Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 4: Crossing the Threshold

Yesterday was Sunday, our off-day, and although we didn't get the whole day work-free, we did get to take a field trip to the great site of Banias!  It is a lush, green spot popular with Israeli picnickers these days (see right).  We spent the rest of the day helping the directors re-catalogue artifacts to make sure everything is easily accessible for the experts who will come help with the upcoming publication.

Today, however, was out first full day in the field!  It was a very long day, but it felt great to get some real work done.  In my square, we uncovered the remainder of a huge threshold block-- it is basalt and must weigh around 2 tons (edit: more like 4.5 tons)!  We're almost done taking down one of the three baulks that we have to bring down to consolidate our squares into one, presentable, excavated area.  My back will probably hurt tomorrow from all of the picking, hoeing, and wheelbarrowing I did today.

Up in the temple complex, one group came down on a cool concrete conglomerate floor.  On the western side, one student (Joey Frankl- who gets the photo credit) found the base of a glass vial, or unguentarium.  In my square, we found a piece of a corinthian capitol aside from out threshold block.  I will try to get a picture of the block to put up tomorrow, so you can see just how cool it is!

After coming in for lunch and a rest, we went back out for our afternoon activity.  Today, my square helped Greg Stoehr, a Mac alumn ('98), work on a survey of the site.  We went out into the northwest corner of the site and marked out 5m x 5m squares and then picked pottery off the surface.  The idea is that Greg will have the pottery "read" by Debbie, our expert, and then map out pottery densities and time periods all across the site.  Pretty cool!  Now I am blogging before our 7 pm Hebrew lesson.

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