• Name: Paul McLerran
  • Locations:Virginia, United States
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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Uncovering a Great Ancient Dacian Fortress

In 106 A.D., Roman legions under Emperor Trajan battled with and eventually defeated the Dacians at one of their major fortress strongholds located in what is now known as modern Romania. The Romans destroyed the fortress and went on to subdue the remaining Dacians as a part of their expanding Empire. Today, archaeological excavations are uncovering the massive remains of this fortress complex, including defensive walls and other associated structures. No extensive experience in archaeological excavation is required, but the work is demanding and the project leaders are calling for individuals who have a true passion for archaeology. Approximately 70% of the site, including the acropolis, is still unexcavated and further investigation holds the promise of some extremely interesting discoveries. See the website for pictures and more information about this amazing site and how you can become a part of the effort.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Ancient Fortresses in Ecuador

In relatively short order, the Incas conquered South America and established an empire that easily joins the ranks of the world's other great empires in both works and expanse. The success of their warfare tactics and technology assured this. But along the way, they encountered a civilization whose long years of fierce resistance gave them a run for their money. Known as the Cayambe, they defended themselves with a series of amazing fortresses constructed along a strategic highland frontier. The Incas responded in kind, building their own fortresses nearby and creating a battleground that to this day leaves architectural and artifactual traces of intense and enduring warfare.

This summer, you can join research efforts designed to investigate the differences between the Inca and Cayambe warfare tactics and what made the Cayambe so successful at resisting the Inca juggernaut. You will be involved in all aspects of archaeological excavation and investigation. You will stay in one of South America's oldest and largest haciendas, with hotel-like accommodations, including access to a pool in a greenhouse setting. The world famous market and artisans of Otavalo are located only an hour away. Bus transportation is cheap and direct. Most of all, you will have the opportunity to get a unique education in archaeological research and investigation.

If you are interested, visit the website for more information.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Tiberias Excavation to Resume in October

Tiberias, Israel -- Like a great jewel, the modern city of Tiberias rises on the slopes hugging the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is, among other things, a popular resort destination in Israel. But not far from its shops and hotels lies another Tiberias......an ancient one. In about 20 C.E., Herod Antipas saw this location as a seat of power and established Tiberias as a governing center and a city of prominence. In addition to its association with a region where Jesus walked, taught and performed his many miracles, it became a center of Jewish political and spiritual leadership. Here, the Sanhedrin sat. Here also, the Talmud was compiled and edited. In the Byzantine period, it drew thousands of Christian pilgrims and during the time following the Arab conquest it served as the capital of northern Palestine. Needless to say, its ancient political, spiritual, and attendant economic significance endows the location with archaeological treasures yet to be unearthed. Add to this the fact that the ancient site has been relatively unaffected by later construction, and you have a site that promises incredible potential for new archaeological discoveries. Professor Yizhar Hirschfeld of the Hebrew University will be leading a team of scholars, students and volunteers to uncover more remains of the ancient city, including a Roman theatre complex (October 15 to November 16) that overlooked the Sea of Galilee and may have held a capacity 5,000 people. You will learn excavation techniques and participate in field trips to other nearby sites of archaeological significance. Evening lectures will round out the educational experience. You will be staying in the Aviv hotel, situated near the shore of the Sea of Galilee, just 5 - 10 minutes' walk from the excavation site. Rooms are air-conditioned, with TV, telephone, private bathroom and a balcony. Breakfasts and lunches are at the site and dinner is at the hotel dining room. You will also be close to the tourist attractions in Tiberias, Tiberias Hot Springs and the Promenade with its various restaurants and pubs. As if this isn't enough, you will be there when the temperatures are comfortable. Does this sound interesting? If it does, check out the website for more information and application procedures.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Excavating at Cahal Pech

The University of Mississippi and the Government of Belize will join forces this summer through the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project by conducting continuing investigations of the ancient Mayan city of Cahal Pech. While much of the ancient city has been excavated, there are several significant monumental structures that remain to be excavated and studied within the site core of the city. The effort will involve stratigraphic excavation and exposure of the architecture, as well as mapping of the features thus exposed. The project is calling for students and volunteers to help with all aspects of the investigation, including excavation, preparation of site maps, and processing finds. The stay will include weekly lectures about Mayan civilization and the elements and tools of archaeological investigation. As an added bonus, participants will have the opportunity to attend organized tours of archaeological sites such as Caracol and Tikal as part of the program. All participants will stay in the town of San Ignacio, directly adjacent to the excavation site. The minimum required stay is two weeks.

Does this sound interesting to you? See the website for more details.