Do you excavate in the desert?

This year, in addition to showing you cool artifacts we are finding, I will also be answering questions sent in to me from children during the last year. Our first question is from a student in Ms. Simon's 3rd grade class in Chicago:

Do you excavate in the desert? 

Hi Ms. Simon's class! While there is desert in Israel, we are not excavating in the kind of desert I think you are thinking of, lots of sand and no water to be seen. There is sand where we are, but we are actually in the Ashkelon National Park.  In the national park there are trees and plants, animals, and a beach as it is right on the Mediterranean Sea. While we are excavating people from around Israel come to the park to camp, swim, and explore.  Sometimes they stop to watch us and ask questions about what we are doing.

In addition to maintaining the park and preserving our excavation sites, the park rangers in Ashkelon also help with animal rescue and rehabilitation. Because we are right by the sea, there is a Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation center nearby that helps injured sea turtles. Today we had the opportunity to be part of a very special event with them. 2 injured turtles who were rehabilitated were released back into the sea today and we got to watch! Here is video of the second turtle making it to the water. It was very exciting and lots of people came out to watch.

Junior Archaeology Assignment:  Draw a picture of what you think the national park we are in looks like. Remember to include both park features and excavation site features. 

Question of the day: Why do you think our dig site is part of a national park? Have you ever visited a National Park? 


Remember to send me your pictures, ideas, and questions at or you can post them in the comments section right under this post!