What’s in Your Dig Bag, James R. Strange?

Posted in: ASOR, What's In Your Dig Bag

In our “What’s in your dig bag?” series, we asked working field archaeologists what they carry with them out in the field. We wanted to know what gear they love and what items might be unique to them.

James Strange What's in Your Dig Bag

James R. Strange seated near his dig bag.

Name: James Riley Strange
Position: Associate Professor of Religion, Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Samford University
Digging Since: 1992
Current Excavation: Shikhin Excavation Project

What hat do you wear?

Tilley T2. Disintegrating, discontinued, and no longer available in my size. Don’t know what I’ll be wearing next year.

What trowel do you use?

The original Marshalltown 5”, engraved with my name. It was a gift.

What is your Dig bag?

I use my daughter’s old green Jansport backpack from high school. Every year I think I’ll buy a new one, but they’re expensive, this one works just fine, and it has sentimental value. 

What’s in your bag?

  • Hydro Flask 32 oz. water bottle
  • 50 SPF sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Imodium (you never know)
  • Ingalls archaeological handpick, engraved with my name. Also a gift.
  • Saunders plastic storage clipboard with lined paper, graph paper, photocopies of our site plan, a map of the area with Israeli trig points, 1:25 scale, and copies of our excavation licenses from the IAA and INPA.
  • My director’s notebook: black Moleskine notebook with graph paper
  • 5 m steel tape
  • 20 m cloth tape
  • survey flagging
  • work gloves
  • flashlight

On my belt:

  • Folding Buck knife for cutting string, tomatoes, and peaches, and for occasionally removing a sprinter
  • Leatherman tool for everything else
  • The 5 m steel tape that I bring out in my bag


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