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