In our “What’s in your dig bag?” series, we asked working field archaeologists what they carry with them out in the field. We wanted to know what gear they love and what items might be unique to them.
Name: Aren M. Maeir
Position: Professor of Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University and Director, Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath
Digging since: In sandbox – 1960; in excavations – 1970
Current Excavation: Director, Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath
What hat do you wear? Can’t decide! Always wide brimmed, but in a constant dilemma between leather hats (Indiana Jones style) and light weight canvas ones. So just about every season I try another one…
What clothes do I wear? Long sleeve shirt and long pants of lightweight trail materials. Protects from the sun, insects and thorns. And most importantly – good, lightweight, breathable (ankle height) boots – to protect my feet as I walk around, back and forth, all over the site, between the 5-6 excavation areas.
What trowel do you use? Marshalltown (45-6) in a quick draw holster – so that I can dig when the really interesting finds appear…
What’s in my bag?
I use a backpack with a built in hydration system so I always have water in it. I’ve gone through two of these bags in the last decade or so…
Sunscreen – being an archaeologist – I’m terrified of the sun…
Bandanna – to wipe sweat away, or when it gets very hot and sunny, to wear drooping under my hat as extra protection for my neck and cheeks.
Super-strong laser pointer – that you can see its green point even in the brightest sunlight. Saves the need to jump into the squares or bend down, when I’m too lazy to point things out with my finger to the team…
Multi-tool (Leatherman Wave) – don’t go into the field without it (actually, i’ts not in my bag but in a holster on my belt). Most important uses: clipping the edges of the metal handles of plastic buckets so that they don’t fall off the buckets; slicing watermelon…
Pistol and ammunition clip (Beretta 84 .380 automatic) for self-defense (never been used…)
My cursed mobile phone! Spend about 2/3 of my day talking on the phone, coordinating all the logistics, manpower issues, daily crises, and other mishaps of the excavation.
Camera – to get those extra nice pictures of finds, team members doing silly things (which seems to happen a lot), and nice views of the site and its surroundings – especially good for posting on the dig blog at the end of the day.
Ipad tablet with pictures and plans of the site and finds, when I show visitors around the site
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