Local time at Horbat Omrit, Israel

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 13: Guest Blog

Hello Loyal Blog Followers,
This afternoon you're all in for a guest blog courtesy of Joey Mayer, a student excavator from Macalester. You might recognize me from the fantastic picture of Cricket Bill has on the blog- I'm the one showing off my man-thighs.

Today on the site an exciting day for excavating! I work in a square with Becca, Richie, Tracy, Jordan, and square supervisor Amy Fisher (who is fantastic) and we're sort of the odd ducklings of the dig. Our square is outside the fence from the other squares and we don't see much of the other excavators except at second breakfast. We haven't been finding much thus far- a coin on the first day, lots of pottery, a fair amount of glass and tessera (mosaic fragments) but the other squares were either on the temple or coming down on well defined walls. Our square is located near the north wadi and we are working on expanding our understanding of the colonnaded way which leads from the main Tyre-Damascus road to the temple. We call ourselves the Bedouin 'Barrowers because out dump pile is up a hill and pretty far away- we're always nomadically pushing our wheelbarrow around.

Today however, we found an actual Bedouin grave. We were digging down onto what seemed to be a wall, and worrying about another area of the square which might be a grave as well when Richie pulled up what turned out to be the incisor of an adolescent. Though we excavation newbies are excited, the old hands are a bit annoyed because graves are a bureaucratic hassle. After second breakfast, during which we discussed the outcome of a fight between Chuck Norris and Shaq, various Shaq related words (we think the temple might not be an Augusteum but a Shaq-esteum), and the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot, we returned to the square and excitedly continued the excavation. Area-supervisor Greg came over and helped us, and we pulled out more bone, a glass bracelet fragment, the top of a beautiful glass bottle, and some nice pottery. Still in situ are a large pottery sherd complete with rim and handle, a smashed skull, and more! The grave seems to be disturbed: a large root probably pushed some bones up to their present location, and centuries of rainy seasons have caused the bones to move around as well. By the end of the digging day, we were pretty sure we had a 13th century Bedouin grave and the rest of our square was taking shape nicely (finally)! I'm looking forward to another exciting day with the Bedouin 'Barrowers tomorrow, and I hope to keep you all updated on more finds from our square as the excavation progresses! Pictures to follow so check in again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Cool Joey! Really jealous of you right now! Plus you probably have good weather this time of year. Have an amazing time, and if you don't mind can you bring home some Elite poprocks chocolate bars for me? Just a pack at the airport on your way out will do. Thanks man!

    Also, don't know if you heard the news but the gov't is holding an all-out war simulation and the entire country is going to be involved. Are ya'll going to be a part of it?

    Oh yeah, and Chag Sameach, it's Shavuot! But you probably knew that; are you getting vacation time? LOL.