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where should i go for this summer's archaeological field project

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so it turns out in order for me to graduate even remotely on time, i have to work on an archaeological dig somewhere internationally for five weeks this summer. of course this is pretty bad timing because my wife is due in may, but there's no real other option. not going will delay my grad school entry by a full year. we'll be packing up our family around the beginning of july (most likely) and shipping off somewhere through early to mid-august. mrs. phillyb will be staying in a short-term apartment that we'll lease taking care of the kid.

all that said i pretty much have my choice of a massive list of international field schools. i've narrowed them down to:

1) Scotland (late iron age excavations in and around a castle)

2) Germany (late bronze age excavations in the forests near Heidelberg

3) Italy (an iron age battlefield in the countryside outside of Florence)

4) Israel (an upper neolithic site featuring an Egyptian fortress south of Tel Aviv)

5) Jordan (late bronze age settlements featuring Roman and Byzantine contact, near the stone fortress of Petra)

Basically all of them are awesome as fug and I can't decide which one I want. Suggestions?

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Will you need to speak the local language? Scotland would probably be the easiest for your wife in that regard. I really enjoyed my time in Germany. Lots of rich history in engineering and weapons. The language isn't to bad to pick up, many of our nouns and verbs are similar. We just have reversed sentence structure.

Italy and Israel have bit more reputation for violence and unrest and I know very little about Jordan. But you sound comfortable taking risks.

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speaking the local language isn't a necessity, since most of the digs are collaborative efforts between american universities and universities in the region of the dig and i'd be going through a university with americans overseeing it, and my team directly. it would help though for sure, and i'm fluent in german so that's definitely a point in germany's favor (that and the fact that it's located right on the french border and it'd be an easy shot to paris on the weekends, and not much farther to switzerland.)

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Israel and Jordan would be totally out of the equation...

This, especially since you'll have your wife and newborn with you. If you were single then maybe.

Germany sounds like an awesome dig. Italy would be my second, and Scotland third choices.

Strickly from a "coolness factor of the research" perspective. Of course, my recent education regarding this stuff is limited to a few books and the History Channel :-)

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Duuuuude... Petra....

Agree with this

I had a friend come back from Jordan recently and she loved it. It's a place I definitely wanna go.

*just noticed you have a kid and wife going...if you haven't been to Germany, that would be nice. You can do a Bavarian trip east/southeast of Heidelberg, visit Neuschwanstein Castle, and Munich.

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