Some 50 students from several universities in the USA are participating in archaeological excavations at Tel Napoleon in Akko. The excavations are being supervised by Prof. Ann Cleaver from the USA and Prof. Michal Artzi from the University of Haifa.
As part of the excavation project, three projects are taking place in collaboration with the International Conservation Center in Akko, with the aim of increasing local residents’ connection to the excavation site, and the connection of the excavators themselves to the city and its residents.
Alongside the excavations, a series of lectures and tours about Akko, processes of conservation and the city’s development, in which Akko’s highlights and fascinating sites are revealed to the excavators, take place in the afternoons and on the excavators’ free days. When the excavations end, there will be an open day for the city’s residents in order to show them what is happening on the site and the findings from the present season, and to increase the city residents’ awareness of the excavation site.
In the framework of the community program, a group of 12 teenage residents of Akko, Jews and Arabs, who are being introduced to the activity of the Conservation Center in the city, are also participating in the excavation of Tel Napoleon. When the excavation activity ends – the teenagers will ‘guide’ their parents and other visitors around the site and show them their work.
In addition, young people from France, Belgium, Canada and the USA are participating in an international conservation workshop which is currently taking place. The workshop is the result of an initiative of the Akko Municipality, which is funding it, in collaboration with the Akko International Conservation Center, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Akko’s twin cities in France – La Rochelle, Saint Mande and the Saint Denis district.
This week the municipality’s representatives visited the excavation site and heard from the young excavators about the archaeological activity which is taking place there. The International Conservation Center’s director, Shelley-Anne Peleg, described the activity, and the municipality’s representatives promised to continue to be partners in conservation initiatives in the city, as befitting a city with a rich historical past.
- Akko Spokesperson