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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!



Bathrooms on a Dig

As the spring dig season shapes up, budding archaeologists face a variety of conditions. If you’re concerned about dirt, snakes, holes, heat or cold, archaeology might not be your thing. Should those concerns include bathroom issues, it’s really not for you. Lightbulb moment: An excavation might not be for me. A bit too late for…


Springtime Archaeological Digs

Putting Russia on hold for the moment while the story continues to reach epic proportions, we turn our sights to… archaeological sites. Many opportunities arise as spring arrives and most likely Petya and I will head to a few for varying lengths of time. Which brings up the issue of what kind of digs are…


My Scholarly Talk on Terrorism

I’ve been asked to give a scholarly talk, a lecture among intelligentsia. I giggle and laugh nervously to myself as I read the e-mail invitation. It’s a rather specialized topic, comparing ancient terrorism and propaganda with modern-day attempts at the same. Really not that unusual at all. This remains the cheapest way to wage war….


The Architect and the Archaeologist Reconnect

My husband, Benedetto, has a friend from long ago. The two of them knew each other as struggling, young professionals in Israel 40 years earlier. Both arrived as recent college graduates and were seated together one day at the long, laminated tables of the one-of-a-kind, Jerusalem Old City eatery popular among travelers of the time:…


Hezekiah Says Hello 2,800 Years Later

Yes, it’s true, Biblical archaeologists are all a-twitter: a bulla or impression from the King of Judah’s seal has been identified. Discovered in situ in Jerusalem in 2009, it’s translation is finally official: it’s Hezekiah’s. Dr. Eilat Mazar of The Hebrew University and director of the excavations at the Ophel Ridge in the City of…


Archaeological Space Cadet

Dr. Sarah Parcak is making news for archaeologists worldwide as winner of the $1 million 2016 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Prize. She’s the one who has been in the headlines for years, using satellite to remotely locate archaeological sites. Specializing mostly in Egypt, Parcak estimates that just 1% of archaeological sites there are known. Her…


Scholars Who Disagree

No one knew what might greet us at the scholarly lecture. An esteemed celebrity-of-sorts would bring a rather controversial talk, one that did not enjoy peer support for the most part. I wanted our oldest son to hear it, as well. The two of us headed out to the venue, talk to begin at 8:00…


Dressing for an Archaeological Conference

I attend a number of archaeological meetings, yet this will be my first annual meeting or conference. Believe it or not, yours truly is going to be recognized for her humble accomplishments during this gathering. At a time like this, my thoughts turn only to the most important matter at hand: what to wear? In…


The Right to An Opinion

Everyone has the right to an opinion. Or, do they? Our eldest son is in university and as a writer of numerous old-school research papers, he has been informed by his professors, or more probably by their teaching assistants, that his opinion doesn’t much matter. Stick to the facts, period. Opinions, hypotheses and educated guesses…


A Test of Nerves and Archaeological Knowledge

Three intensive years had passed and the day of reckoning had arrived. Time to take our archaeological certification exams. My son began the program with a nearby state archaeological association and I functioned as his chauffeur. We ended up attending lectures together, undertaking fieldwork, working in the lab together. Both of us were in the…