Today continued the trend of increasing temperatures and testy gnats. We spent the morning working on cleaning out locus 003 to get it photographed and taken out. We hope to do this tomorrow morning. Preparations for the removal of all the irregular basalt pavers that make up the floor surface of locus 003 included making another top plan, endless brushing and articulating of all the rocks, and continued picking in areas with too much dirt. We found a few more nice, square pavers to go along with the irregular and ill-fitting pavers that constitute most of the floor. This nice, large, rectangular pavers are more likely to be older and originally associated with the temple, while the irregular ones are probably newer and associated with structures that occupied the site after the temple went out of use.
We had more shoko for second breakfast, which was great because the rest of the day was spent brushing and trimming baulk in the hot sun and under the attack of thousands of biting gnats. It was not enjoyable, but after coming home and washing pottery, I enjoyed the renewing sensation of removing my boots, putting on my flip-flops, and taking out my contacts. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and reading.
Today, Gabby Mazor, who excavated the famous site of Beit She’an-- formerly Scythopolis, and who is a good friend of Andy and Nanette’s, came up to Omrit. I always love to hang out with the Gabinator (as Andy calls him) and chat about limoncello (he makes his own) and reminisce about our time together in Rome (he joined us on our Mac Classics Dept January in Rome trip in 2009). He is a great archeologist and is always a pleasure to have around. I am looking forward to his visit to our square out in the field over the next few days.
Finally, last night we had out first full-group excursion to Tel Hai. We watched a movie called Paradise Lost, made by a Palestinian Israeli filmmaker from the village of Fardeis. The movie was very interesting, and the filmmaker was there to speak with us after the screening. Unfortunately, we had been invited to a campus-wide event (which we did not know until we arrived), so the whole question and answer session was in Hebrew. Luckily, one of our friends from the skype class translated for us, but overall it was very unfulfilling. We didn’t get to talk to our Tel Hai colleagues about the film at all, and we didn’t get to interact with the filmmaker either. Andy is trying to set up some more meetings between jus the two skype classes. We are already friends with each other and have a relationship already established. Additionally, dealing with 5 or 6 students, instead of 20, is much easier when trying to facilitate a meaningful discussion. I am looking forward to more dialogue in the remaining weeks! To the right is a nice picture of the Tel Hai “new campus” quad in the twilight. They have a great view of the Hula valley from campus, so I hope to capture that on our next visit. For now, goodnight!