Was that Faux or Photo Archaeology?

Kim Snyder writes:

This has been a wild week getting ready for the end of the season. I understand from my site-mates that the place looks so different. If you can imagine a weed-infested, bug and scorpion inhabited, drainage nightmare of dirt, with six clearly marked squares miraculously turned into a flat, clean, now eight square area with no tall walls, and a good meter deeper than before, you can imagine the difference!

I am amazed at the changes I have seen across the Tel. It looked awful when we got here, and now a mere seven weeks later, it’s a whole new world! I couldn’t believe the mess we walked into, and I am grateful for the work the cows did cleaning up the weeds and thistles before we got here. I am also amazed at the sheer force of destruction brought about by a bunch of student archaeologists! I heard one tour guide describe us as the world’s most destructive force. I wonder if he realized how much we learn and how much we provide for his living by doing the destruction?

Yes, it has been an education on the right way to destroy a Tel. Archaeology is by its very nature a science of destruction. You can’t learn about the past without destroying several things: layers of dirt, rock debris, walls built by folks a long time ago, leftover floors, sometimes an actual rock or two. But in doing that destruction we have learned a great deal about our areas and about the time periods we are studying, and about teamwork. And, we have the pictures to prove it! (I hope you have been following Eric’s picture saga.)

That’s right, photos. A number of technological advances are happening in the archaeological field, and one that continues to evolve is the photo experience. We are preparing today for the final photos of the Tel. That will involve an actual hot air balloon taking areal shots, and a professional photographer taking detailed closer shots of each area.

There have been the odd irritating photos. Take the film crews for example. A couple of media outfits have cruised through here, and although they didn’t pay much attention to Area H (we’re a bit out of the way), they managed to irritate some of the other areas. And tourists taking photos – well, none of them were eaten by archaeologists.

Now Fizzer has been quite the photo hound. I haven’t gotten them all posted yet, but he has done just about everything here at the dig – and has the pictures to prove it! His favorite shot today was him attending the summary class for the Evening Lecture series. He’s looking forward to the final exam but I don’t know that I am. It’s been a while since I’ve taken an exam. But, I have learned so much about the dig that it’ll be no problem!

I hate to leave, even though my health is requiring me to leave Thursday morning instead of touring for a week before going home. It has been a great deal of fun! (Don’t you want to come next time?) Even after I come home, I will not be through with Megiddo. I have two papers to write, one on the migration patterns from the Middle Bronze Age, (and one I am really looking forward to) addressing Eric’s “Faux-Archaeology” lecture! I love debate!

But before I can debate, I have a report to finish (and I am 90% done), and packing to do (and I have lost mass), and a party to go to!


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