Aren Maeir reports on the Tell es-Safi/Gath blog that he’ll have an excavation team of more than 100 for the first three weeks of this summer’s season. That is a very large number that should produce many finds, which is nice since the site is so big.
Prof. Yossi Garfinkel has told me that this summer’s Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation will have around 90 workers throughout the season. This is significantly larger than last year. I know of a few applicants that had to be turned away for lack of space. Large quantities of artifacts should be unearthed this summer, including (hopefully) some one-of-a-kind things that provide fresh insights into the ancient city and its inhabitants. I’ll be a part of the team for two weeks in July, and I can’t wait!
I am also interested in the new dig at Tel Burna that starts next month. Tel Burna is a candidate site for the biblical city of LIbnah, a prominent city of Judah during the Divided Kingdom period.
If you think you’d be interested in volunteering to dig at any of these or other sites, you can in fact do it. Many archaeological sites are open to regular, non-student types who want to join in the work, although you may have to wait for the 2011 season at this point. You pay your own way for this kind of opportunity, but it is an experience unlike any other. Volunteers can potentially earn college credit for their participation, and excavation experience looks good on a resumé. I am taking three people with me for this year’s dig and hope to bring others to Khirbet Qeiyafa with me in 2011.