Pella, Jordan. University of Sydney
When: There are 2, 3 week sessions from early Jan to mid Feb every second year.
“If you like ____, you’ll love this field school”: 500,000 years of occupation in one site
Cost: about $3000, includes food and accommodation and some day trips.
Living conditions: shared rooms and shared bathrooms (there are only 3 toilets). They like to conserve water so get used to not flushing and having a shower 2 or 3 times a week. The meals are excellent. There’s no internet unless you have roaming on your phone.
You only excavate half the time, and spend the other half doing house/lab stuff, cleaning artefacts etc. We worked 5-6 days a week
The Team: About 30 students and maybe 10-15 staff. It was about half and half students and retirees, all Australian, so experience was varied, but the staff are great and can handle all levels of experience.
Culture: We went to sites and museums around the Jordan Valley, Jerash, Irbid museum, Umm Qais, Madaba, Ajlun, and then they can organise (at your own expense) a trip to Petra after the season is over if you planned to stay in Jordan and tour around.
Best Thing: The site itself is incredible, just down the road from the Natufian site of Wadi Hammeh, and then occupation right up until Islamic times up on Tell Husn.
Worst Thing: Not enough digging time, in 3 weeks, working 5 or 6 days half on half off, I only spent 7 full days digging.
Where to go for more information and applications: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/sophi/neaf/excavations/index.shtml