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by Salem Arvin

by Salem Arvin. As I pack my bags and get ready for the flight from Tel-Aviv, I’m reflecting on some of the amazing adventures we’ve had. This was my first ever dig and to be honest it was hard. Waking up at 4:30 every morning to get on the bus so that we avoid working in the midday Israeli sun, eating smaller meals, having to keep our meat and dairy separate, not to mention the manual labor that my body just wasn’t used to. The first few days of excavation the backs of my thighs were numb from crouching, my arms were tired from sandbagging, and I had blisters from tying said sandbags. By the time dinner rolled around at 7pm I was ready to pass out. But between our weekly dinners with Dr. R, our weekend excursions all around Israel, eating at Uri Buri and getting to travel with some of my favorite fellow Miami students (as well as my new Penn State friends) I’ve had an amazing time. I can’t believe it’s over.

I’ve learned so much about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and archaeology overall throughout the past four weeks (shoutout to Emily for helping answer my questions revolving around religion). I’ve especially learned more than I thought possible about biblical archaeology and the Levant. I’m especially excited to have learned about and led flotation and to have furthered my experience in the field of archaeobotany. Although I’m looking to be a mesoamericanist with my dual LAS degree, I’ve had an amazing time learning to excavate with the Tel Akko team. Was it worth it? Yes. Am I ready to go home? Yes. Am I too tired to even think about climbing the stairs to the Tel again? Yes. Am I still weighing the decision between being an archaeologist and a museum professional? Yes. Would I trade this experience for any other? …Tel no.

Salem Arvin
About Salem Arvin
Aspiring archaeologist and president of the Anthropology Club at Miami University.

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Farewell to the Tel!