Harbor discovery documents changes along Israel’s coast
DIGGING DEEPER: URI assistant professor William Krieger said that the Israel Coast Exploration project will be returning to the country to explore Akko.
COURTESY WILLIAM KRIEGER
By Rhonda Miller PBN Staff Writer
University of Rhode Island assistant professor William Krieger’s interests in philosophy and archaeology have combined in educational and career tracks that afford him a unique perspective.
These intersecting interests have led him and his colleagues to uncover the remains of a fleet of early 19th-century ships and harbor structures from the Hellenistic period at the Israeli city of Akko, an ancient port on the Mediterranean Sea.
Krieger is working in collaboration with URI assistant history professor Bridget Buxton and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Their findings were presented at the 2013 meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Seattle on Jan. 5 and at the American Schools of Oriental Research in Chicago last November.
PBN: How did your experience lead you to work on this project in Israel?
KRIEGER: I have been working in Israel as an archaeologist since 1994. I was in Israel for another project and found that Jacob Sharvit, the director of the underwater unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and I were both interested in looking at Israel’s coast, on land and sea. We both have training in those areas and decided it would be a good idea to collaborate.
PBN: When did the collaboration begin?
KRIEGER: Some of the discoveries were in 2009 before I began working with Jacob. We started working together in 2010 and are co-directors of the Israel Coast Exploration project. Another important part of our team is my colleague at URI, Bridget Buxton, an assistant professor of history. She brings valuable perspective to the project. We are both members of an informal archaeological group at URI. Another member of our team is professor John Hale, an archaeologist at the University of Louisville.