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by Lindsay Simmins

By Lindsay Simmins.

 

For the last three years or so of my life, I have studied archaeology intently; specifically classical archaeology. While I was completely in love with my topic of study, my studies did not extend outside of the classroom. What I mean to say is this: I had never ever worked as part of a team on an excavation before! I know what you’re thinking. You are probably thinking that I can’t possibly pursue a career as an archaeologist without working out in the field first. Well, I totally agree with you. The fact is that I had never been presented with the opportunity, but this summer, I was! While I was beyond excited to get to work here in Akko, I was also equally as terrified. Why? Because I was afraid that I would hate the field that I had studied for so long. I was afraid that I would climb my way to the top of the Tel, start to excavate, and hate every second of it. I was afraid of having to rewrite the only life that I had ever prepared for: life as an archaeologist. Thankfully, the crisis was quickly averted, as my fear soon left me… I discovered that I truly do LOVE archaeology, and that I LOVE Tel Akko! Here’s why.

The People: First and foremost, no excavation can ever function properly or be successful without its staff members. Staff members direct the dig, keep track of the students, such as myself, and provide constant support and encouragement. They’re also ridiculously funny, so if you’re not digging in the dirt, you will be rolling in the dirt in no time. Tel Akko in particular has some of the best staff members of all time! Thus, while you’re dripping with sweat and covered in a nice coating of dirt just before 6:15 am, and when you are questioning why you ever did this to yourself, the staff remind you of why you came to Akko in the first place: to get down and dirty, and to make memories that will last a life time.

While the staff members are incredible, the students here in Akko are also equally as great. Whether they fall under the undergraduate or graduate category, everyone is lively and excited to work, each and every day. Who knew how giddy people could get about sweeping? The energy is addictive, and there is something about being surrounded by people your own age or close to it, who love your field of study (archaeology) just as much as you do.

A quick break from excavating!

The Earth/Exfoliation: If you have ever participated in an excavation, then you know the feeling of being covered in dirt/sweat from head to toe, as I mentioned previously. Well, when you are covered in dirt and sweating all day long, it is only a matter of time before the two mingle and marry, creating a wonderful, full-body mud mask. Most people would think the opposite, but when you are an archaeologist or an archaeologist in training such as myself, you learn to appreciate the mud mask. You don’t really mind it. Why? Because what no archaeologist will tell you is this: we have the softest skin around!!! As if soft skin isn’t always a plus, chopping into the earth a few centimeters (or many) at a time is super, super satisfying. Whether you want to let out your aggression or just want to fulfill your childhood dream of digging pits in your backyard in search of “artifacts,” excavating is and can be for everyone. It’s always exciting.

An example of just how finely the dirt sticks to the skin!!

The Education: The education that I’ve earned these last three weeks here in Akko, and will continue to earn for another week and a half, has been unparalleled. Before I ever got to Akko, I heard great things about it and its excavation, and all of it was completely, one hundred percent true. The staff members here really care about their students’ education. They’re sure to not only educate you, but to guide you, so that you can be the best future archaeologist possible. When they are not directing you in the field, staff members are both working one-on-one with their students in various laboratories and are giving lectures every single night. Education is woven into every aspect of our day, and I love every second of it. I love to learn, especially about archaeology, and I am convinced that there is no better place to prepare for a career in the field of archaeology than here at Tel Akko.

The Purpose: Archaeology gives me purpose. Excavation gives me purpose. Why? Because I am contributing to the archaeological record, to the field as a whole. We all are! Although I am just learning how to properly excavate, and how to properly be an archaeologist, I am looking forward to a prosperous career in the field of archaeology!

The Tel after the first week of excavation.

Lindsay Simmins
About Lindsay Simmins

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To Be or Not To Be: Is Archaeology Really For Me?