A Quest for the Chalcolithic – the Galilee Prehistory Project

A small (7 people) but mighty crew are on the hunt for the Chalcolithic on this Day of Archaeology. Members contributed images to illustrate our day.

Sunrise in the quest for the Chalcolithic

Ipads in the field!!!

The total station rules

Director Yorke Rowan as stick monkey

Fishing for the Chalcolithic

Ground stone analysis on site

 

The mighty crew

After a long hot day a dip in the pool.

Day of Archaeology – a little of this a little of that

Yo and Mo

Yorke Rowan and Morag Kersel at Marj Rabba

This day of archaeology was filled with not one single task but a variety of “to dos” in the lives of archaeologists. This is a study season for the Galilee Prehistory Project. We are not excavating, we are analyzing and writing, working toward a timely publication of the Chalcolithic (c. 4600-3600 BCE) site of Marj Rabba. It is sometimes difficult to get motivated each day to head to the containers to get boxes of flint for analysis or to comb through field notes and databases pulling together descriptions. We miss being in the field. But a large part of our commitment to the discipline is our obligation to publish the results of our research.

Artifacts from Marj Rabba in storage

Artifacts from Marj Rabba in storage

Yorke studying the lithics from Marj Rabba

Yorke studying the lithics from Marj Rabba

Natalie Munro and Ashley Petrillo taking samples of Chalcolithic animal bones.

Natalie Munro and Ashley Petrillo taking samples of Chalcolithic animal bones.

In the morning Ashley Petrillo, a grad student from the University of Connecticut, dropped by to look at some animal bones – she’s getting samples from the Chalcolithic for her dissertation work. Later in the day we met up with a group of archaeologists at the American Colony garden bar. In Israel it is legal to buy archaeological material from one of 60 licensed shops in the country. One of the licensed antiquities shops is located at the American Colony, so I continued the Day of Archaeology by stopping by and checking on the material for sale or “not for sale” in the shop.

Archaeological artifacts "not for sale" at the American Colony

Archaeological artifacts “not for sale” at the American Colony

My day started with a query from a museum professional about a potential donation from a private individual. The items for donation were purchased from a licensed antiquities dealer in Israel but there were still questions about the legal and ethical dimensions of accepting artifacts purchased from the market. The day ended as it began thinking about artifacts for sale in the legal marketplace in Israel. Truthfully the day ended with some martinis in the American Colony garden bar and a lively discussion about “diseases you have contracted while on excavation”… additional martinis were required.

Archaeologists and drinks at the American Colony

Archaeologists and drinks at the American Colony

A reminder from my Day of Archaeology last year – protect yourself from the sun!


A #DayofArchaeology unlike any other

Since 1989 I’ve participated in field work almost every summer in the eastern Mediterranean, but this summer is different. My day of archaeology 2015 was unlike any other day I’ve experienced in archaeology. Instead of walking transects and digging shovels tests with the Galilee Prehistory Project . I spent the day in Chicago, out of the sun, applying chemotherapy cream to my face – 20+ years of working outside take a toll even if you are vigilant about wearing a hat, sunscreen, and other protective clothing. Ask anyone, I am famous (infamous) for badgering people about hats (and drinking water) – everyone wears a hat in and out of the field or I nag, a lot. In February I had a cancerous tumor removed from my nose (involved a large needle, months of hello kitty bandages, and beko wearing.

Excised timor site - missing from the image, they large needle . . .

Excised timor site – missing from the image, they large needle . . .

In follow up appointments the dermatologist decided that I was a likely candidate for future tumors and recommended a chemo field therapy for my face. After negotiating a later start date for the chemo treatment.

Big old bandage after tumor surgery.

Big old bandage after tumor surgery.

I went to Jordan for an abbreviated field season and 2 weeks in Jerusalem Following the Pots then I flew home.

Attractive hello kitty bandage was my friend for months, post tumor surgery.

Attractive hello kitty bandage was my friend for months, post tumor surgery.

For last 10 days every evening I put the chemo cream on my face – the precancerous areas are now starting to erupt as the chemo kills the mutant cells. It stings, some of the eruptions are painful, and I am experiencing some of the common side effects from the chemo, generally not much fun.

Killing those pre-cancerous cells! Chemo eruptions after 10 days of treatment.

Killing those pre-cancerous cells! Chemo eruptions after 10 days of treatment.

I have a great support network here and afar checking in and keeping tabs. I know that many of my archaeological pals are thinking “will that be me?” – good I hope it encourages people to be more proactive about sun protection. If you can see your shadow you should be wearing a broad spectrum (zinc/titanium based) sunscreen and you should be wearing a hat. Fours more days of treatment this round, 2 weeks off and another 2 weeks on and then a follow-up with the dermatologists, my summer in the field. This is not a sympathy generating post, I consider this post for the day of archaeology 2015 a public service announcement: wear a hat, wear sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and get a beko (I just know they will become the new archaeological fashion fad, all of the cool kids are wearing them).

Don't leave home without your fashionable Beko.

Don’t leave home without your fashionable Beko.