Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back To The Salt Mines

Jo's "artistic rendition" of WL10/12 in SQ. N10SW
Well, it's over. Our four weeks of excavation ended Thursday evening. The Megiddo team will continue for another three weeks, but bwo and I will only be in Israel till Tuesday and then it's  back to the UK (rocket's willing). It was sad to say goodbye to the team. We have all grown quite close over many breathless trudges up the Tel, bucket lines, filthy clothing, strong coffee with waflim and egg based meals. And then there is the archaeology, which was fantastic. This was my third season digging at Megiddo, and I am starting to get a clue. At the start of the season I got to work in Square O9, the best square in the best area (Area K). There were a number of questions surrounding Tomb 100 (in O9) which I got to ponder with Mario (Area Supervisor and all around best person). Once we were done with this, I got to move around and work on various other issues. On the last few days I got to excavate and document an interesting grinding stone/pebble assemblage.

Bwo drew sections (the picture above is the result of one of her more artistic moments). This required her to accurately draw walls and baulks which meant a lot of measurements. She also took on her natural role as the mother of the area. She doled out cookies, medicines, massages and advice. They will miss her more than me in K. And yes, she admitted on the way home that she had a great time and will come back in two years time. No one seems more surprised by this than bwo herself.

The last week or so has been a little surreal. We had a rocket alarm one night at around 10pm as we were all dropping off to sleep, and the usual black humor surfaced as we all huddled in the stairwell in our dorms. Some of the young volunteers were a little freaked out, but unfortunately these things are a reality here at the moment. We had another siren in Raanana yesterday. Who knows where all this is going. I just hope we are able to fly out on Tuesday. At least bdo has not been mobilized (yet).

So tonight I'm sure to will get a huge dose of "Sunday Evening Feeling" (except it happens on a Saturday eve here) as I go back to the salt mines tomorrow. I'm looking at a very busy six day week (Sunday to Friday inclusive) to get back up to speed. There is no doubt that the last four weeks have been like a dream come true. I can only thank everyone who had any part in making it so special. I am eternally grateful.

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