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'Bucketline' Einat Peled:
Documenting the archaeological excavations of the Tel Azekah archaeological excavations team.

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I was always very interested in Archaeology and being born in this country I've always felt connected to its rich history and diversity of many cultures,
In 2018, I received a proposal to show my work at Tel Aviv University for an exhibition that will be a part of Tel Aviv illustration week.
The exhibition was created especially for this event in collaboration with the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archeology at the University, and designed for the corridor of the Archeology wing at Tel Aviv University.

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In the beginning of August 2018, I joined the Tel-Aviv University excavation expedition to Tel-Azekah, an archaeological site for three days to document the daily work and routine of the team.
Tel Azekah is located in the Shfelah area in Israel (half way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), The site has a rich history from around 3500 years ago, it is mentioned in the bible and located just above the Ella valley where according to tradition, David fought Goliath. It was a dream come true for me.
To work with an Archeological expedition means sleeping at a kibbutz near the site, waking up before dawn, climbing up the hill in darkness, and seeing the sun rise above the beautiful Ella Valley. Just as we reach the top of the hill very early in the morning in the middle of the summer it is hot already, so the team works only until around 1pm. It is very intensive physical work and they have a breakfast and take some breaks in between.

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On the site I moved around between the 4 different excavation areas which all had different teams, drawing on the spot and taking photographs of the process of the excavations. This included the view and surroundings and any other things that seemed interesting such as the view unfolding at the foot of the hill, the interesting people in the team who came from many different countries and spoke different languages, the variety of clothes and hairstyles, and the finds, and tools that are used for excavating. Also, the colorful plastic baskets, that at the end of the work day carried ancient, thousands of years old pottery shards and other finds, to be washed and cleaned later once we all returned from the site to the kibbutz. It was a fantastic and unforgettable experience and wonderful hospitality of the expedition team.

This Exhibition included around 30 drawings created on-site from observation (black marker on craft paper) and around 50 bigger drawings (A4 size) acrylic markers on cardboard.
Both showing work days from dawn till noon more or less in chronological order.

The term 'Bucket Line' means the action that the team performs to remove dirt from the excavation site by throwing baskets with dirt in the air from one person to another while standing in line.

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About Reportage.

I love documenting things; I love looking for visual stories which I do both with drawings and photography. My work is based on observation, sometimes I draw from direct observation but most of the time I use photographs that I take as reference and actually prefer working with my own photographs as reference to draw from. Most of my work is based on that,
And this way I can pay more attention to details, and it gives me more time to focus on the idea or story I want to tell for each image,

For this project I was doing both. Some of the drawings were created on the spot while observing the work of the team and the surroundings, and these are quicker and more spontaneous. There were around 30 drawings I did on the spot over 3 days all done with black marker on craft paper. Meanwhile I was also taking photographs all the time, and later at home for about 3 months worked with the photographs to create about 50 more images with Acrylic markers on grey and brown cardboard. These images are more carefully and slowly drawn. Then connecting those 50 drawings into a big visual story that flows and shows a typical work day of the Archaeological team from dawn till noon.

I did a few other reportage projects in the past such as an exhibition of drawings of locations in Tel Aviv, and a Facebook project: facing the sea that I created with other artists and poets documenting the beaches of Tel Aviv: and there are many more.

I think this love for visual stories started when as a student on a student exchange program at SVA in NY I took a class with the wonderful artist Robert Weaver who gave us an assignment to tell a visual story about New York. Mine was documenting bananas (the fruit) on the streets of NY.

Einat Peled


Artist / illustrator / Designer
Lives near Tel Aviv, Israel.

Einat Peled Is a graduate of the Graphic Design dept. at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, (92) and spent one semester on a student exchange at School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Einat has lived and worked for a few years in NYC. Her Editorial illustration work has been published in numerous Magazines including The New Yorker magazine, New York Times, Food and Wine magazine (where she also illustrated a monthly column for a year and a half), Yale Medicine Magazine, and many more in the US and Israel.

Other Illustration projects include projects for
University of California, Hudson River Park Festival, line drawings for Manta Ray's (Tel Aviv) restaurant cookbook. and many other projects for print and packaging.

In recent years focusing more on creating her own artwork, with some projects focusing on documentary drawing, as 'Facing the sea'(2015)- a Facebook page dedicated to drawings of Tel Aviv beaches.
also keeping sketchbooks full of drawings and doodles.

Social Media

Two small movies of the project,<

The official website of the Azekah Expedition

Film of preparing for the exhibition of drawings