Ground has been broken – there’s no turning back

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Today was the day!!!! We were 14 people making history at Tel Burna, as we began the first excavation ever at the site!

We started the day putting up the shades:

We then split up into four squares, which we set up in order to create a section along the eastern slope.  And we couldn’t of asked for a better first day…..

We managed to move plenty of dirt….

and along the way, we managed to catch the outer face of the fortifications,

and we found some nice pottery along the way (mostly from the Iron Age), including this piece of an oil lamp

with some hard work, we got a lot done and hope that the good times continue.

Thanks to Mindy and Amit for the pictures!


One week in and we are ready for the next

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On Thursday we completed our first week of work. the day was filled with various activities, including more cleaning of the thorns, setting up our grid of squares with J (the team’s surveyor/architect/draftsman), and marking the squares for Sunday when we will begin working int he squares. here are some shots of what we were doing:

Here is Shawn helping J mark the grid, using the reflector of the Total Station.

Here is J taking readings for the grid with his Total Station

Here are Joel, Joel and Shawn marking the squares.

And here is one more agricultural installation – picture courtesy of Shawn French (thanks Shawn!)

Later in the day, we were told that our license was finalized and we could begin on Sunday as planned! I went out to celebrate with 45000 other people, including my wife, cousins and Elton John.

All in all, it was quite a productive first week of work, and we hope that next week will continue on this path.

Three days of work and the walls are looking good!

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Today we completed our third day of work in the field.  we have been focusing on cleaning along the northern side of the tell, where the fortification walls are best seen today.  We have been cleaning along the walls, and have extended the exposure of the segment that Aharoni and Amiran had already seen 50 years ago, to reach the northwest corner of the summit, creating a nice segment of wall.  here you can see the team that was on site today (and thanks to them for their hard work) in front of that same segment of wall.

From Left to right: Debi, Shawn, Joel, Joe, Joel and HooGoo (thanks to Amit who took the picture).

Here’s some of the gang having breakfast (You see, sometimes we do rest)

And here is the eastern end of the north side, with the upper wall exposed.

Lets hope for more fun finds!!!

First Day of the 2010 Season

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Today was the first day of the 2010 season (and the same day that we reached 4000 hits on the blog – hooray!).

7 of us were out in the field, cleaning, surveying and preparing for the fun to come in the next three weeks.  here are a few shots of the activities today:

Here is the team climbing the tell.

Here is one of the wall sfound on the summit after cleaning.  near the wall is a nice pillar base, and possibly another wall, forming a building ont he summit. 

Here is Debi near on olive press that we discovered.

And finally here is an additional olive press that we found:

And this is just the begining….

Hebrew Guidelines

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For those of you who would prefer to read the guidelines in Hebrew, here they are:


English Volunteer Information

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Anyone coming to dig with us may be interested in reading the information in our volunteer information package, which can be downloaded here:


Tel Burna on Internet Radio

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Yesterday Evening, we were interviewed by Barnea Levi Selavan and Dovid Willner on the “LandMinds” show of the Israel National Radio. The show focused on the exiting prospects of digging a new site, our goals and or understanding of the site’s history from the survey we have already conducted. here is a link to the broadcast that you can listen to:

Part 2 is the interview with us, although you may also want to listen to the interview with Prof. Amnon Ben Tor (part I), one of the most prominent figures in Israeli Archaeology.