Saturday, February 12, 2011

Petra Chapel

This picture of the Blue Chapel in Petra Jordan is a favorite of mine. It is an early Christian Church around 300 AD.

Anytime I was on the dig in Petra during a break time I would walk up the hill to visit and think about how this building looked when it was new. Even in ruins it is beautiful.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Canaanite Bones

What we found the most of in this 3500 year old Canaanite tomb was bones. Here Neta the Israeli anthropologist is checking my work and analyzing what she could even before we removed them to her lab. She was very good at telling the story of those ancient bones.

The ancient Canaanite you see laying there turned out to be male and was about 35 years old when he died. A normal life span at the time. As we excavate him we discovered a female underneath him at cross angles.

What a day that was.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Found - Measured & Photographed

Finding an object on a dig is only the first step. Before it can be removed its location must be charted, it must be measured and photographed. We photographed with both 35 mm and digital cameras. These bone of a six month old girl had just been exposed that morning. It took two weeks to gently remove all her bones.

Notice the centimeter stick and the information board that gives location on the dig site, the date and the indication of where North is. All of this is vital to the dig records and for future scholars.

I love this stuff.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ancient Painters Putty

Many of the stone walls of Petra were rough uneven and unsightly. To make them look good the workers put heavy amounts of plaster on the walls and drew in the bricks or stone blocks to make the wall look neat. Some of the walls were so uneven that the plaster in places were almost a foot thick. Workmen still do that to some degree. 

I had some work done and notices some big cracks between joints. Their reply was, "That is why they make painters putty." Sure enough they filled the cracks with putty and painted over the error.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

45 Feet Down

Forty-five feet down from the Canaanite dwellings is my dig site Canaanite Tombs that were last used for burials around 1500 BC. Tony, the site supervisor, is sitting at the bottom of the shaftthat  the ancients used to bring their dearly beloved's bodies down to the tombs.

Yes the Canaanite's dug down about forty-five feet beneath their homes and hollowed out tombs in the sandstone. In this one there was one large opening and three smaller tombs around the edges. You can see the opening of one of them on the left.

You can also see some of our tools and supplies. The rubber baskets - called "goffa's" are made from recycled truck tires. We filled them with dirt from the tombs and carried them up the 45 feet to the sifting area where we sifted each one to make sure we did not miss any Small artifact.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Walking Down a Roman Road In Petra

Walking down a Roman road in the heart of Petra is my dear friend Eudora Jean Struble. We get a glimpse of the grandeur that was once that great city. 

Petra once held over thirty thousand people and controled much of what is now Arabia, Jordan and Syria.