Guest post by Dr. Emily Hubbard

GUEST BLOG: EH leaves us for Tel Tsaf and below are her notes on GPP2015.

This summer, my Israel dig itinerary was empty during the first two weeks of the GPP survey this year. I weighed up my options:

The choice was obvious…but I opted to join the GPP survey anyway! It was my first time doing field survey and test pitting, so I looked forward to learning new and exciting skills! With a great team and fabulous leadership we embarked on a truly memorable adventure. In a stroke of inspired unoriginality, I have decided to share with you some of the lessons I learned during my two week stint.

  1. On average, 3 archaeologists can fit in a 1/2 metre2 test pit (note: small sample size suggests further research is required).
Grow your own archaeologist: dig hole, add water and voila!!

Grow your own archaeologist: dig hole, add water and voila!!

  1. Broken shovel handles are still valuable tools
From debutant to hard-core archaeologist and raising baseball star!

From debutant to hard-core archaeologist and raising baseball star!

  1. Surveying through field is preferable to surveying through thistles and spiders (this one surprised me too!).
“Seriously, it was a human sized spider” said BH.

“Seriously, it was a human sized spider” said BH.

  1. Morning yoga is essential to injury prevention.
triangle pose aka trowelnasana (right?)

triangle pose aka trowelnasana (right?)

  1. Always use the correct tools for the job.
“Are you sure the other crew needs ALL the tools, YR?!?!”

“Are you sure the other crew needs ALL the tools, YR?!?!”

  1. Test-pitting is all about team work.
“You’re doing great YR, keep up the good work!”

“You’re doing great YR, keep up the good work!”

  1. Archaeology is not for the faint of heart.
There’s no crying in archaeology!

There’s no crying in archaeology!

  1. You probably need to drink more water!
JB and BH demonstrate that staying hydrated is serious business.

JB and BH demonstrate that staying hydrated is serious business.

  1. When one transect ends, another begins….
No flag, no transect. That is the rule…that we just made up….

No flag, no transect. That is the rule…that we just made up….

  1. Um, I honestly don’t know what the lesson here is…….
ya, I’ve still got nothin’!

ya, I’ve still got nothin’!

Thanks to everyone for a great couple of weeks! Hope to see you next year?!

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Week 2 Update

Day 5:

It’s our one day weekend and time to go see more archaeology! Our first stop is Tel Te’o (also conveniently located not 500m from an Aroma), which is a Chalcolithic site located in the Hula Valley.

Participants navigating the brush at Tel Te'o. (Pictured left to right: EH, BH, RP, SC)

Participants navigating the brush at Tel Te’o. (Pictured left to right: EH, BH, RP, SC)

Team photo courtesy of the drone (a dronie if you will).

Team photo courtesy of the drone (a dronie if you will).

Next stop was Rujm al-Hiri in the Golan, another Chalcolithic site with a ridge of ‘row houses’ located near a megalithic structure.  ACH was able to get some amazing aerial photos and video with our drone.

Excavated portions on the ridge at Rujm al-Hiri. Photo: ACH

Excavated portions on the ridge at Rujm al-Hiri.
Photo: ACH

ACH discusses the excavations at Rujm al-Hiri. Photo: BH

ACH discusses the excavations at Rujm al-Hiri.
Photo: BH

The megalithic structure at Rujm al-Hiri, photo taken by the Phantom 3 drone.

The megalithic structure at Rujm al-Hiri, photo taken by the Phantom 3 drone.

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Participants relaxing in the tomb at the center of the megalithic structure.  (Pictured left to right: SC, EH, LT, GD, JB, RP, RH)

Participants relaxing in the tomb at the center of the megalithic structure. (Pictured left to right: SC, EH, LT, GD, JB, RP, RH)

Ending our long day at the Bezelet (Basalt in Hebrew) Brewery for some lunch and brewskis.

Ending our long day at the Bezelet (Basalt in Hebrew) Brewery for some lunch and brewskis.

Day 7:

EH gave a lecture on her dissertation research from Tel Tsaf, another Chalcolithic excavation in the Jordan Valley.  She explained the methodology of micromorphology and her findings in relation to the Tel Tsaf excavations.

EH giving her lecture.

EH giving her lecture.

Day 8:

We started test pits today!

ACH and YR breaking ground at Wadi al-Shert.

ACH and YR breaking ground at Wadi al-Shert.

The goats added to the scenery this morning.

The goats added to the scenery this morning.

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Start of the 2015 field season — survey at Wadi al Ashert/Bet Netofa

Everyone has arrived!  Our group of 11 all have arrived in country to begin the 2015 Galilee Prehistory Project field season. We will be conducting survey at Wadi al Ashert/Bet Netofa in search of a potential new Chalcolithic excavation in the Galilee region.

Day One:

Participants go on a field trip to the site of Marj Rabba (excavated by GPP in 2009-14), and view examples of Chalcolithic artifacts.

Director YR gives tour of Marj Rabba on the first day.

Director YR gives tour of Marj Rabba on the first day.

In the afternoon the volunteers listen to a lecture by YR about the Chalcolithic period in Israel and Jordan at our home for the next four weeks in Kibbutz Mizra.

YR giving a lecture on the Chalcolithic in the afternoon.

YR giving a lecture on the Chalcolithic in the afternoon.

Day 3:

After the initial day learning how to survey and identify artifacts our four survey teams set out along the transects at sunrise, beautifully documented by ACH with our new drone.

Aerial shot of groups walking transects at sunrise.

Aerial shot of groups walking transects at sunrise.

Our four groups covered a combined 4,800 meters of transects today, job well done!

Groups aligning themselves on the transects.

Groups aligning themselves on the transects.

We also had some time left to befriend some of our fellow kibbutz members.

Kibbutz Mizra may no longer have pigs, but they do have some friendly cows.

Kibbutz Mizra may no longer have pigs, but they do have some friendly cows.