Excavation Life
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Your living arrangements normally will be far less than what you would anticipate at a cheap hotel in the states. Amenities are few. Its like going to summer camp. As many facilities use solar heat for warming bath water you should not linger in the shower. Expect cold water if you are last in line. Many volunteers find getting their clothes washed a real hassle. Locals usually go home for the weekend and wash their clothes at home. You might want to find out if a laundry is accessible to you.

Excavating is hard work. Summers are hot and dry. Plan to spend a lot of time on your knees in your square. You will need to watch your health and drink plenty of water as you do not want to become dehydrated. Expect some aches and pains.

You will find some people at the dig who are rude, prejudiced, there to play, and do as little work as possible. Usually these are local students who have to complete a university service obligation at an excavation. At Hatzor this was a common behavior of undergraduate Hebrew University students. If you encounter this situation, don't let them get on your nerves or allow them to pass their work on to you. Do your own work and let them be responsible for theirs. They are not your friends and do not intend to be. You are in another culture, the rules are different, and you need to be polite but tough.

Some volunteers have been goaded into lifting heavy rocks out of squares as these local "volunteers" look the other way when that kind of work is to be done. Do not lift more than your health and physical frame will allow.

Lastly, be careful what you say. Some excavation personnel believe they have an excellent grasp of the English language when they do not. As a result communication sometimes fails and feelings get hurt. Levantine people are not forgiving. Anger is usually just below the surface so be forewarned.



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