Sunshades and Sandbags

Most archaeological digs in Israel are during the summer when the sun is the most intense.

This is the main reason why you usually dig in the morning. See: Early Morning at the Dig

Sunshades, Sandbags, Archaeology, Ussushkin, Lacish

Sunshades are now standard at most excavations, but not many people know when they were first used.

Sunshades were first implemented by Yehuda Dagan and Shlomo Frank in 1978.

Sunshades, Ussushikin, Tel Lachish, Archaeology

The original sunshades were the exact size of a standard square, but today they are usually much larger to cover multiple squares and also provide shade for much of the day as the sun moves across the sky.

Sandbags, Archaeology, Squares, Balks, Square definition

Another standard practice at digs is to use sandbags to mark the edges of square and balks. They also protect the squares from damage, especially during the winter rains between dig seasons.

One of the first steps at a dig is to define the shape of the square using sandbags.

Bags and Balks, Sandbags, Tel Lachish, David Ussushikin, Archaeology

Sandbags were first used in 1974 based on an idea that David Ussishkin had while on reserve duty in Sinai after the Yom Kippur War.

Tel Lachish, David Ussushkin, City Gate, 3rd Expedition to Lachish, 4th expedition to Lachish

So, where were Sunshades and Sandbags first used?

In Biblical Lachish by David Ussishkin, he tells the story about the first uses of these innovations at Tel Lachish during the Third Expedition to Lachish.

Now in the Fourth Expedition to Lachish, we are using these standard methods that were first implemented decades ago at the same site.


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1 Response to Sunshades and Sandbags

  1. Pingback: Photography at the Dig | Braman's Wanderings

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