It’s the Simple Things

Hannah VanVels writes:

If we at Megiddo were to make a list of things we look forward to, the following would be on our list: any meal (but especially breakfast), the day we get our laundry back from the kibbutz laundry service, intact vessels of pottery, putting on flip flops after we get back from the Tel, an extra 10 minutes of sleep, chocolate from the kibbutz store, air conditioning, and showering after digging all day. Looking at that list, most of these things are what we would normally just classify as “the simple things.” Although there have also been some exciting big things happening lately as well.

For instance, in my square now while pick axing, we found a large vessel, largely intact and enclosed by mud bricks. It’s one of the most exciting things that I personally have gotten to excavate, since it’s my first time working with this sort of thing on the dig so far. So today, I largely spent the day carefully leveling out the ground around the mud bricks and vessel with my trowel and another tool called a leaf and square and dusting it off with a small brush. It was a nice change of pace to be doing such delicate work and really demonstrates the variety that comes with excavating. There really is such a diversity that goes into an excavation as far as actually digging goes, from working with pick axes and sledge hammers to cautiously scraping away with a tool fit for a dentist.

Along with appreciating the simple things, I’ve also grown to have a large appreciation of pure chance. A lot of our finds happen that way. An accidental pick axing incident, for example, could lead to actually finding an accumulation of pottery. And of course, there is the non-archaeological incidents as well, like finding a wonderful dessert place and happening to pick a delicious treat without having any idea what it is (this happened to me in Nazareth this past weekend). It took me a while to actually realize this, that although skill and experience definitely have their benefits in archaeology, a novice can be just as likely to find something really neat as anybody else!

Twenty-six days digging, and only nine left!!


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