With post-virus university budgets shrinking, it will be more important than ever to make expedition time in the field as productive as possible. Israel Archaeological Services, (IAS), was created to do just that.
IAS was founded in 2012 by Israeli archaeologist Dr. Oren Gutfield to provide technical support to Israeli and foreign archaeology expeditions. The company offers service in four main areas:
- Permits. IAS has developed excellent contacts with the Israel Antiquities Authority and with the Israel National Parks Authority which license all excavation work in the country at large or in specific national parks. IAS helps a would-be excavator navigate the application process.
Site Preparation. Before visiting researchers arrive on-site, IAS staff can clean & survey it, lay out excavation squares, erect shade over the squares, install safety fences, deliver excavation equipment, lay out the tented sleeping area, supply & erect tents, install port-a potties, lay out the dining, parking and storage areas and repair broken tools. Shovel ready archaeology.
Site Management. The IAS team includes dig supervisors, logistical “majordomos,” surveyors, photographers, conservators, small finds processors and illustrators, a graphic designer, editor, and translator. IAS can package and safeguard finds for transport to archaeology labs both in Israel and overseas. Pottery finds can be washed and sorted. IAS can arrange for food services starting with 5:00 am breakfast through morning and afternoon breaks and full meals for lunch and dinner.
Equipment. IAS supplies equipment to meet every excavation need; from shovels and wheelbarrows to hoists, cranes and excavators. Smaller tools are delivered to the site in steel shipping containers that serve as on-site warehouses and prevent tools from evaporating overnight. Shipping containers converted to air-conditioned offices can also be delivered right to the workplace. For work en plein air or in caves electrical generators, water bladders, winches, air compressors, pumps, conveyors, lighting and anything else that may be required will all be supplied. Because of Dr. Gutfeld’s research background IAS recommendations can anticipate a need before missing but necessary equipment can interrupt work.
When IAS formally started operations in 2012 it served one expedition near the Lebanese border. In 2019 it served 7 expeditions.