The event will last longer than an Indiana Jones movie, and thanks to blogging, it's the closest many people will get to experiencing life on an archeological dig.
Conservators from the University of Michigan's Kelsey Museum of Archaeology have joined archaeological team members in Israel for the 2008 season of the excavations at Tel Kedesh, Israel.
During the expedition, which runs through July 17, Kelsey Museum conservators Suzanne Davis and Claudia Chemello will maintain a Web site, including a blog with photos, detailing the day's events and the team’s ongoing task of excavating and conserving artifacts from the site.
Visitors to the site can email questions and comments to the conservators and learn about the "Find of the Week” at: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/kelseymuseum.digdiary/home
The Web site focuses on archaeological conservation in the field, said Chemello, senior conservator for the U-M’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. It offers an up-close view of the preparation, process, and excitement of being on a dig, she said.
"The Web site, and particularly the blog, will allow teachers to bring a current excavation into the classroom,” said Todd Gerring, Community Outreach Supervisor at the Kelsey Museum. “The ability to ask questions directly to the conservators gives a much needed interaction that will actively engage students as the work progresses.”
Located on the Israeli-Lebanese border, Tel Kedesh is one of the largest tels (or mounds) in the Upper Galilee in Israel. Archaeological tels result from the accumulation and erosion of material deposited by human habitation over a long period of time. Since antiquity, the area has been home to a variety of different cultural and ethnic groups such as the Canaanites, the Israelite tribe of Naphtali, Persians, and Phoenicians from the nearby city of Tyre.
The excavation, which began in 1997, is a joint project between U-M and the University of Minnesota; it is co-directed by U-M's Sharon Herbert, director of the Kelsey Museum and Professor of Classical Studies, and Andrea Berlin, Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota.
One of the goals of the 2008 dig is to continue the excavation of a large building on the site, which dates to the Hellenistic period (3rd to 1st century BC). The building – approximately 148-by-164 feet – was constructed on top of another building dating to the Persian period (6th to 3rd century BC).
To date, far, about 40 percent of the structure has been excavated.