It's 4:52 a.m. and a milky orange sun is rising over the hills of the Galilee. The volunteers are getting their tools together. The square supervisors are laying out the plan for the day. The air is beginning to warm on a slight breeze. Yep, the dig day has begun.
The dig experience is many things to many people. Here we share comments from people from all walks of life, about their experience working at the Dig in Sepphoris. The dig team is a great mix of old and new members.
Accommodations for the University of South Florida's Excavations at Sepphoris, are at the Hostel at Kibbutz Ha-Solelim. It is a small collective settlementthat overlooks a scenic valley and is located 4 Km. from our dig site. It is a small working Kibbutz with youth hostel type guest facilities. Participants are assigned two or three to a room in a youth hostel environment with a bath down the hall. Some rooms have a bathroom en suite. Couples will be housed in private quarters. The Hostel and the Annex both have common rooms with hot coffee or tea available. There is one telephone, though fax facilities are available for a small charge. Meals are served cafeteria style in a common dining room except for second breakfast, which is served in the field. First breakfast consists of coffee and bread, butter and jam and is served in the common room of the lower hostel before going to the field. The food is good and plentiful.
From: Randy Akers
Since I got hooked on Roman/Byzantine period archaeology at Caesarea in 1974, I have tried to return to Israel as much as possible to lend my help in uncovering the past of this holy land, gaining insight into the cultural life of earlier peoples who called this territory home. The bible is important to me, and archaelogy makes the context of this literature alive. Archaeology makes me feel that I am part of something older than I am and something that will continue after me. It is a spiritual experience for me; and a therapeutic relief from my normal professional career. Since 1978 I have dug with Dr. James Strange and a team from USF. He is wonderful to work with, and an excellent teacher in the field and in the evening lectures. The dig team develops as a community of people interested in one another. The kibbutz living experience combined with weekend trips adds to the total experience. I am definitely a middle-aged "groupie" and recommend this experience to anyone. Sepphoris is definitely the "ornament" of the Galilee.
(More comments from the dig team members and pictures of the dig, will be added from time to time. Keep checking back. If you have dug at Sepphoris and would like to add a comment about the dig experience, just E-mail it to us!)