In my last post I promised to give news about my summer digging plans. But, I also figured that I would include some information about the process of choosing which dig to go on this summer. In addition, there’s some various miscellaneous things that I wanted to write about which I figured would fit nicely at the end of this post.
At the end of my dig last summer, I excitedly told everybody on my dig that I was going to definitely be returning to Abel Beth Maacah for the 2016 digging season. However, at the start of my search for digging plans in the fall, I had a couple doubts that this would actually materialize. There were many reasons that I wanted to return to Abel. Mainly my positive first experience, my already existing relationships at the site, and my familiarity with the soil and digging procedure. At the same time though, I desperately wanted to dig in Greece. I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Greece for most of my life. My childhood obsession with mythology turned into a passion for Ancient Greek history and eventually into archaeology. I figured that perhaps if the dates worked out, I would be able to dig both in Greece and in Israel.
When I started looking for digs in Greece on the archaeological fieldwork opportunities bulletin, I was impressed by the variety of options. There were digs in Athens, the Peloponnese, and even on islands such as Crete. The difficulty though was in the dates. I quickly found that most of the digs I had taken in interest in were either at the same time as Abel or would simply not work with my summer schedule. In spite of this, there were some that would work perfectly. After that, it just came down to choosing which option was best. What was best though seemed to keep changing. At one point I felt sure I would be participating in the Thouria excavations in the southern Peloponnese while at another point it seemed that I wouldn’t be able to go the Abel at all and would be spending my summer doing a course in Santorini. The best option however later emerged in the form of the Helike Project.
The Helike project wasn’t one of the excavations which had originally shown up on my search. But, when it appeared on the bulletin, it soon became the best and obvious option. The dates that it offered would allow me to dig in Israel, and it had various periods of occupation which I was excited to learn about such as Mycenaean, Geometric, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman. As I read more about the site’s history and the various finds that have shown up over the last couple of years of excavation, it sealed the deal. I sent in my Application to Abel to dig for four weeks and an application to the Helike Project to dig for three weeks. Since then, I’ve been accepted to both and my dates for this summer will be June 19th-July 15th at Abel Beth Maacah and Helike from July 18th until August 7th.
I was originally going to include some miscellaneous information, but I’ve decided to leave that for whenever my next post is. I’m really excited for updating you guys on my digs this summer, and I’m really excited that everything’s working out.