Local time at Horbat Omrit, Israel

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Last day +1

If you're still hanging around, I've got a 2 hour wait at Ben Gurion Airport, so I'll tell you what happened today. The bus left at 7:30 this morning for Jerusalem with a small Hyundai close behind. Said Hyundai containing Bill, Tracy, Nancy and Flora. The first stop was the holocaust memorial. We left early to get to the hotel, drop the car, and take a taxi to old city where we met the gang again for a tour. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was a highlight. Check out this link for a bit of its history and an amazing squabble.

I spent the afternoon in the hotel lobby and left for the airport just in time for rush hour and the setting sun in my face. I made it ok , have checked in and passed security (well, one more check) and now wait for a late night flight to Munich. I won't blog Germany so Auf Wiedersehen!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Last Day

Here's my involuntary guest blogger John Robinson. I won't be blogging from Germany but will send out a few emails. Bye for now.

Yep, it’s now official. We are done at the site.

We spent half the morning filling sandbags, moving sandbags, covering the Frescos and stuff….. things like that. Then back to The Kib (to use Bill’s term) for breakfast. Then a lot of other people went back to the site for more sandbag work. I was lucky enough to be seen by Paul really quickly after he got back for breakfast, so I stayed back and got to do the redundant, monotonous, repetitive, boring paperwork. As I’m sure you can see, it was so redundant, etc., that it rubbed off on me. Basically what I was doing was going through all of the drawings that we had made and putting in the elevations and pottery buckets, then copying down what pottery buckets contained what and where they were found and what day they were from. Like I said, monotonous repetitive boring work.

Then in the afternoon we started to think about packing.

At 700 pm we had the end of season party by the pool. That was fun. We got to hear all about how what we found has changed their thoughts about what the site was like. It was pretty interesting. Then afterwards we got to go swimming. It was really warm. I like it when the sun warms water…..

Now we’re all packing for tomorrow. We have to be down by the front office at 0700 for a light breakfast, then the bus is leaving for Jerusalem at 0730. So I guess I won’t be pigging out today. Dang.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Days 31 and 32: Sloth and laziness

An apology to all my fans, blog-fatigue is my only excuse.

We finished with final photographs today and the drawing of the walls (balks). Above is one that I helped with. The string is a reference point to help put exact drawings on graph paper. We'll help clean up the entire site tomorrow and then that's it.

The valley that we sit on one side of has a ridge of about 2300 feet on the other side. There is a cable car that goes up to the top and that's where I went today. Here's a shot from on the way up. You better zoom in on this picture!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 30: Monkey Beach!

The trip today was to Sepphoris, but I've been there 3 times, and Tracy wanted to go back to the Med, so... Monkey Beach! As Helen knows already, I didn't actually go in but did get my feet wet. We spent a few hours talking to the South African beach bum we met last week (he's sleeping in a lifeguard post) and soaking in the view. We stopped at the "north mall" in Kiryat Shmona for falafal and shwarma (gyro) on the way back, the end of a good day.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 29: Nimrod's Fortress

Well, not Nimrod, but some Muslim sultan. It's not the greatest set of ruins but location, location, location. Built in the 13th century (hey, wait, that's when there was activity at Omrit) on top of the almost 6000 ft high hill above. Natalie, Carli and Jordan asked me if I would take them there and, of course, I did. Here's a view toward the valley from there. Omrit is behind the black, burnt hill on the left.
On the way back we stopped at a roadside stand run by Duruz (plural of Druze) (Druze women wear distinctive dress). We had bought a 1/2 kilo of cherries the day before (yummy) and today I got a pita sandwich like none I had eaten before and a jar of goat cheese in olive oil that I put out for the Saturday night BBQ. Forgot to get a picture...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 28: Galil Mountain

This afternoon I and 3 compatriots went to visit the Galil Mountain Winery and a fine time was had by all. It was a larger operation than I expected (1,000,000 bottles a year) and a nice shop and tasting bar. We were too late for a tour but woman pouring and describing the wine we tasted took us on a quick run-through. The winery sits just south of the Lebanese border, half-way to the Sea.

The last area I described had a lot of rock and stone tumble that revealed a hole when removed. Although there is a nice column drum in one of the walls and we just found a Doric column capital when we tore down the wall between 2 squares.

The square we started a few days ago, after removing the surface tumble has a wall and some rough floors. Made of big heavy stones. We're not very deep but we're going to quit for this season on that square. Cleaning, drawing and photographing will occupy Saturday (Shabbat again!) and Monday. Then we clean up the site and leave until next year.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 27: Winding down

The work is not quite winding down but I am. Everyone is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 8 of us went out this afternoon to fill sandbags that will be used to cover and protect uncovered features that we want to be around next year and the years after. The temple stairs in the above picture may get that treatment. (They are actually working in the area where the stairs to the earlier shrine were once covered over.)

Went off to a nice restaurant this evening, had a pasta with salmon dish and a great
crème brûlée. Beats kib food all to heck. The honchos turned up in another restaurant in the same shopping center. Guess they feel the same way.

P.S. I'm told the kib pub is open more than 1 night a week. Believe it or not, I've never been.