some cool things people found! Fun or different finds are put up to be voted on, by cheering, for the “find of the day.” Some items that have won are an Egyptian scarab, a ceramic figurine, and a modern bullet.

12:30pm: Walk to the Bus

My day on the tel concludes with carrying all the pottery found that day down the long steps to the bus. We need to soak and wash the pottery so it can be studied by the ceramic experts. I also like to see all the cool pottery found on Tel Akko!

Now there are only a few days left on the tel and I’m wishing for more.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Scarab

Our Excavation Site

Megan Ashbrook
About Megan Ashbrook
I am a senior at Miami University with majors in Anthropology and East Asian Languages and Cultures and a minor in Archaeology. I am on my first archaeological adventure at Tel Akko and I am enjoying every minute! I can't wait to share all the cool things I am doing.

1 Comment

  • friedhelm schneider
    12:34 AM - 12 March, 2018

    hello together,

    just found your interesstiung website!
    I myself took part in tel akko excavation 1978, 1979-1980, 1982 (with prof. diethelm conrad) – and you can see fotos of that time on my website:
    and here, you also find an english introduction:

    all the best wishes to all of you,
    friedhelm schneider

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My Day at the Dig