In August of 2018 AVAR placed 7 veterans on the University of Haifa’s excavation of the ancient Jewish village of Beth She’arim, where they excavated olive presses from the late Roman period for two weeks alongside Israelis from every walk of life, most of whom had also served in the Israel Defense Forces. You can read more about the background of the site here: http://www.asor.org/anetoday/2018/02/New-Excavations-Beth-Shearim
When not excavating our team was able to visit some of the most iconic sites in Israel including the Dead Sea, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Galilee and others. We also made a lot of great friends. We look forward to returning to dig with Dr. Adi Erlich, Rona Evyasaf, and their team in 2019.
Summer 2018: Darrow School Shaker Settlement, Mount Lebanon, New York
A project is in planning for summer 2018 at the site of the largest Shaker settlement in the United States, established in 1787. Our excavation at Mount Lebanon is supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society.
The Shakers are one of the most intriguing social and religious movements in American history. Established in the 1700s near Liverpool, England, the group set sail for America soon after forming to escape persecution for their ‘heretical and dangerous’ beliefs.
Led by the charismatic Ann Lee, the Shakers established a community at Mount Lebanon as the spiritual centre of Shaker society; a society who from the very beginning believed in racial equality, female leadership and technological innovation.
Mount Lebanon is now home to Darrow School, an independent college preparatory school, who have been the conscientious caretakers of the many Shaker buildings, artefacts and landscape features that still exist on their campus.
Darrow School has now embarked on a mission to dig even deeper into its unique history, and to create new educational opportunities for Darrow students, Shaker scholars and history-lovers all over the world.
This excavation is in partnership with: DigVentures
National Geographic Society Board of Trustees Endorses More Than $3 Million in Latest Round of Grant Funding, National Geographic Society, April 5th 2018
New Archaeology Dig In America Will Help Veterans Transition Into Civilian Life – With Support From Nat Geo!, Dig Ventures, February 16th 2018
July 2018: Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, Scremby, Lincolnshire, England
AVAR veterans will excavate the site of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery dating to roughly 600 AD. This excavation is in conjunction with the archaeological field school run by the University of Sheffield, and is near the village of Scremby on the southern tip of the stunning Lincolnshire Wolds, England.
This site was first excavated in 2017. Elaborate brooches and exotic beads once belonging to men and women who lived in the 6th century were found strewn in the plough soil – finds that represented graves recently disturbed by cultivation.
This excavation is in conjunction with the Archaeological Field School run by the University of Sheffield.
American Veterans Archaeological Recovery (AVAR) integrates military veterans with physical or mental disabilities into a community of archaeological researchers that supports their rehabilitation through goal-oriented, team-centered excavations. The social bonding and shared experiences of participants are an important feature of American Veterans Archaeological Recovery. Participants share their new experiences in archaeology with others from the community of veterans, and will make new connections in the community of academic and professional archaeologists working to discover and preserve the physical evidence of our common cultural heritage.