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Monday, July 20, 2009

Last Full Dig Week

The next day was the start of our last full week of digging...we were all well rested and ready to go. I started doing some more stratigraphy drawings since they need most of the bulks done before we leave the dig. Adam's supervisor, Ghassan got stuck in Jordan over the weekend and they are holding him at the checkpoint...apparently this happens alot. Alot of the upper sondage squares are closing down and coming down with us as we start yet another new probe and several new squares in hopes of finding more of the revetment wall. We end up finding some layers of plaster..which is great since the pottery underneath will have been sealed in and we can date it without too much confusion. The lecture for the day is given by the guy leading up the Survey team and its very interesting. They have found tons of caves and some burial tombs. They have also found wine presses, olive presses and other installations. The Israeli Antiquities Authority told our director that if everyone did such as a good a job of surveying as our team then they would be pleased. I also start a recreation drawing of parts of the Tel during the Hellenistic period.

Tuesday-Today we open even more square as more and more people are sent down to the lower sondage. Ghassan returns from the Jordan and tells Adam that he was kept because he is "of that age"...we are just glad he is back. Our lecture tonight is from Heather..our conservator...its quite interesting on how she preserves and restores the things we find. Here is a short overview.
Basically she tells us that Conservation is to impede further detoriation of a peice.....Restoration is to reveal or enhance a peice as close to its original state and Curation is to manage a collection of objects while conducting research on them. She is a conservator for this dig so her main focus is to prevent further destruction on the things she finds by controlling light, temperature and humidity. For dinner we have pita pizza and as you know ITS GOOD!!!! We say goobye to two people today..Steve, from Swaziland and Terry- from Ohio...we will miss you both!

Wednesday- I wake up with a migraine and skip the first half of the workday to sleep. I catch a ride with Eddy....a local Israeli who brings 2nd breakfast out to the Tel. On the way he tells me that his main income is as a Poker player and that he will be in the states next year for the World Poker Tournament...which costs 10,000 to enter. When he asks where I am from, I say Alabama and he immediately smiles. His exact words are " When I think of America, I think of Alabama....New York and LA are thier own little worlds....but Alabama, this is what America is about....:).
The last half of the day is very productive on the Tel...Mariah and I get about 2.5 straitgraphy drawings done and Adams square finds 6 MC's today ( Material Cultures)!! We have a lecturer come and talk about modern Israel and the modern Kabbutz. Main points from his lecture are this...
A Kabbutz is for Jewish people to live together, share in each other lives and to rebuild the greatness of Israel. He is very umm....political in his talking and sometimes I think he talks in circles. He lets us know that his kabbutz no longer share their income but they do pay into a fund that takes care of the sick and elderly on the kabbutz and that also covers lawn maintenance and the pool. Thier kids no longer sleep and play apart from the parents and they no longer share land....so its kinda like a glorified Home Owners Association. He also talks about the current situation between the Palestinians and the Jews. He does think they can live together but that there will have to be sacrifices.....i think he wants them to sacrifice a little more though. He says things like "the arabs need to understand that this is our land and even though they have a right to live here its not the right thing to do"......i dont know about all that....God did give this land to the Jews..but I dont think it was so that they could run the Arabs out. Its funny how fast the oppressed become the opperessors huh? Enough about that...its touchy for everyone.
I also finish the recreation drawing today and Dr. Ortiz says he will have some contract work for me in Texas as they begin to publish thier work about Tel Gezer!!

Thursday-Today on the Tel we find yet another plaster floor....there is only about 1.5 feet in between the two floors so everyone is coming down to the square and offering thier opinons. Mariah and I finish two more stratigraphy drawings.....there is alot that goes into these....we have to take levels at several points and then draw it to scale with all the gobbly gook and other layers that we dug through in the right spot. Adam finds a snake in his square today while digging and Boons square finds a large stone that could be part of an installation...not sure yet. During our two hours of free time a big group of us play Empire and Killer Uno.

Friday-today is the last day for the Lancaster group. We dig through the plaster and date the pottery...i can't say to what yet i dont think. We take a loooonnng Tel Tour after fruit break today since there has been so much found over the past week. There is another cobble surface found and they arent sure if its a street or part of a admin building? We have free time after lunch but Adam heads up to do pottery washing and reading since this will be his LIFE :). I do all of my laundry ( well most) and make a card for the life guard at the pool. Then I go hang out with everyone and write some more of the blog :). After dinner a huge bunch of us take over the dig house and watch Princess Bride on the projector screen...great way to end the week and to tell Lancaster bye!!

I will post pictures with the next blog.

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