As archaeologists, we begin excavation projects with particular research questions about life in the ancient world, rather than simply digging to find artifacts and buildings. However, despite our best preparations, we never quite know what we will find in the soil, and our research plans inevitably change and evolve as the soil is removed from the site. It is the nature of fieldwork to agonize over a particular phase or feature while going to bed one night, only to resolve the question (and introduce new ones!) the following morning. Each apparently answered question, from the continuation of a wall or the date of a floor to the functional use of a space and economic, cultural, and social status of the occupants, gives rise to a new set of questions and avenues of exploration. On this website, we are documenting our stages of evolving thoughts and research questions about the site of Tel Kedesh, in particular the Persian and Hellenistic Administrative Building. As we prepare our thoughts and arguments for the ‘final’ site publication in a series of forthcoming excavation report volumes, here we present our phases of work and thinking about the site and its occupants since 1997: when we got it right, when we got it wrong, and when we just couldn’t figure it out.
You can explore our research stages chronologically through the Field Seasons tabs, which document the main work plans and results of each field season, or thematically through the Research Questions links, which explore our evolving thinking on a series of issues over the years. We intend for this website to be not only topically instructive about our work at a specific site in Northern Israel, but also to serve as a methodological resource for the way archaeologists adjust their thinking and research in response to an ever-changing and expanding dataset.