Our Day at the Akko Tel, Israel

Hello.  The morning was spent meeting with officials from the IAA to discuss the future involving our project at Tel Yavne.  While the geophysicists from our team (Harry Jol from the University of Wisconsin) and Paul Bauman from Worley Parsons (the largest geophysics company in Canada) prepared equipment at Tel Akko, Richard Freund (University of Hartford and Project Director) and Maha Darawsha and I meet with Danny Syon from IAA.  We then went to Tel Akko where the weather was brutal.  The temperature was not a problem at about 55F, but the wind was a steady 25 mph, gusting to over 50 mph. Our plans to fly a drone over to conduct some low level aerial photography were definitely out of the questions with the wind.  The drone never made it out of the backseat of one of the vehicles (pictured below).  Also below, the ominous clouds over the tel.

Capture.drone    Capture.tell2

Twelve sections of ERT (electro-resistivity tomography) lines were laid on the tel covering hundreds of meters.  This particular area of the tel is covered by overburden from past excavations, but Project Director Michal Artzy feels that there is an additional, unexcavated cultural layer beneath the fill.  What makes Tel Akko so interesting is that it was the major seaport for the region during Phoenician times, but now it is over a kilometer from the sea.  Sedimentation from location rivers created a plain between the city and the sea.  This research will point out areas of the tel that can be excavated as part of the efforts by the University of Haifa, and Penn State (an active participant in the project) to tell the continuing evolving story of Tel Akko and its history.  Pictured is the Tel (basically a mound of cultural material built up in this case over thousands of years) with the ominous clouds in the background, as well as field assistant Emily Galica (University of Hartford 2013 graduate) helping to set the ERT lines.  In tomorrow.s blog I hope to post a a copy of the geophysical cross-section created from the data collected today. We should by able to tell from the cross section what is below the fill material.

Capture.tel3

Capture.tel

Working conditions were rough with the high winds and occasional pelting rain.  The forecast for tomorrow is heavy rain and wind all day.  We rarely cancel field work, but tomorrow might be the day.  I am supposed to go to Nazareth to collect the data needed to edit and update and map that we already created of the area surrounding St. Gabriel’s Church of the Annunciation.  We want to add the location of Mary’s Cave onto the map, weather permitting.  More tomorrow.

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