• Name: Paul McLerran
  • Locations:Virginia, United States
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Leisure Travel and Archaeology

Are you interested in leisure travel on a dime to countries or locations where you can take in the great archaeological sites they have to offer? A new vacation/travel club, known now in the travel industry as Club Sea Breeze, boasts a huge inventory of luxury resorts in countries all over the world, including those bristling with the great archaeological and historical sites everyone wants to see "before they die". Here is a sampling of typical prices for luxury accommodations (they apply to THE ENTIRE WEEK):

Crete -- $399

Italy -- $399

Egypt -- $399

Mexico -- $299

U.S. (Virginia-Williamsburg) -- $399

Additionally, this club offers its members a special travel portal where they can book airfare, hotel, car rental, and vacation packages at specially discounted rates, along with 50% of the company's commissions on bookings as cash back to the members for each booking.

I am drooling over an impressive all-inclusive one-week luxury resort package at Cancun, for example, for $299, and I plan to take excursions from there to the nearby ancient Maya archaeological sites at Chichen Itza and Tulum. The following year, Zahabia Resort on the Red Sea in Egypt for $399 (2 bedrooms, sleeping 6), where I will snorkel and take a glass bottom boat ride to see the spectacular coral reefs there and then take a little trip over to ancient Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.

But here is what distinguishes this club from the crowd: When you share this with others and they join, you can earn a very significant income that you can apply to your other vacation expenses, your dig fees if you want to participate as a dig volunteer or student on a dig, or any other expenses or savings.
The club compensation plan uses a unique, patent pending system and technology that bestows benefits on its membership that is not duplicated anywhere in the industry.

For more information, go to Club Seabreeze.

Archaeological Tours

Not interested in digging right now, but you enjoy things archaeological? Here are some sources for great archaeological travel tours:

1. Archaeological Institute of America Tours
2. Archaeological Tours
3. Explorations
4. Mayatour
5. Far Horizons
6. iExplore
7. Chevvy Tours LLC
8. Gecko's Grassroots Adventures
9.Geographic Expeditions
10.Peter Sommer Travels
11.Beyond Touring
12.Tutku Tours
13.Voyages to Antiquity
14.The Archaeological Conservancy

Special Featured Tours:

Peter Sommer Travels: Exploring Ancient Turkey by Land and Sea
Beyond Touring: Touring with a Purpose in Belize

Excavating Tall el Hammam 2010/2011

Approximately 14 kilometers northeast of the Dead Sea, in the southern Jordan River Valley, lies a very large, imposing tall (mound). Surveys and recent excavations have revealed that the tall consists of a long history of human occupation dating back from Islamic through to the Neolithic period. Sometimes referred to as the "Queen of the Southern Jordan Valley", it is the largest of a group of ancient sites that collectively dot this fertile, agriculturally developed valley. Located astride ancient trade routes and water sources, along with a commanding view of the area identified by a number of scholars as the Jordan Plain, it is no wonder that the site evidences remains of a major ancient city. Archaeological investigations have shown that the site is outlined by a 4-meter thick wall dating originally to the Early Bronze Age, with mudbrick and packed-earth ramparts, including, on the top of the tall, monumental ruins of the Iron Age II and III periods that are also surrounded by 3-meter-thick city walls.

An intriguing possibility highlights the fascination surrounding the excavations of this site: One may recall the Old Testament story that comes to mind about Lot and the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their actual locations on the archaeological landscape have long been the subject of scholarly debate. Some scholars are suggesting that the textual and archaeological evidence may indeed support the hypothesis that the remains of Tall el Hammam represent the remnants of the ancient city of Sodom. Time and further research and excavation may shed more light. Whether the emerging evidence points for or against, however, is an aside to the valuable information that will be collected from this site about the role and influence of this major ancient city on the surrounding socio-economic and cultural environment, and the lifeways of the people who inhabited this location for thousands of years.

The fifth season of excavations will run from December 10, 2010 through January 20, 2011. The Tall el Hammam Excavation Project is inviting volunteers to join the team this winter to uncover more of the mysteries that lie beneath. Besides the excavation itself, this dig promises daytime temperatures ranging from 50 to 75 degrees, making the air clearer and cleaner than at any other time of the year (not to mention great working temperature), along with accommodations at a fabulous resort and spa near the shores of the Dead Sea. These excavators are pampered for their hard work! You can read more about this fascinating project and how to join by going to the website

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Saving the Stones

Hand in hand with archaeological excavations, the element of conservation plays an essential role in reconstructing our past through material remains. The IAA's (Israel Antiquities Authority) International Conservation Center's Saving the Stones program represents one of the best learning laboratories for future conservators and archaeologists in this area. Designed as a 5-month internship for serious students of archaeology, conservation and related subjects, this opportunity offers both theoretical and practical hands-on experience in the study and conservation of archaeological sites. Students will learn about surveying and documenting ongoing conservation projects, as well as the principles and techniques of architectural conservation drawing, photography and related computer skills. Students will also learn about ancient building techniques and materials and will work alongside leading conservationists and archaeologists. Workshops and practical work activities will be supplemented with lectures and study tours throughout the internship.

The home context of the internship is in the ancient city of Old Acre, a renowned World Heritage site and one of the most picturesque locations in Israel and the Near East.

Interested? You can obtain more information at