Monday, May 18, 2009
Day 3: Finds
There has been 15 of us until today: 3 old geezer volunteers (me, Ron and Charlie), one mother-of-teenagers volunteer from Arizona, 2 archaeologists (Dan and Greg) and 9 students from Carthage College (Paul and Hannah from last year). Today another 15 or so arrived from Macalester College including our noble director. More on them later.
We were out at the site cleaning away the vegetation so we can see what we're doing. It must have been a rainy spring. (Don't tell Helen that I've been weeding like crazy.) I have been a bit on edge because I wanted wild Emmer wheat to be there. Turns out it's not our major weed but it's at Omrit in abundance. Domesticated Emmer was the major wheat through antiquity and, along with barley, fueled the rise of civilization. Bread wheat was a later arrival and it's said that the Romans made the Egyptians switch to it from Emmer in order to provide them with a better provisions. More anon..
I also found something else, our first real find. As I went to sit on a large stone block extracted from the earth last year I saw a penny. But it wasn't a penny but a coin whose surrounding matrix had disappeared over the last year and now was just sitting there. It has to be cleaned before it can be evaluated, but undoubtedly is 1500 to 2000 years old.