Putting the Micro in Archaeology

Haim Watzman

photo by Mark Jenkins
Archaeologists classically discover lost cities and get excited about buried ramparts, palaces, and temples. But today they get excited about the small stuff, too—grains of wheat, mineral grains produced by plants, and tiny crystals of calcite. Take a look at my latest feature in the science journal Nature to read about the fascinating and close collaboration between archaeologists and natural scientists that is turning up important new kinds of evidence at major Israeli excavation sites. In the picture: physicist Elisabeth Boaretto in the pit, with archeologists Israel Finkelstein (of the Tel Megiddo excavation) and Aren Maeir (of the Tel Safi excavation), at Tel Safi.