"Every Excavation is Interesting:" An Interview with Dr. Yosef Garfinkel
Sam: When did you become an archaeologist and what got you interested in the field?
Dr. Garfinkel: I participated in a dig for a day when I was in school. Then, before I entered the army at age 18, I spent three weeks on a dig. After serving in the army, I began my university education for my BA degree--I was 22 years old. I was fascinated by discovering the past.
Sam: What kind of training or education has helped you most as an archaeologist?
Dr. Garfinkel: The classes in University and the field work.
Sam: Can you tell me about any interesting field experiences you've had?
Dr. Garfinkel: Every excavation is interesting because each case is new and different from the previous sites. It's like meeting new people each time.
Sam: Where have you found your most interesting artifacts?
Dr. Garfinkel: At the Yiftahel site I discovered the earliest horesebeen seeds, which were 9,000 years old. In my current excavation at the site of Sha'ar Hagolan we've found monumental houses and many figurines. I have now an exhibit of 30 items in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Sam: How many hours a day do you work at a dig?
Dr. Garfinkel: I work it the field 8 hours a day, and then in the lab (cleaning and analyzing the material, 3 more hours. As a "mother" to the volunteers I seem to work 24 hours a day!
Sam: What tools do you use?
Dr. Garfinkel: Everything--big, medium, and small. Marshalltown trowels are very helpful.
Sam: What do you like the most and the least about archaeology?
Dr. Garfinkel: The best part is digging! The worst is when you encounter stupid archaeologists.
Sam: What would you say to a child who was thinking about archaeology for a career?
Dr. Garfinkel: It looks very romantic but, like any academic field, it involves a lot of hard and technical work.