Under Attack at Armageddon

AJ Sherman writes:

Finally digging. I’ve spent days tossing boulders off the side of the Tel at Area K. I’m finally digging. The dirt under my fingernails, on my clothes and on my forehead beading is ever present and a simple reality of this current situation I have finagled myself into. I pick up my trowel, getting a good one for the first time since the beginning of the excavation. The dirt I remove slides slightly as I sweep. A breeze comes, I stand and for a brief moment the beads on my forehead seem to freeze, reminding me of my body’s evolutionary reaction to this heat of heats. I turn back to my locus, my small window and the breeze that only moments of before was as rejuvenating as a cool shower becomes an alarm. The dirt across the “floor” of my locus slips and falls across its uneven surface. My trowel falls to the ground and I look out toward the Jezreel and the Horizon.

Lost behind the haze of humidity, heat and sand was once my outcrop. My pride rock or my Moisture farm on Tatooine, my view. (These storms to my understanding originate in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, taking with them the heat and sands of their respective places of birth, when they arrive in Israel in the form of heatwaves, they are followed by a subsequent sandstorm.) Suddenly these slow moments snap as well as one of the poles holding the shade above our heads from the fierce rays of the Sun. The poles tied down and held securely had become loose, and with it the sandbags holding it down and even the rocks under these sandbags. All becoming now dangerous falling objects. My area supervisors are rushing, the refugees from Area Q are told to leave and I am witnessing the awesome power of the Sandstorm. The Darude house classic that was my first polyphonic ringtone and remained to be for so many years comes to mind. Dropping my trowel, I turned toward one of my only real responsibilities at Area K: The Dumpey Level. I quickly disassembled it and placed in its respective case. The wind tossing our shade wildly like the sail of a ship in the midst of a storm, and in many ways I can sympathize. Ripped and torn, our attempt to shield ourselves from nature fell only short of the next powerful gust. The Metal bars holding the makeshift field office up had bent and fallen. The wind blowing heat sand was like a blow-dryer in a sandbox. We worked to save our site against the onslaught of the “Hamseen.”

In the following hours the winds subsided, the heat broke and the weather changed. Although digging recommenced again today and no one was injured Megiddo became the epic apocalyptic battlefield it truly is. No one fought, no one died and everyone was okay, yet I don’t think those moments will ever be gone from my memory of Megiddo as long as I live. The work we do everyday is exciting. A wise man once said “It’s not that the wind is blowing, it’s what the wind is blowing.” Yesterday the 22nd of June 2010 the sands of Arabia laid siege to Megiddo, and we fought the good fight to our save our site and our Sail.


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