By Sara Macke & Peri Buch, students of MA program in Maritime Civilizations, 2017-2018 Cohort.
February 25 marked the first day of our second semester as students of the International MA in Maritime Civilizations. The past semester has consisted of a wide and extensive array of classes from micropaleontology to historiography to ship construction, not to forget the many field trips, guest lectures, and field activities also fit into full weeks. Being so close to the sea and in a country with so much cultural heritage has its benefits. We had a diving trip in Akko and the Tower of Flies, visited the construction site of the new deep water port of Haifa, and saw submerged prehistoric sites along the Carmel coast, as well as the prehistoric caves of Nahal Me’arot and the historical site of Tel Megiddo.
Over winter break, students, both international and Israeli, enrolled in the courses Survey Methods and Field Methods spent two weeks in the field putting the classes into practice.
At Akko, near the harbor and the Tower of Flies, our class paired up to prepare and manage tasks necessary to conduct underwater survey and excavation. In the first days we practiced our underwater navigation skills, easier said than done in the extremely low visibility due to recent weather. We learned important knots and how to set up equipment like water jets and dredgers. The second half of the week we water jetted in search of a wreck known in the area, and actually found it. We practiced dredging sand and recording a site underwater and on land. We learned about the many different aspects of coastal and underwater archaeology, practiced our new skills, and didn’t lose anything too important underwater.
The next week the department gathered at Tel Dor to conduct both a coastal and underwater survey. On the coast and bays of the ancient site, we learned different survey methods and put them into practice, navigating the waters of Dor. We also reviewed different artifact typologies, from pottery to anchors, during pottery reading. All in all, we continue to have a wonderful year in this interdisciplinary department, gaining knowledge from experts in various fields and look forward to conducting our own research soon!