Thanks to my ASOR Heritage Fellowship, I was afforded the opportunity to work at a site that had not been academically dug previous to this field season. As a supervisor, I was able to pass on some of my experience from prior excavations to the field school students, while learning and applying new methods and techniques to the archaeology of a geographical area I was not familiar with. I was also exposed to new technology that I had not used before, which allowed me to familiarize myself with new approaches to gathering data in the field.
This season’s work took place at Khirbet Summeily, a small Iron Age village site located during the Tell el-Hesi Joint Archaeological Survey that was conducted during previous field seasons. This year’s goal was to determine a stratigraphic sequence at the site. After ground penetrating radar was done across areas of the site, three four by four meter squares were opened forming an east-to-west trench. Many artifacts and features were found, such as burned loom weights, stone foundation walls, mudbrick walls, plaster floors, etc. These were recorded using a total station in order to have precise locations for the artifacts and features. Each day top photos were taken of each square using a camera and Wonder Pole, and the photos were joined together using a computer program so that photogrammetric measurements could be taken. This also allowed us to have a 3-D, rotatable, zoomable image of the entire excavated area. Balk drawings were done using photogrammetry as well, which proved to be considerably faster and more accurate than the old way of measuring with meter tapes and drawing on graph paper.
I was also able to visit many archaeological sites throughout Israel. By doing so, I gained a deeper understanding of the archaeology of the region. It was amazing to be able to see and experience archaeology in a place that has such a long and rich history as Israel.