Saturday, February 26, 2011

I once Rode A Camel

My first and only camel ride was on this docile beast who wasn't docile at all.

The ride itself was not so bad though a little wiggly at the top. It was the getting up and down that was awkward  but I managed that OK too.

It was the getting off that put me off camels. As I dismounted the beast tried to bite me and when it could not it spit on me. I thought it must have been chewing tobacco for that spit was oh so awful. I had to toss out my shirt as the stain never came out.

After that I passed up every chance to ride another camel.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bus-man's Holiday

I met a lot of very interesting people on the Ashkelon dig and this man was one of them. Dennis was one of my three room mates and is a commercial archaeologist who usually digs in places where federal dollars are being used for construction. When artifacts are found during construction an archaeologist has to check the dig site for the significance of the find. This sometimes means closing the construction during excavation. 

So Dennis was taking a buss man's holiday by digging in Ashkelon. Here is a man for whom his work is his play. In this picture he is examining a piece of chert. Dennis is an expert on flint of all kinds. I never saw a man drink so much vodka and remain sober - well alert and able to work. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lots of Pottery

Here is another view of the Pottery Cleaning Yard. As you can see it was a big operation every day. Students and volunteers would sit in the shade and wash the pottery then set it out in the sun to dry on the wooden pallets. 

After drying the pottery is moved to the sorting tables where the experts check it carefully.

 It did not take long for the pottery to dry in that hot sun.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Bone Table

From six AM to Noon we worked on the dig site and brought back what ever we dug up to what was called the pottery yard. The yard was more than pottery though most of it was for the massive amounts of pottery. We had sections for human bones and another for other bones. In the afternoon we returned and after lunch cleaned what we had brought in, labeled it for inspection by the experts and then sorted it for later study by PhD. students.

I was assigned to the anthropology area which we all called "The Bone Table" and worked there. The cardboard boxes, called flats, on the table is what we used to hand carry the bones back from the dig site. The bone fragments you see in the boxes still need to be processed. Each box was labeled with information that stated where the items were found, who dug them up and when. 

When bones were processed at the table the tag stayed with them as a reference for future study. The box went back to the dig site the next morning to be filled again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Interesting Head

This is the head of an idol found in the Canaanite tomb. It is quite small, not much bigger than a thumb nail and was carved from stone. 

It was all we found of the idol and we thought it seemed clear that there had once been more to it.

It was very nicely done by a good artist.