Does a dig director look at an archaeological excavation differently than a volunteer? I have been both, so I am in an excellent position to answer the question. The answer is, well, yes and no.
Last summer Avner Raban of the University of Haifa’s Center for Maritime Studies and I co-directed our first season of excavations—on land and at sea—at Caesarea, the great seaport city built by Herod the Great on the Mediterranean coast of modern Israel. We call the expedition the Combined Caesarea Expeditions.
Twelve years earlier, in the summer of 1978, I had come to Caesarea as a volunteer. I vividly remember the beauty of the dawn that brightened the Crusader fortifications that first morning as I rode with other volunteers in one of the vans to the trenches on the site. I was pointed to Area G/6. I can still recall my excitement as I turned my first trowel of earth.