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Friday, July 1, 2011

Final daze

Unfortunately I forgot the password for our blog so I couldn't upload this blog as I waited in the various airports. Funny thing is that the only airports that had free wireless were the foreign ones? Why does the USA think they have to charge for every thing!!

Well, I will post this anyhow to give you a glimpse of what happened in the final days of my trip to Israel.

I am sitting here in the Tel Aviv airport waiting for my flight to get here and I am looking back to the two weeks that consisted of my visit to Israel. There have been days that have felt as if they would never end and days that have flown by. The days that have flown by usually had a lot of work that had to be done. You can imagine the days that took an eternity because they have given me moments where I could sit and reminisce on Kinzie and the kids. I never knew what it was like or would be like to be over here without my family, but it is definitely harder then I previously thought. I never imagined that they would be pulling so hard on my heart every time I talk to them as well as the times when I just stare at their picture. My heart literally ached for them. Especially since they were doing all of the fun things that I would desperately enjoy. As you can read from the previous posts they had tons of adventures. I like to think they were mainly to keep me off their minds and because it is summer time!! I will fill in some of the details of the days, but since they were mostly uneventful in my eyes I will keep it brief.

To pick up where I left you hanging, Friday we went back into the field with a sense of urgency because we had to begin wrapping up the survey work to have time to complete revisits and paperwork. The revisits would be for anything that we neglected to measure or mark down on the Locus sheets when documenting the finds. Thankfully there was only one revisit, but a lot of conversation to understand them fully. We started out the day by working the rest of an orchard then proceeded to walk a berm (previous blog). This became very fruitful because we found 5 tombs and 2 features in a small area. By the look of it we could only enter one of the tombs and if we move a rock then we might be able to squeeze in a second. Since it was near the end of the day we processed the two features then GPSd the other tombs so we could find them on Monday if we forgot. We then moved left the field. However, there was a hill that had caught on fire the weekend that I arrived in Israel and since our finds last year came from a burnt hill I was anxious to check it out. So, a couple of us guys went after lunch to check it out. There were tons of tombs and cisterns as you can see from these pictures. There were also some bugs that ended up eating Jason's back to death. This didn't keep me and Tommas from going back again Saturday morning. I found some excellent pottery pieces. You will have to come visit us if you want to see what they are.

So, on Saturday we spent some of the day looking back over that burnt hill and then I spent the rest of the day doing laundry to get ready to come home. Sunday we worked on paper work and went to get some ice cream from Ramla. Then on Monday we headed out into the field again, but without Jason because of his back.

This meant that I was the one that had to process the tomb that we were able to go down into. There were actually three tombs close next to each other and this one happened to be right in the middle of the three. It had a fairly large opening and once you crawled inside it opened up like a dome structure. As I looked to my left there was a large rectangular hole that led into one of the blocked off tombs! Once again you will have to come see us because these tombs were awesome. The second tomb that was blocked off was a second temple type tomb with loculi or fingers that were carved into the wall. These are found in larger numbers because the belief of resurrection changed. Whereas previously they believed that you could just dump all the bones together and they would be sorted out in resurrection, they believed after the second temple that the bones had to remain separate in order that you would not wind up with your father's arm and he with one of your legs when the resurrection happened. Silly! The other tombs we documented their entrances and noted that we could not enter them. After that we continued to walk orchards so we wouldn't find anything. Since we had so much paper work to do and some visits with Israeli officials to talk over methodology we made Tuesday our last day in the field. This was good since we had so much paper work to do for the tombs. So, Wednesday we spent most of the day working on paper work to get it all finished before Thursday.

Thursday we all went into Jerusalem to take the information to the Israel Antiquities Authority. It was a neat place with a lot of pottery sitting around. I will share my pictures too. Don't you feel lucky! After dropping that off we went to the old city and to Ben Yehudah street, which is the jewish market street. This was neat for some new experiences and just to take my mind of the anxiousness of waiting to fly out today.

As I finish this post I am so ready to leave and can't wait to touch down in Birmingham. I just hope I bought enough gifts!

I love you Kinzie and Eli and Bre, and I can't wait to see you!  

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