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Huqoq famed mosaic

Daniel Schindler, finishing his third year in the classical archaeology graduate program, has spent his summers digging at Jodi Magness’s Huqoq Excavation Project where last summer the above pictured mural of Samson on an ancient synagogue’s floor was unearthed. Funding his research and travel with the Harland Archaeology Fund, Daniel plans to publish his own findings in the excavation’s final report.

Daniel Schindler
Classical Archaeology graduate student

This will be my third year serving as the ceramic specialist at the Huqoq Excavation Project, co-directed by Jodi Magness from the Religious Studies department at UNC-CH and Shua Kisilevitz from the Israel Antiquities Authority. We are excavating a monumental synagogue building and part of the surrounding ancient Jewish village, both dating to the fourth-sixth centuries CE. There are also substantial pre-Hellenistic, Mamluk, and Ottoman-1948 occupation phases at the site. The site is best known for the intricate synagogue mosaic unexpectedly uncovered in the 2012 season. I was fortunate enough to be in a neighboring foundation trench when it was discovered.

Schindler with his fiancée

During a typical day of excavation I spend the morning working at the site and then return to the kibbutz to sort the pottery recovered from the previous day. I also teach an introductory seminar on pottery to the student volunteers. I love working with pottery, especially when the wi-fi works in the lab so that I can live-stream my favorite Minnesotan radio station, 89.3 The Current.

My primary areas of interest are Roman Palestine and ceramics. Working with the material from Huqoq is one small part of what will eventually become my dissertation. My goal is to create a typology and chronology of all Galilean plain wares. In addition, I will be publishing the Roman-Byzantine pottery from Huqoq in the final excavation report.

When I am in Israel, I have the fantastic support of my fiancée Stephanie, who takes care of our three cats: Marcus Antonius, Cleopatra, and Hugo (and any stray cats who happen along). We will be getting married May 18 in Minnesota.