Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 8

Phwew!  It is getting hot and buggy here.  Today the gnats were back to near-2009 levels!  I had to cover my ears with a bandana, and if they continue to get worse, I'll have to excavate in a long sleeve shirt and buy cotton balls to put in my ears.  It is also getting very hot, and was in the low 90's plus humidity.  It might even rain tomorrow, which would be extremely out of the ordinary for Israel this time of year!

Today in M11 we excavated very efficiently and went down quite a bit in all sectors of our square.  We also opened a new locus in the northern half of the square.  This new locus (L003) corresponds to the area near the threshold block, and is characterized by looser and sandier soil than is found in the rest of the square.  We plan to excavate almost exclusively in L003 tomorrow to try to see if the stairs the directors seek are actually there.

The team members of M11 are, other than me, Edward F of Carthage (of coin-finding fame), Lindsay M ('12 at Mac-- she gets photo credit for yesterdays pics)), and Kate P ('11 at Mac).  We're a small team, and we've dubbed ourselves either the "Tractor Jockeys" because of the hard tractor fill we've been excavating; or the "Shady Sleuths" because of the mysteries we are constantly confronting and solving in our square, plus the exorbitant amount of time we spent on putting up shade over our square.

After leaving the field, we had falafel for lunch, catered by a local Druze gentleman, who gave me extra hot sauce at my request and then told me I was becoming Druzim.  On Fridays, we don't have factory lunch because of Shabbat, so we get falafel (yum)!  M11 then washed pottery, I went to the store to get some yoghurt and beer before the store closed for Shabbat, and then relaxed until our afternoon outing.  We went to Kedesh, a Roman temple and Hellenistic trading center site near the Lebanese border.  Amy F, a Mac grad from 2007, gave a lecture on Kedesh and showed us around because she had worked on the site before.  Thats her at the temple at Kedesh today on the right!  From Kedesh, we went to nearby Ramot Naftaly, an Israeli Moshav (like a Kibbutz but less historically socialist), and visited a winery there for a tasting.  The wine was good and the site was beautiful, tand we returned to the Kibbutz feeling refreshed and read to close out the week on a positive note.  Hope to find some stairs tomorrow!

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