Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Last Days of Digging

First, I AM SOOO SORRY that I haven't finished the trip. As I type, we are in Fort Worth Texas in our new duplex at Southwestern Seminary. We have been looking for jobs, working on getting our home packed up and visiting people since we got back. All of my internet time was spent filling out job applications and looking for us a place to live here in Fort Worth. However, let me talk about all that later.
So, when I left off (two weeks ago) I had just described our last weekend. On Monday we were told that this would be the last day to do actual digging with tools and that we needed to start shutting down and cleaning up squares. This means that people had to to trim bulks, put sandbags on the bulks and smooth out anything that may cause someone to fall into our pits. Mariah and I spent the whole day retaking levels for our drawings and finishing up any paperwork left to do. We also took down shadecloths at the end of the day...which made us all wish for clouds on Tuesday :)
And guess what, God answered our prayers. The one day we worked without clouds was the most overcast, windiest day on the Tel. We spent the whole morning cleaning off the Tel of all debris and footprints. On Wednesday they hired a hot air balloon to fly over the Tel so that they could take aerial photographs. We had to wipe away our footprints as we walked out and pick up anything that had any color to it at all. A conservator from the IAA ( Israel Antiquities Authority) came and 4 people worked with him to preserve the things we found so that nothing would knock them down ( mainly walls). Adam and Boon worked with the Conservator which was great since they are Archeaology majors.
For lunch the Lower Sandage got a big treat. Dan and Paul took us to ELVIS for lunch. Elvis is a diner close to Jerusalem that is owned by Elvis's biggest Israeli fan. The whole diner is decorated with Elvis decor and there were at least 10 Elvis sculptures. They served non kosher guess what we all had? CHEESEBURGERS....they were huge and we stuffed ourselves!!! Afterwards we went back and did the last bit of pottery washing for the season. Adam took his exam that afternoon for the two classes he took while here....he had to write three essasy and fill our a map on the geography of Israel.
Wednesday was a work day, just not at the Tel for everyone. Some people were gazelles- which means they ran around and were used as scales for the aerial photographs. They wore bright color shirts and had to make sure that they were fast but not clumsy enough to knock something over. Another team went out and put up more sandbags. Mariah and I spent 5 hours redoing some drawings, drawing some new stratigraphy plans and backtracking through our top plans..making sure everything was ready to hand over when we left the following day.
After one, everybody was pretty much free to pack, wash clothes and/or get ready for the Talent Show and Goodbye Party.
The Talent Show was wonderful...Adam and I were part of an act that gave out Goofa awards to everyone on the dig. Each person got an award based on either an inside joke from our time in Israel or something that we could poke fun at them for. I colored small goofas full of dirt and CC, Mariah and Sara helped us come up with awards and present them. It went AWESOME....everyone was laughing ( mainly at Adam, who wore one of my skirts and used an accent that I have never heard him was kinda feminine).
Two people left right after the Show...Savannah and Ryan ( thats when it sunk in that the trip was coming to an end).
More on Returning Home and other things I left out later!!!

Pictures of Last week and Talent Show

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