W4 Archaeology in the News


A large archaeological expedition has been happening in Shlomi for the past six months.  The Israel Antiquities Authority revealed that a unique kiln had been found within a pottery workshop.  It dates back 1,600 years.  The kiln is unique because it is built within the bedrock instead of being the usual stone structure they expect to find.  The kiln was meticulously made.  The chalk bedrock was soft enough to be quarried but also able to withstand the necessary heat of the kiln. 

What I found interesting was that it appears that only two types of vessels were produced here.  That ties in a bit with what we were discussing this week with the city setup where specific goods were made and taken to the marketplace for sale. 

Another aspect I found interesting about this is the site itself.  It has been a large scale excavation going on.  They said many volunteers (amateur archaeologists) have been on site.  A large number of these volunteers are from two high schools in the area.  That seems like a wonderful thing.  Giving high school students a hands on approach to learning their history that is literally buried very close to them.  This will also help in keeping the interest in these types of expeditions.   



7 thoughts on “W4 Archaeology in the News

  1. I also found that the fact of they worked with many volunteers really interesting. I believe that it is a really good experience for people who like archaeology or want to have a deeper understanding of what archaeologists do in their workplace (at least at the excavation site). This example is especially interesting because they give high school students the opportunity of experiencing archaeology. Some of those students may have been considering majoring in archaeology and this experience may help them decide to do it or not. It also can inspire students who never thought in studying archaeology to do it. This can be very helpful because I know that in some countries you have to pick a major right in the admission process and stay with it until you graduate; if you want to change it, you would need to start over again from the admission process.

  2. I think the manner in which the kiln was made was and how it differs from other sites in the area is interesting. That it was light enough to be quarried but strong enough to with stand the high heat required for making pottery. That so many young people are able to volunteer at the site is also amazing. It is not unheard of to have young volunteers helping on a site but I feel like they are usually smaller sites. The number and the fact that they are high school students is also amazing, college volunteers sure but high school seems strange.

  3. I really do love how you dive into the Kiln and the old pottery that has lasted for several years. The fact that the kiln was built in bedrock is rather amazing as it is extremely difficult to do. You said yourself that the bedrock must be able to withstand the kiln and allow it to be softly but specifically made. Since the kiln isn’t rather normally made, it was interesting to see how it depends on the site and the area of how the kiln is made and how it withstands the environment. This was a good example of what archaeologists do in todays time.

  4. My first thought was about how interesting it is that the kiln is dug into the ground. Aren’t kilns usually made of stone and built above ground? Either way, the resoucefulness of ancient people never fails to impress me. They may not have had formal education, but they were far from unintelligent.

    I also think it’s really cool how they’re involving local students in the dig. I think it’d be awesome to get some similar programs going in the United States, but I’m not sure how feasible it is, unfortunately. I’m sure our professor would love some extra hands at Morton Village!

  5. The fact that the kilns themselves were embedded into the bedrock blows my mind! That is so cool that 1600 years ago they were able to do something like that! But I also really like how they are letting a bunch of high school students work on the excavation site. If I had the opportunity to do something like that when I was in high school I definitely would have jumped on that! Something like that is the perfect opportunity for kids to explore their interests and give them a chance to find out what they really want to do with their futures.

  6. What made reading this post so satisfying is the piece about high school students being offered the opportunity to assist in a large scale excavation like this. It is very rare to see things like this where kids are given the opportunity to get this kind of exposure without some kind of experience requirement. That was really awesome to read! Aside from that the excavation itself seems like it could really provide a lot of information when it is done. Since we have been learning about what structures can tell us about past inhabitants I feel as if when this excavation is done that will be the case here as well. I look forward to seeing what they uncover there.

  7. I found some very interesting articles but the commonalities that I found between the majority of the articles were their commitment to anthropology and their studies. Some interesting facts that I came across were that, Using radio carbon dating, researchers found that the oldest trash pit survived to be 3,200 years old and most recent to the date no later than 1900. Then they measured the height of each oyster as a proxy for past human pressure on oysters. The scientists rounded the survey out by examining oyster size from fossils hundreds of thousands of years old. It is interesting that these processes can be replicated in relation to our current studies and what we apply to every scientific process.

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