The Pressure is on

David Colón-Margolies writes:

As we began our last week of work at the Tel, many things became painfully (and by painfully I mean 5 am painful) obvious. But first to explain today, I must first backtrack to this weekend. On Saturday, two of my friends and I decided to hike around the Jezreel valley for the day. The idea was to get a good hike, and to see the area our kibbutz is in but in a different light. Our first objective was to hike from our kibbutz to the Tel, and take a look around the site at areas that we don’t usually get to see as we work. When we arrived at the Tel, we were shocked and surprised to find my area supervisor, Eran, and several other diggers from my area excavating Area H. The second they spotted us, they asked us to help, so on one of my weekend days off I helped with a bucket line and began to understand how much work was left to finish in this upcoming week. After a 25 km hike and a long day spent in Afula, we slept like babies. Fast forward to today.

Upon arrival to our area, our supervisor Eran addressed us briskly, stating that we had to all work very hard and very quickly all week. That morning we had to sweep the entire area for the photographs that would be taken of our baulks. After quickly making H spotless, we then were sent back to work excavating and clearing all of the baulks. This week seemed like it was going to be really tough. By breakfast time I found myself more out of breath and exhausted than I had ever been (whether that was an illustration of my exhaustion from hiking Masada and the 25 km over the weekend or just the work I’m not sure). Regardless, I could tell from the pace that this week was not going to be easy at all. In just one morning we leveled an entire small baulk, I sectioned a sloppy baulk, and we did several bucket lines filled with the heaviest dirt I had ever flung. By the end of the day I was so beat that I napped all afternoon. This afternoon I attended my final techniques class, and one of the last lectures here at the expedition. It’s all coming to a close reflecting back on the whole experience, I know it is something I will never forget. It has profoundly changed my perspective on the world, and archaeology and I am quite thankful for that.

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