Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lift Off

I'm sitting in Tel Aviv airport waiting for lift off. The last few days I've had no internet, so when I get home I'll upload all the photos from the Jerusalem weekend. Just to give you a brief view of my feelings on the subject:

It. Was. Awesome.

So many many places to see and experience where my Jesus walked. And died. And was buried. And ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

But more on that later.

Gotta catch a flight! I think it will be much faster than this:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Official This Time!

Today was the day that I finally found what I've been looking for since Oct. 5th. I found a coin! A complete coin. A wonderful coin.
I've been moved to a new square. N 990 E 902 for the curious. I was hacking a way cleaning around rocks so they can figure out if it's a floor or a wall. Cleaning around rocks is good, but a little boring because you can't go deep, just use a little trowel thing and brushes to make the rocks stand out against the rest of the dirt. Nothing glamorous there. I was really really really hoping to find a coin here. Please, just one coin! So there I was, thinking about how much I wanted a coin. They'd found 2 in the square next to mine, so the hope was pretty strong. And then, I struck pay dirt! I saw green and after a careful brush with the little paintbrush, there she lay. "Una moneda! Una moneda!" Everyone laughed and clapped. There's usually a little stir or celebration over each find, so it's fun! We had to measure with the surveying equipment, and then measure where it was within the square. Then I could pick it up. It has a hole in it, which they think means it's the end of a mint. They punch a hole in it to take it out of circulation. It's very small, so it's probably a Jewish coin. We registered it and they took photos for me and then it's back to digging. So fun!

Tiny little thing, isn't it?

This photo has a little perspective to it.

The head archeologist, Marsala takes a look.

This is how the place is looking now. So much has changed just while I've been here!

And another view. You can kinda see the floor just to the left of the checkered shirt guy.

Una moneda! Whoop!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Find!

Today was rather full. This morning we went to the site and it felt so empty and quiet because all the Germans have left. I marked pottery this morning for a while. About mid morning before 2nd breakfast Rosaura and Fernanda and I were talking, and Fer was not feeling well. We decided she needed water, so she and Ros went to get some...and Fer fainted. We had to call the ambulance because she hit her head when she fell and hurt it somehow. So I cleaned up the pottery and went to dig for a while.

While digging I found some fragments of a coin! Since it was fragments, I kept it and didn't report it. I know it's a coin because it is blueish green from the metal oxidizing.

This afternoon we came in and because it had been 100.4 degrees F today we were tired and all took a nice long nap. Then we cleaned our room a little and took a walk. We stopped and got some fresh squeezed pomegranate nice.

No pictures today because blogger is doing some kind of update and won't upload. Maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pen and Ink

Just a few photos from today. Rosaura and Fernanda and I marked pottery today because my square was getting photographed. Here are a few photos from that:

There are piles and piles and piles of pottery to mark. Before December!
And then they have to draw the pieces they marked. Amazing.

This was the big excitement today: A floor was discovered! The flooring style is definitely 1st century. Not sure what it is yet, but they'll be finding out soon!

Anton (I was telling you about him Mom) "May the guardian angels and good winds be with you!" is his greeting. :)

My square in it's present state. Maybe tomorrow I can dig deeper! And find a treasure!

This afternoon Lorna and I went to Capernaum and saw what they call Peter's house. I'm not positive that it is. This is actually a church they built on top of Peter's house in the 4th century. The foundations are from 1st century.

Mosaic from the church.

Capernaum where Jesus lived and walked, breathed and ate, healed and talked.

A HUGE synagogue. It's not the 1st century one, but the foundations are from the 1st century. So it's on top of the one that Jesus taught at.

This pillar is heart shaped because synagogues always use heart shape pillars for strength. It also indicates that there was a second floor to this synagogue!

After Capernaum, we went back to Tabgtha and sat in the cave. I read my Bible and gazed at the Sea as the sun began to go down. So lovely.

Lorna and I before we head back to the city.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ye Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me

Matthew 16:13-19 (NIV)

Peter's Confession of Christ
 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
 15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
 17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

This weekend we visited Mt. Hermon, Tel Dan, and the area of Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi is where Jesus was speaking these words, and Mt. Hermon is thought to be where he was transfigured.

The interesting thing about the area is that there was a big temple area there that dates back to the Caananite time when the Israelites in Dan decided they were too far to worship in Jerusalem and set up their own places to worship. There were also other cult worshiping going on. This particular place was set up to worship the god Pan which has been changed to Banias with the change of language. Pan was worshiped by sacrificing animals, particularly goats. I believe there were also children sacrificed here as well. Anyway, the temple was built against a big mountain at the base of which there was a deep pool of water that was believed to be bottomless. They threw their sacrifices in there, and if there was no sign of blood, the sacrifice had been accepted. If there was, it had been rejected. Over the years as different civilizations took over, the Greeks and Romans also had temples there to different gods. The thing is, the pool is known as Hades. Makes it all the more meaningful that Jesus said while in the area that the Gates of Hades would not prevail. There was so much idol worship going on and worshiping false gods. There was darkness and death and fear because of the pool known as Hades.
 Hades. It's since been filled with rocks.

Mt. Hermon is also the tallest mountain in Israel. They have snow in winter, and it was definitely cooler up there when we climbed the mountain.

Approach to hades.

 Greek inscription on an old column.

 A Greek god stood where I am standing here. 

The workmanship of the architecture was beautiful. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Deeper We Go

Today was exciting at the dig. There have been many things found the last couple of days as we dig deeper. Coins (Lorna found one yesterday!) a small jug that was almost complete and still together, glass of different description, bits of metal, and today I found a big piece of pottery. It wasn't whole, but it was noteworthy enough to take measurements and pictures!

They say I'm digging well. You have to be very careful and only go about 10 centimeters or so at a time. We use the small pick axe to loosen the dirt, a big brush similar to a broom to brush it away, and a paintbrush if we find something to get it even cleaner. I also have a small spade that I use, especially when loosing an object.

Today's piece had to stay in the ground until they could take pictures so I had to dig very carefully and slowly around it so it wouldn't break. Then I had to dig all around the area to make sure there weren't any more pieces and then I found an animal bone! (Thank goodness it was animal.)

 My pottery!

After we get it pictured, we have to register it. It has our East and North numbers, registration numbers, numbers that indicate what level it was found, and other complicated things like that. After it's registered, it's put into a special little zip lock bag and then it's archived until it can be cleaned, numbered, drawn and analyzed. The digging is only the first bit!

My section

The archeologists keep an eye on everything and take pictures at each level so they can fit all the pieces of the puzzle of what happened and what kind of room it is, or town it is, or what have you. Some things are easy to explain, but others take a bit of work. It's very scientific the way they do it here on this dig.

It's really fun and interesting to think about who lived in the house you're digging out. I'm fairly sure I'm working in an area that was a kitchen, so all the jugs we found must have been used to cook. Did someone cook something for Jesus with that pot? Who wore the perfume from the bottle we found? And the thing is, no one has seen it since that time. How's that for blowing your mind?

I never thought that one day I'd be sitting on a small step stool using a paint brush to move dirt around. This is certainly one aventura de la vida!

Can't wait to see what's next!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Average Day On An Archeology Dig

I thought ya'll might like to see the average day for me here, while participating in the archeology dig.

4:30 Alarm rings if we're not already awake from the loud street noise.

5:15 We're in the van on the road to the dig. It's about maybe 10 minutes away.

5:30 First breakfast. We eat cereal out of goblets, bread and jam, and orange juice. Then 2 folks clean up while the rest head for the work site, just a short walk.

6:00 We collect our buckets from the store house. We each of three buckets and 3 different picks, etc to use as well as 2 kinds of brushes. These all have our names on them and we are responsible for them. We start working in our square which is about 5'x5' I figure. We stay in our square because we know what we found where and where to dig carefully and so forth. Each square is assigned East and North numbers and every day we have to register the finds on little cards and keep a journal of what we did in the square that day.

10:00 Second Breakfast. This time we add a few sandwich items to the cereal and orange juice.We rest for about 30 minutes.

10:30 Back to work. Again, 2 stay behind to clean up. I have Thursdays with Roseaura.

12:00 10 minute break to drink water and rest for a minute.

1:30 Clean up and time to come back to the guest house. We get back and I've started changing or at least taking off shoes and socks and taking a short nap before lunch. This has really helped since the sleeping as been all off for me.

2:30 Lunch. This is usually a substantial hot meal with meat.

Free Time! Because of some stuff going on with money, some extra workers were let go. So we have to mark pottery in the afternoons. We did that today. I understand that next week they've put together a new schedule of four people marking while the rest dig in the mornings. That way they won't have to bring the pottery back with them.

8:00 Supper. This is usually salad (ie chopped vegetables), hot meat and a side.

9:30-10:00 Bed time!

Today in my square I uncovered some big rocks. This has caused great discussion about whether it's a wall or something that fell or a sub flooring. So tomorrow we'll make sure to dig around them so we can see what it is.

The big find of the day was a perfect top to a perfume bottle. It's kind of a greenish colored glass and everyone was very excited. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Be It Ever So Humble....

I'm not sure I would call this home, but this is the street where I live...:) All I want is a room somewhere. :)
Any way, I thought ya'll might like to see where I'm staying. This is a view of the courtyard. We park to the left of the church on the left side. It's a Melkite Catholic Church. There's just room for three cars to park there. See those steps near the red wall? I go up those steps and around to my room.

The table is where we eat all our meals. To the right in the little lean-to is a kitchen area.

And here you can see the cars... the little black one is the rental one we use. We ride those vans to the work site everyday.

This morning I went up on the roof and could see this view:

There is some street noise, but nothing like I experienced in Bolivia!!

Most all the houses are white. And built on top of each other like this!

Looking down at the dining area. After supper most folks take their laptops out there to do their thing.

We open and close this gate faithfully to keep the watch dog in. It's some kind of boxer and was ferocious at first.

And this is toward the Sea this morning.

Here's a funny story about the dog. I don't have a picture of him, but will try to get one later so you can see him. It's big. And loud. And ferocious. And kept on a chain during the day. But at night he's loose in the enclosed gate to guard. It's been very warm, so last night Lorna and Pam decided to leave the door open to get some air. They closed a gate between us and everything else and we went to bed. (I was already asleep when they did this). Suddenly during the night I wake up to hear the tingle of dog collar and clicking of nails and the dog was in our room. Not being mean, but in poking around! I woke up and started saying loudly, get out! Get out! NOW! And he scuttled out. I went and shut the door thinking it was left open by mistake.

Later on it happened again. I shooed the dog out and then realized that they had left the door open on purpose. I pulled it to so the dog wouldn't come in again.

Tonight we're fortifying the gate so he can't get in.