Monday, June 28, 2010

Wrapping Up

Thursday was a very fun day. In the morning, Helen, Dean, Adam and I washed the inside and outside of all three rental vans and got them ready to be returned. Others in the grouped washed pottery or labeled MC's ( material culture). Final touches on the report had to be made and all the equipment had to be gathered. Adam and I also started packing. Later on that day we had a speaker from Khierbet Quialfya ( butchered spelling). It was a great lecture.
The next morning 8 of us woke up early and headed up towards Haifa. We dropped three off at Caeserea Maritima, while the rest of us went to Tel Dor. Tel Dor is on the Med and is an ancient port city. We tried to swim but there were literally tons of jelly fish. We explored some pools and cool rocks before walking up the Tel. The ancient harbor was beautiful and many of the original stones still line the bottom. We found lots of neat pottery and on the way out we saw a mosaic floor in the middle of the path that looks like it needs to be excavated properly. We headed back for pottery reading that started at noon. Sam, Steve and Gary came to help read our pottery from the season and decide which pieces the IAA would want and which we could toss. Its very interesting to watch pottery reading and looks like a poker game. People are trading pieces back and forth and studying what they hold. Finally, they call out what period they believe that piece came from and decide whether its worth keeping. You would be surprised at how much they discard ( which is fine for us because we grab it and bring it home for either Adams study collection or for me to use in ceramics class). Pottery reading lasted a little into the afternoon and after that I did some recreation drawings of broken pottery ( i can show them to you if you want to see them but can't post them online) then Adam and I packed a little more before dinner. After dinner we had an impromptu ice cream party in the Zan's room and had a really good talk with old friends :)
Saturday we woke up early and decided to spend our last day touring. We went to Timnah first, which is where Sampson a) tore a young lion apart with his bare hands, b) met his first wife and c) acted as a judge. Adam found a coin there and we can't wait to get it restored. Next we went to Zora, which is Sampson's birthplace. Both Zora and Timnah are small small villages and there is not much to see.
Next we headed to Sukko, a small city in between Azeka and Bethlehem. Sukko probably served as the Israelite camp as Goliath boasted for 40 days in the Valley of Elah before David killed him. There had been a fire there about three weeks before which made it an awesome hunting ground for neat pottery shards that would have normally been hidden by the brush. There were several deep cistern at Sukko as well. Next we ate lunch at yet another gas station. Adam and I split a snitzel sandwich and then treated ourselves to some ice cream.
From there we headed to Lakhish, which is most famously known for being attacked by the Assyrians under Sanaccehrib. This siege is depicted on ceramic somewhere in Syria. You can still see the siege ramp today and walk through the remains of a temple and palace there. At the entrance to the Tel is a "room of the letters" where several letters were found during excavation.
From Lakhish we went to Tel Es Safi, or as know it as biblical Gath, Goliath's hometown. This was a very neat and large Tel. On top you can look out and see the siege ramp that was dug around the city during an attack. Tel Es Safi is still being excavated so we weren't allowed to walk certain places but you could definitely see some remains started to come up. The excavations aren't allowed in most places on the Tel since its an Arab graveyard. A paid protector greeted us on the Tel and pointed out things to us but wouldn't respond to me when I said "Jerusalem" and pointed in the distant. Only after one of our friends said it in Arab would he acknowledge the city. We went down the pottery dump from the excavation and found some neat philistine glaze ware on our way out.
When we got back to Neve Shalom, Adam and I took showers and finished packing. Everyone went to Latrun, another gas station connected to a restaurant-kinda, close by. Adam and I got grilled spring chicken, chips ( french fries) and some spicy spicy sauce. Then we headed to the airport to catch our flight.
GUESS WHO WAS ON OUR FLIGHT HOME? JARED MORGAN- an old friend from Auburn...we were sooo excited. He and his wife had been in Israel seeing some friends and he was returning early to go back to work.
Our flight was much better going back. hardly any turbulence and I was able to sleep some. We had much better seats and my tv thingy worked.
We got to Atlanta around 4:30 and it took us a good hour to get through passport control and customs. They didn't check anything this year!! Last year they thoroughly checked everything!!
We got on our plane to Pensacola around 7:30 and landed around 8:30. My dad was there to greet us and now we are back home at my parents. Adam can't wake up...he is in a coma. Can't blame him though since I used him as my pillow and stole his blanket on the ride back. I am drifting in and out of naps ( so sorry if there are large typos or if none of this makes sense). Tomorrow we will drive back to Fort Worth with my brother in tow!! He is going to stay the week with us and then my parents will come out to spend the 4th with us and he will go back with them.
Hope you all enjoyed the blog this year. I still have lots of pictures to post so I will put those links up ASAP!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Here are pictures of the survey, Jerusalem, City of David and Tel Aviv!!!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Monday-we found lots and lots of features today, as we were walking in bedrock fields. Ansen Raney gave a lecture tonight on the Armana letters and the geo-political issues of that time between Egypt and Israel.
Tuesday-today we had to finish up processing all the features from the field, and we found something spectacular!!!! Afterward we went to a local dairy farm. The owner saw us working in the fields while he was bike riding and invited us up. He is from Iraq originally and his parents made Iraqi cheese to sale. He says they only made one kind of cheese and it was called cheese :). Then he and his brothers took over and they now make mozzarella!!! He walked us through his factory showing us every step. It smelled like salt and made my mouth water. At the end of the tour he let us try fresh mozzarella that came straight out of the brine. The 18 of us tore that sucker up!!! There was none left so he opened up some mozzarella balls and we went through three tubs. We also ate about 5 tubs of yogurt, strawberry and tart. We were in cheese heaven after not having it for 2.5 weeks. We were very thankful for his tour and he is very supportive of SWBTS efforts at Tel Gezer.
Wednesday- we had to start walking agricultural fields because if we found anything else we wouldn't have time to process it before the report was due in Jerusalem. We only worked half a day and then came back early to shower. Then we went for a tour of Khierbet Qiyafa which is thought to be biblical Ha Sharaim, in the Elah Valley. There is a dig going on there by Yosie Garfinkel and Hebrew University. They showed us what they have uncovered in the last 3 seasons and in the first two days of their fourth season. This Khierbet was important b/c it was at the entrance to the Kingdom of Judah as its the first major city before you get into the mountains where Hebron, Jerusalem and Bethlehem are. One of the professors is coming Thursday night to give a lecture on the findings and conclusions.
Wednesday night we were treated to pizza and ice cream in Tel Aviv. We drove in and hit 5 o'clock traffic. We ate a place called Iceberg Volcano and it was the best food I have had in a while. Adam and I ate Calamari pizza with cherry tomatoes on it, Three cheese pizza ( blue, mozzarella and something else) with basil leaves on top, and Salami pizza that tasted like pepperoni but better!!!!! Then we got ice cream....oh my word!! I got two scoops, one was dark chocolate and tasted like a cake, the other scoop was toffee. Adam got three scoops, one was bananas and honey ( my new fav), one was pistachio and the last was marscapone with berries!!!!! We were stuffed but still managed to walk down the boardwalk and watch the sunset. There is a military base right off the boardwalk and we watched tons of planes take off and land. We drove back, watched a little of "How Stella got her groove back" and fell asleep happy :).
Oh, but Adam also finished off our pistachio and mocha ice cream in the room ( that boy can eat :).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday in Jerusalem

Sunday we woke up late....6:00 :) and left at 6:30. We had a tour for the City of David scheduled from 8-12 by one of Gabi Barkai's students. It was very fascinating. We got to see some different proposed sites of King David's palace, the Jebuzite fortress, David's grave and the cities boundaries. There are several digs and views in place about the City of David and where it was located on Mt. Zion so we had to walk all over the city to see the possible locations. Adam and two others also went back through Hezzakiah's water tunnel which goes through the City of David and down to a natural spring. You can read about the tunnel and Hezzakiah's broad wall in scripture. After the tour we went to our favorite place for lunch....guess? Damascus Gate Swarma Shop!!! Adam had spicy falafel and I had spicy swarma.
Then we went to the Rockefeller Museum....which holds lot of findings from the IAA- Israeli Antiquities Authority. We saw wooden panels from the Al aqsa Mosque-where Jesus overthrew the moneychangers in the temple. We saw lots and lots of pottery, coins, jewelry and parts of buildings from Tels such as Bet Shemesh, Megiddo and Tel Dan. In the courtyard of the Rockefeller is one of the boundary stones found for the city of Gezer.
After that we went to Shabban's to do some last minute stop shopping at Shabban's... he gives us the best prices and always invites us in for a cool drink and a seat by the fan. We told Shabban bye and went to Ben Yehuda street for dinner. There we went to Melaka Swarma (Swarma King)...OH YUM!! They do swarma and falafel in pita wraps and they are huge. Adam and I got one and shared it. We put tazaki and spicy mango sauce on it and it was oohhhh soo good!!!
From there we went to H. Stern jewelry to return Old City Maps. If you returned your map they gave you a charm with the Jewish Star on one side and three stars (symbolizing Germany) on the other. H. Stern is a very notable jewelry store and they are all over the world. I am very happy to have that pendant as it will remind me to pray for the Jews and that they may know Christ as their Savior and believe that He is the Son of reminds me of that feeling I felt last year at the Wailing Wall and how I wanted to cry out for those there idolizing a man made structure.
After that we met the rest of our group..we spent the entire day with two other team leaders, Adam Dodd and Cameron Coyle who both go to SWBTS. We got back to Neve Shalom about 7:30 and we were very tired, however had enough energy to eat a large portion of our mocha and pistachio ice cream! We went to bed, ready for our last week of survey!

Here are pictures from Ein Gedi!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I'm hoping that this will reach some very special men tomorrow morning. We will be touring around Israel but Adam and I will both be thinking of them and thanking God for them.

To my dad- WE LOVE YOU!! Thanks for being a great dad and giving me my love for art. Thank you for spending countless nights on the phone with me, talking with me until I fell asleep. Thank you for always reminding me to love, be good to and take care of my husband. Thank you for being kewl- I mean what other dad rides a motorcycle, plays a wicked guitar and sports a handlebar mustache? I hope your Fathers Day is wonderful and full of laughter and good food :) ( even though food is fuel right?) Adam says keep jammin till your fingers bleed!!

To my father in law- WE LOVE YOU!! Thank you for being a father in law that supports us in every way. Thank you for teaching my husband how to follow Christ and to seek Him out. Thank you for teaching him how to be a gentlemen and encouraging him to be romantic :). Thank you for loving travel as much as we do ( can't wait for our Virgin Island trip). I hope your Fathers Day is wonderful and full of laughter and good food. Adam says don't forget your sense of humor and excellent use of puns :).

To my Papa Coleman- WE LOVE YOU!! Thank you for taking me on rides around " our circle". Thank you for letting me taste test your coffee every morning. Thank you for wonderful mornings with Grandma Coleman eating tomatoes and rice and sausage!!! Thank you for nights in the swimming pool and building us a playhouse!!! Thank you for keeping up with me and always wanting me to come live right smack beside you :). I hope you have a wonderful Fathers Day!!! You are sooo special to me !!! Adam says "Hopefully they will find a biblical site in Enon, Florida so we can move closer to you :)"

To Papa Mashburn- WE LOVE YOU!!! Thank you for letting us ( not letting us ) peel out in the go cart. Thank you for letting us explore the wild forests and pastures behind your house. Thank you for all the homegrown goods that gave us stories to tell our friends and future kids. We hope you are feeling better and that your leg/hip is healing right up! Have a wonderful Fathers Day!!! Kinzie says " Thank you for always treating me like family, never as a guest"

To Pop Harvell- WE LOVE YOU!! Thank you for hours and hours of lifelong experiences you told us, even times we didn't want to hear it :). Thank you for taking me flying, even though I am terribly afraid of heights. Thank you for taking pride in our family heritage and putting all of the Harvell history together. We hope you have a wonderful Fathers Day!! Kinzie says " Thanks for putting us up on our last visit there...we hope to come see you soon, but this time do I have to drink the buttermilk? :)

Dead Sea and Ein Gedi

Since tomorrow is a tour day and I just finished helping draw the illustrations of our findings, I have time to post again!

So, after we left Masada we headed to the Dead Sea...even though the Sea is really much larger than you envision there are only a couple of spots that are beach like...meaning they have umbrellas, boardwalks and showers. Anyways, once we got there the rest of the group went into a small cafeteria there for lunch but Adam and I had other plans :). We didn't want to waste our time there eating so we brought food with us, and ran straight to the sea. We got in really fast b/c the rocks will burn your feet. We remembered that instead of trying to gracefully finalge your way in you just walk in until the water is up to your calf and then lay down. The water will carry you out and you won't fall in due to the slippery, oh so slippery rocks!!!! Our friend went down the Mud Spot to get some but a man chased her back. She left me her bag so when no one was looking I put on my tennis shoes and raced down to the mud pit. There were other people down there so I have no idea why he told her not to go. Maybe b/c there was a large fence with barbed wire that said " Warning, Stay Out". I grabbed several handfuls and threw them in the bag and then raced back. As I was getting back in Adam and I both noted that it was 112 degrees outside, 45 degrees about HOTTT!!! We stayed in almost an hour and then reluctantly got out. We immediately took showers b/c our skin was on fire :). We changed, bought an ice cream and jumped back in the van to eat our lunch.
After that we headed to Ein Gedi and unlike last year we were able to hike to the waterfalls. It was sooooo nice!!!!! We got to a small waterfall and there was a young family playing with their little girl there. She was laughing so hard everytime they tried to get her to go close to the waterfall. There were tons of people there just coming to swim in the falls. Nothing like swimming in ice cold water on a HOT HOT day!!! We left there and hiked up to three more falls before getting to the big one, David's waterfall. Ein Gedi is the only natural water around, besides the Dead Sea, so this is believed to be the spot where David was hiding out from Saul in the caves. Its so picturesque and we could have stayed there all day!
From there we went to Qumran. Since Adam and I went last year we opted to stay in the air conditioned gift shop. Then we bought some candy to get some sugar in us and drank tons of water!!! Adam ended up not driving on the way back home so we both got about an hour nap from Ein Gedi to Abu Gosh where we ate at a Lebanese Restaurant for dinner. It was okay, we just got some cheap falafel and room temperature water. You would think that the hot hot temp would warrant some ice, but nope. We got back to Neve Shalom about 6:30, checked our email, took showers, ate some of our pistachio and mocha ice cream and fell asleep watching Toy Story on our one English channel.....what a perfect day :).

Pictures from Masada and Dead Sea...I'll get Ein Gedi's up soon!

End of the week

Thursday was full of thick thick weeds, thorns and bedrock. It was very hot but we found a lot and covered a good area. We had bought park passes back during the first week and they were going to run out on Friday so we switched work days and toured on Friday, worked on Saturday. Therefore on Thursday night we had movie night. We watched an episode of The Office and then Get Fit Gezer from last year's talent show.
The next day we left early, very early to get to Masada right when they opened. We were both very excited to get back to Masada as we enjoyed it last year but didn't get to see it all because we had such a large group and our tour guide liked to hear himself talk :). You can get to the top of Masada two different by cable car and two by snake path. Masada is a huge fortress on top of a large cliff, about 1300 meters up. Adam chose to walk/run the snake path that is two miles long with an elevation of 900 feet. I think maybe 7 people from our group ended up doing that and the rest of us ( I will call us the smart crowd :)) took the cable car!! Adam made it to the top in 36 minutes and his shirt changed color from all the sweat on the way. One of our friends, Boon, made it in 22 minutes and we were all amazed!!!
I'll give a brief history of Masada for those who don't remember from last year or have forgotten.
Masada was occupied by Herod for a while ( though he wasn't first) and during his reign he used it as his winter palace. He built several baths there and two large palaces, one built into the side of the cliff. After that Masada was occupied by Jewish Revolts as their last safe place against the Romans. Eventually the Romans came to Masada to capture the Jewish rebels. They camped out around Masada, and you can still see their encampments their today. They also built a wall around Masada so that if they ran out of supplies and needed to come down their would be an obstacle. Over a three year period the Romans built a siege ramp up to the lowest point of Masada. When they reached the top they busted through the stone walls and the wooden walls that he rebels had layered behind it. Then they went back down to their camp for the night, thinking they would return in the morning to capture the Jews.
However, that night the Jews decided it would be better to kill themselves rather than fall into the Romans hands where they would be mistreated and forced into slavery. So all the men killed their wives and children and then took turns drawing lots to see who would kill who until the last man had to fall on his own sword. They have found those lots at Masada, with men's names written on pottery sherds.
So, with all that history you can see why so many people flock there. You will better understand the topography of it when you look at my pictures. After we toured around we both rode back down on the cable car and got on the bus to head to the Dead Sea :)
I'll post pictures soon but for now here are some from the end of the week and our time at the overlook at Azeka.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nimrods Fortress and Tel Dan Pictures-finally :)

Pictures of Tel Dan and Nimrod's Fortress!!!! LOVE IT!!!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

This week has been pretty exciting so far. We are finding features left and right. That is really all I can say right now, for the same reasons as last year. However, ask us when we get home and we would love to tell you about our Tel Gezer findings. Our days have been full of walking, finding features, processing them which requires drawing the feature, measuring it and photographing it. That all happens after we clean it up though. Monday and Tuesday we mainly walked orchards which is nice b/c you get partial shade and you get to "sample" Israeli agriculture. Can I just tell you that I have tasted the best grapes ever here? Today we mainly walked through weeds up to our heads, dodging spiders the size of our heads and making sounds so that the snakes would run!!!! At first it was a little overwhelming but then when you make a find its all worth it!! Break time is sooo heavenly too! We find the shade of a large tree, eat our snack and then nap for about 15 mintues. I have fallen asleep on the hard ground with bugs crawling on me, sweat dripping and helicopters flying over. I am pretty sure that Adam owes me a chick flick when we get back home :).
Every afternoon this week Adam and I have gone to the pool for some swimming, laying out and reading. The pool feels sooo good and unlike last year there has only been one or two families there sharing it with us. After the pool we go back to our room and lounge around while we take showers and do some laundry. We get Fox Movies here in English so we have watched Dancing with Wolves and The Skulls so far. Its nice to just rest and cuddle ;). From there we come to the Lobby and write on the blog and check our email. After that is either a lecture or working on locus sheets before dinner. After dinner we normally go straight to bed...a habit that I could easily take back to the states with me.
Hope all our enjoying our blog thus far. The Israel sun that we knew last summer has come out again and we sweat from sunrise to sundown. We are planning some neat things for this weekend and I'm really glad that Adam and I have been able to see new things this year.
The biggest thing we are looking forward to though is swimming in the Dead Sea...last year we said we could have floated in there all day long....this year we hope to at least stay in an hour or so!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

and more pictures

Here are even more pictures from our trip to the Galilee this past weekend. Its taken quite a while to upload them all this year, so I am doing it in sections. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Here are some pictures from this weekend, not many though b/c the internet is being really slow!!! I will post more as I can!

Old City Jerusalem

Sunday morning we got to sleep in until 7, eat breakfast at Neve Shalom and then head into Jerusalem. It took us a while to get there since sooo many people were heading into work and of course you have tons of tour buses. Adam has been our van driver this year and he did a great job of dodging the 7000 people who cut us off or came into our lane while texting ( did you know that the cell phone was invented in Israel?). Anyways, we parked close to Ben Yehuda street and walked into the city through the Joffa Gate. We went straight to Shabban's and exchanged money. Then we started shopping :). Last year Adam got upset with me b/c I talked to every store owner and looked at everything. I tried really hard not to do the same thing this year b/c if you make eye contact with them or smile then you have to go into the store and most of the time are convinced to buy something. Like I said, I tried :).
We bought some things from Shabban but also went back to our friend from last year who said "Heart of Dixie" when we told him that we were from Alabama. He wasn't too happy to see us this year, probably b/c he knew I was going to practically steal things from him. So then we went and made new friends with two other shop owners. Joseph, our new friend, showed us tons of fabric, jewelry and the deepest well in the Old City. Joseph designs and makes all the jewelry and his uncle and he own the store together. We ended up buying lots of things from them and going to get our friends so they could buy from them too! When we went to leave, he made us all zatar tea with honey in it and ended up giving me a scarf to say thanks for all the business. I think we will continue to use Joesph and Shabban for all of our purchases in the Old City.
We also ate lunch in the Old City and knew without a doubt what we would get...SPICY SWARMA from the Damascus Gate stand......oh my word. I just had some and I am drooling again just thinking about it!!!
After Jerusalem we drove to Bet Shemesh to do our grocery shopping for the week. This year we have to provide our own breakfast and snack. Adam and I already had nutella, some bread, pepsi and some graham crackers so we bought mixed berry jam, croissants, milk (3%, which is 3 more percent than I normally drink) grapes, and pizza flavored cheese puffs. The milk is okay, I have to hold my nose when I drink it b/c it smells like foot flavored coffee creamer but it taste fine. The jam is amazing, especially when you mix it with nutella!!!!
From there we came back to Neve Shalom for dinner and then Boon led us at Vespers out on the veranda overlooking Tel Aviv.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Today was stinking HOT!

We got up and left Abu gosh at around 5 and drove back to Neve Shalom to meet our group. It was fun being on the highway with just Adam driving through Israel. We picked up our group and headed to the Galilee. Instead of going straight up we went down into the West Bank and drove up the Jordan Valley, which was very very neat. Its dry there and there are fences that border the west bank as well as no mans land between Jordan and Israel. However, we got to see Jericho on the way and the possible site for Sodom.

First stop in the Galilee was the Jesus Boat Museum. The ones who had never been went in and the rest of us went about a mile down the road to Midgala….home to Mary Magedelene. We took pictures and looked around outside the fence not wanting to pay the 25 shekels each to get in. Then we all want to Tagba and Capernaum. Unlike this year there were only 15 of us, instead of 60 so we were able to see lots more, talk about the things we were looking at and spend more time at each site. The Galilee felt good but it was a very foggy day so we couldn’t see into Tiberius or across the sea.

Next we went to Korzim, a city nestled in the hills to the west of the Galilee. There was an old basalt synagogue there and several micfahs. On the way there we passed the Mount of Beattitudes. After Korzim we headed to Hatzor and on the way stopped for lunch. Most of the restaurants in Israel are connected to a gas station, so you have to drive quite a ways to get both gas and food. We ate at a place connected to a gas station and had VERY GOOD falafel. They stuffed it full of friend chick pea balls, veggies, hummus and this yogurt sauce. I couldn’t even finish mine.

From there we went to Hatzor, Adam and I passed on going back in since we went last year and this year we only bought a 6 Tel Pass. We wanted to save our pass for some more Tels that we have never visited. After Hatzor we headed to Tel Dan, my personal favorite from last year. The water there was ice cold and we could have stayed there all day. Several families were at the springs playing in the water and having picnics. We revisited everything from last year but this time had one of our professors giving tours so we got much better information than last year :).

From Tel Dan we went to my new favorite place, Nimrod’s fortress. You can see the fortress for miles, its perched high in the Golan Heights and has three large towers. We only had an hour before the park closed to tour the fortress so we booked up several flights of stairs and uphill pathways to see as much as we could. The fortress was built around 1229 by Al-Aziz Uthma. It was named Qala'at al-Subeiba, "Castle of the Large Cliff" in Arabic. It was further expanded to contain the whole ridge by 1230, and Baibars strengthened it and added larger towers after 1260. The castle was given to Baibars's second-on-command, Bilik. At the end of the 13th century, following the Muslim conquest of the port city of Akko (Acre) and the end of Crusader rule in the Holy Land, the fortress lost strategic value and fell into disrepair.After the Ottoman Turks conquered the land in 1517, they used the fortress as a luxury prison for Ottoman nobles who had been exiled to Palestine. The fortress was abandoned later in the 16th century and only local shepherds and their flocks were temporary guests within its walls.The fortress was ruined by an earthquake in the 18th century.The Jews called it Nimrod Fortress after Nimrod, a biblical figure who according to tradition had lived on the summit:

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. (Genesis 10:8-9)

On the way up to the keep one of our professors saw a Viper, the same as the one Adam saw on Tuesday.

We left the Galilee and headed back down to Neve Shalom, through the Jezreel Valley, passing places such as Mt. Tabor, Nazareth and Megiddo on the way. We stopped and ate diner at yet another gas station/restaurant at Latrun. Adam and I had a turkey, cucumber, pepper and hummus sandwich with mango tea J. We are now back and tired as anything. We are spending tomorrow in Jerusalem and I couldn’t be more excited :)

Pictures to come soon!


Today we surveyed a really large hay wheat field…long enough that it took us the entire morning to transect it. We thought it would never end. We had break in an olive orchard. The orchard was unkept and we thought that is probably how it would have looked in Jesus’s day.

Tonight Adam and I stayed at Yad Hashmona, close to Abu Gosh ( an arab village) which is in between Neve Shalom and Jerusalem. Neve Shalom overbooked and asked if they could put us up over here, along with another couple for the night. Yad Hashmona is considered a biblical village and was established with the assistance of the Swiss Beth Shalom society and the IAA. The name of the village was chosen as a memorial to the eight Jews who were sent by the Finland government to the Germans during World War 2. Several Israeli Messanic Jews joined along with this community to build the guest houses. Its situated in the Judean foothills and was very nice. The dinner was the best part….i’m drooling right now. Actually, the dessert was the best part. During dinner, I kept putting a heaping spoonful of stuff in my mouth( not knowing what it was ) and going “ech”. Adam kept saying “you can’t make that sound here, they know what that means”. Most everything was great, but I did spit three things out. Dessert was a dark dark chocolate deamy torte, coffee mouse on a chocolate crumb crust and a baklava pie cake heavenly thingy!!!!!!!

We are leaving at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow for the Galilee…I’m sure I will have much more to write about then!

More Pictures

Pictures from the end of the first work week

Can someone leave a comment and let me know if these picture links are working correctly? Thanks!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday 6/10

Today we covered lots of ground....and I mean lots. We mostly walked orchards, with some hay fields as well. Some of the fields we walked had nets over them to keep out the bugs and the nets actually kept the smells in as well. Just imagine, being engulfed in the smells of fresh figs and nectarines....YUMMM! It reminded me of my grandparents and I kept hoping to find large ripe figs that had fallen so I could eat them without feeling guilty.
Tonight Neve Shalom is treating us to Israeli BBQ on the balcony. I have to say that the food this year has been wonderful, not that it wasn't last year but I think I just really loves all of their veggies!
Tomorrow night Adam and I are going to stay in another hotel a little ways down the road. Neve Shalom overbooked and has offered to put us up in an Arab village close to the Elvis restaurant we ate at last year. We are excited and ready to see another hotel and city. We will also be eating there, which could be good or bad :).
No more snakes, thank ya JESUS!!!, more spiders and a guard dog. Other than that the weather is still pretty nice, warming up just a tad.
Adam and I have been making treks to the pool everyday when we get back and that has been very relaxing.
Trivia for the day. Gezer means "carrot" in modern Hebrew and meant "sword" in biblical Hebrew.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guess what we found?

Today was a good day...we found three big installations.
First, the weather has been beautiful, unless you run you dont sweat, and this morning I got chill bumps on the Tel!!!
We started by surveying a large pomegranate orchard. We found loads of pottery and the remains of a mosaic floor from Abu shusha, an old Arab village that was on the side of Tel Gezer after ancient times.
Then we headed to a unkept olive orchard and walked through high weeds!!! About two seconds into it Adam saw a VIPER!!!! He is the first one to ever see a snake while surveying..and this is year four for them!! He said it was very thick and had brown diamonds on its back. He also said it moved very fast away from him but not as fast as I moved. I was in weeds up to my elbows and booked it out. The rest of the day I stayed beside my friend Shannon and we moved as a team!
After that excitement we continued into the field and started flagging tons of bedrock that either had quarry marks, drains or other features cut into them. The first thing we found was a weighted olive oil press with a cistern at the bottom. We started cleaning off weeds and brushing everything off so we could process it. Next we found a rolling stone olive press. You could see where the pole would be inserted in the middle with a stone tied to it to roll around on top of the olives.
About 15 feet Northwest of that we found the largest wine press I have ever seen. It was about 6.0 meters long and probaly close to that wide. There were several vats and drains running off of the main basin. We also found a cup hole to hold a vesse. Those three installations took the rest of the day to process. We had to clean several weeds and clean just a little to actually see the edges of the bedrock. All of these features were within 15-20 feet of each other so you can see that we were probably in the industrial part of Tel Gezer.

On a side note, one of our friends flew over to Israel on the same plane as Rihanna. He was bumped to first class and sat on the other side of her bodyguard!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Walking through really tall grass!!

Today was our first day to do actual surveying with our teams. It went very smoothly and I think we will accomplish a lot over the next three weeks. The first field we walked was a grape vineyard and it had very easy visibility. We didn't find too much pottery, honestly only one piece. The next field had weeds and thorns up to my head. We all had either big sticks or machetes. I obviously was not trusted with a machete so I found a big stick to a)help break apart spider webs and b) to beat the tar out of anything that might get in my way. We had a local caution us about the vipers here in Israel and how if you get bit , stay put, because getting overwhelmed will allow the poison to get into your bloodstream faster. I had already played out the scenario in my mind of how I was going to handle snakes and that was to be as loud as I could to make sure they knew I was coming. I had heard one professor say they can hear you so right when we entered the first field I started making cattle herding sounds like "hah, yee haw" and then when I got a litle further down I settled for Xena Warrior Princess gutteral sounds of "iyie yie yie" in very shrill tones. Everyone was laughing, but I didn't care, i was not about to get snake bit. Then our director who was about 15 meters away said " Kinzie, what is that all about". I explained to him that I was keeping away snakes and he politely told me that they can really feel the vibrations when I walk, more then hear my voice. I felt ridiculous for my sounds but immediately started stomping and beating the ground with my stick. NO SNAKES :)!! I think wearing gaiters makes me braver too...for some reason?
Anyways, Adam is turning out to be a very good team leader, not that I thought he wouldn't be but he is organized and on top of things. He is keeping everyone entertained in the field and back at Neve Shalom. He is in charge of keeping our line moving, keeping up with found pottery and a majority of the paperwork for our team.
Today after lunch we once again crashed until dinner....a habit we broke last year but have not been able to shake yet this year. The group that is digging the water system is all old familiar faces and its great to have them at the Tel and sharing meals with us this year.
This weekend we are going to the Galilee, hopefully revisiting the Cliffs of Arbell, Baniass, Tel Dan and Capernaum. We have more freedom this year and more a say in what we do so I am super excited.


First set of pictures from this years trip!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Day One of Survey

Last night after Dinner we had a "training/informative" meeting about the methodology of survey in archaeology. I'll sum up what we were told at the meeting:
There are two teams, Red and Blue. We will be transversing field surrounding Gezer, mainly to the north and northwest looking for material culture and features. We will be walking in lines, separated by 5 meters. As we walk the field each person will carry 10 flags to stake at features or pottery scatters or something else of interest. Once we have walked our transect the team will go back and draw, measure, collect pottery, identify the different flags. When we get back to Neve Shalom at night we will fill out official paperwork and attach pictures. All of this will then be collected as a huge report and handed over to the IAA ( Israeli Antiquities Authority).
This morning we practiced doing our transects and its not as easy as it sounds. There are huge huge boulders, large nasty weeds and bumpy terrain to get through ( while staying in a straight line). We have to be on the lookout for caves and tombs since sometimes you can't see them due to the overgrown brush. We located several things today such as two big wine vats, an olive press, two tombs, and some pottery.
This afternon we have a team meeting ( Adam and I are on Blue 2) to get our paperwork done, then a lecture on material culture and the findings from last years survey, and then at 6 a lecture from the guy who dug out the water system at Beer Sheva and who is currently working on the water system at Gezer.
I hope to post some pictures soon since I have already taken several dozen ( whats new right?).
Prayer-One of our guys got pretty sick off of Jerusalem Swarma yesterday .
Prayer for the sweet sweet people who run Neve Shalom.
Prayer for our Jewish friend Amos, who helps us in the field, that he would see Christ
for who He is really is.
Everyday safety.
Prayer for the spouses who couldn't come and the husbands who are here missing them like crazy.

To leave you with, Israel is just as breathtaking as I remember and it seems like everything is in bloom here. We took a tea break in the middle of an apricot orchard this morning and picked apricots to eat. There is a breeze here at night and we think it may be cooler than last year.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We are back!!! 6-5-10

We are back!! We landed here at 4:30 this afternoon, 30 minutes ahead of time. We got bumped to an earlier flight leaving Pensacola to Atlanta because of bad weather. Our flights were less than great. In fact, I couldn't down any food after lunch on Friday. The flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv was very bumpy and everytime they would sat food in front of us, the plane would shake, I would gag, and the guy sitting beside me would jump up. We got here though and everyone sang and clapped when we landed. I am not sure if it was bad weather or not but I sure did a whole lotta praying :). Also, my TV was the only one not working on the whole plane. They had to restart it twice and it never worked. So I watched one movie on Adam's TV and read/slept the rest of the time. Adam watched Sherlock Holmes, Legion and the Book of Eli...he also ate everything they sat in front of him and me :).He's got a steel stomach.
We were met by Boon and Dr. Mitchell at the airport and got to Neve Shalom about 6:20.We spruced up a little and then went to meet everyone for dinner. It was soooooo good to see familiar faces and my stomach automatically settled. Adam and I's room in down on the hill and we have a beautiful balcony with a gorgeous view of the Judean foothills and in the distance Tel Aviv.
More Later...time for lecture!!!!!!
Thanks for your prayers!!!!

We are back!!! 6-5-10

We are back!! We landed here at 4:30 this afternoon, 30 minutes ahead of time. We got bumped to an earlier flight leaving Pensacola to Atlanta because of bad weather. Our flights were less than great. In fact, I couldn't down any food after lunch on Friday. The flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv was very bumpy and everytime they would sat food in front of us, the plane would shake, I would gag, and the guy sitting beside me would jump up. We got here though and everyone sang and clapped when we landed. I am not sure if it was bad weather or not but I sure did a whole lotta praying :). Also, my TV was the only one not working on the whole plane. They had to restart it twice and it never worked. So I watched one movie on Adam's TV and read/slept the rest of the time. Adam watched Sherlock Holmes, Legion and the Book of Eli...he also ate everything they sat in front of him and me :).He's got a steel stomach.
We were met by Boon and Dr. Mitchell at the airport and got to Neve Shalom about 6:20.We spruced up a little and then went to meet everyone for dinner. It was soooooo good to see familiar faces and my stomach automatically settled. Adam and I's room in down on the hill and we have a beautiful balcony with a gorgeous view of the Judean foothills and in the distance Tel Aviv.
More Later...time for lecture!!!!!!
Thanks for your prayers!!!!