Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 2: Field Trip to Metula

Our second day in the field went well.  We dived into our "squares," though since most of us aren't actually excavating true squares, we really just dived into task forces.  My group is working on cleaning up some squares that were excavated in previous years and taking down some baulk, which is the ground left between squares.  Essentially, we are combining multiple squares into one large square by taking down the walls in between them.  Other groups are working in the east side of the temple, one is in the west temple, and one is working on the temple steps and the south edge of the temple.

Since it was Shabbat, we had a short day and come back to the kibbutz by 10 for breakfast.  Normally, we are out in the field from around 5 am - noon, and have a second breakfast in the field.  It was nice to get in early, have a delicious full second breakfast at the kibbutz, and relax for most of the day.  After spending the afternoon reading, napping, and enjoying the sun, a group of us went with Andy to Metula (left), which is a beautiful town right on the Lebanese border.  After driving through town a bit, we stopped at an overlook and surveyed the area north of the site.  Looking north, I could really get a sense of the compactness of the region.  Mt. Hermon was looming just to the northwest, and Syria beyond.  Beirut was only a quick car ride away (had the border been open).  Lebanese towns were so close I could see people walking on the streets and hear car horns honking.  The northern part of Israel and southern part of Lebanon are very beautiful right now and everything is lushly green and in bloom.  Thinking about the recent conflicts in the northern border area that coincided with Nakba was very jarring as we drove throught the sleepy, peaceful streets of Metula.  I hope to return with Nanette to grab some coffee and see the down on a weekday.

Tomorrow is Sunday, which means we don't excavate.  However, we're not having the whole day off and we're going to start work on the other major project for this season: reorganizing and cataloging the artifacts.  Nothing like some sorting to pass the time!  I might get some Israeli chocolate milk (or Shoko) to help cope.   It comes in a bag.  Yum!

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