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by Megan Ashbrook

“I love travelling with archaeologists!” I know I said this phrase multiple times throughout my four weeks in Israel. I was usually referencing when someone made a funny history/archaeology joke. But now reflecting back on Tel Akko it extends beyond just jokes.

I also really enjoyed tours of Galilee, Caesarea, and Jerusalem given by professors on the excavation. They pointed out things like architecture or provided details on excavations of the site I wouldn’t have found in a “normal” tour. They also pushed us to question how the sites we were visiting were presented to visitors.  Were they presented religiously, scientifically, or another way? In Zippori, we were asked to notice the differing levels of conservation given to mosaics and think about why this was. The last ancient mosaic we saw, a synagogue mosaic, was the best conserved and had a building built around it. In the building, there was an impressive video about the mosaic. This made me think about how the most care was given to the religious mosaic while others were left out in the open.

In the field, I loved being surrounded by archaeologist with different interests and expertise. I valued being able to learn from each one. My square supervisor knew a lot about the tabuns (ovens) we were excavating. While the square supervisor next to me wrote his masters on metallurgy and could answer my questions on things in that area.  Another person knew a lot about lithics. Back in the labs, I learned about achaeobotany, zooarchaeology, and pottery from the Tel Akko specialists.

The pottery specialists and the pottery lab were special to me on the excavation. I am completing my independent study from Tel Akko before schools starts. My project is based around an Attic imported ceramic plate that was found this season. Having no knowledge on the pottery in the Levant before traveling to Israel I have the pottery specialists and everyone else on the dig to thank for teaching me a lot before I could even attempt to write my independent study.

Coming back to Miami University and regular classes I will try and remember all that I learned from the archaeologists this summer. I hope to continue to be able to question and analyze in my classes liked I was asked to in Israel. Being surrounded by archaeologist on the Tel Akko Total Archaeology Project was a great way to spend my summer.

Part of the Synagogue Mosaic Video

Miami University

Religiously Presented 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.

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Surrounded by Archaeologists