Photos of the small finds from the second session

Posted in Eric Cline on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

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Photos from the last Tuesday of the season!

Posted in Eric Cline on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

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Photos from the last Monday of the season!

Posted in Eric Cline on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

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a good day in Har Meggidoville

Posted in Mary Laurel on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

Mary Laurel writes:

Up to the tel as usual. But this time Norma decided yo give me “light duty” and assigned me to Gardening. Gardening in Norma-speak means clipping and pulling all vegetation, green or brown, smooth or thorny, to tidy up the approach to Area Q in preparation for picture taking. Four of us clipped and hoed and tugged away.

After breakfast it was a cool respite in the office, labeling and boxing pottery. Then the real fun, for me, began. Margaret started assembling artifacts for this afternoon’s display. And I was chosen to go through all the beads and select which ones to display.  So if your favorite bead is not included, it’s all my fault.

After this Nicole and I washed a whole bunch of bones. Say Thank You, area Q.

There are still things to look forward to today: the artifact display and the lecture tonight by Professor Cline.

Altogether a good day in Har Meggidoville.

It’s nearly over.

Posted in Hannah VanVels on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

Hannah VanVels writes:

It’s nearly over. I can almost say that I’ve survived Armageddon 2010. Almost. We still have a few days left in the field. I know that I’m not alone when I say that I’m going to miss Megiddo so much. Waking up before the sun rises and watching it rise over the side of the tel, looking forward to the occasional pudding at breakfast, hauling buckets of dirt, having your knees lock up in a perpetual squatting or kneeling position, maneuvering pottery buckets through the bus aisles at the end of the dig day, devouring chicken and rice and red drink at lunch time, afternoons by the poolside, Magnum Gold?! ice cream (yes, the punctuation is really part of the name and is unquestionably the most delicious ice cream bar ever), hearing about the finds of the other areas, falafel for dinner on Tuesdays (I might not miss the veggie patties on Sundays that much though), finding hidden treasures in the dirt we’re digging, the pub in the evenings, and, of course, all my new friends from around America and around the world.

Lately the general health around Megiddo has been poor, to say the least. Many people are coming down sick the last few days. Fortunately, most people are recovering quickly enough. Most of the digging around Tel Megiddo has been wrapping up, as we begin cleaning everything, which seems like such a big task, in preparation for when the shades come down for the balloon photos. Squares are being dusted, sandbags are being made and moved around, and grass is being cut away.  It’s hard to believe that my time here on the tel is limited, and soon I will be exchanging my trowel in the field for a pencil in the classroom. I know that I will be paying attention in my archaeology classes in a whole new way when I return back to school this fall. Rather than tutting at poorly preserved structures in photographs, I’m sure that I will instead appreciate the amount of work that went into exposing the delicate features and consider what technique I would have used to excavate it.

When I reread my first blog, I’ve found the answer to so many questions that I had before coming to Israel. I now have experienced life on a kibbutz, and I love the sense of community that comes with kibbutz life. I’ve learned about scraping, exposing, penetrating, articulating, and just plain destruction. I’ve learned about pottery and what certain pieces can tell us. I’ve learned about the work that actually goes into an excavation and making it possible from washing shells in the office, to writing tags for pottery buckets, to articulating vessels, to exposing phytolith surfaces, to making a top plan, to dumping a wheel barrow full of dirt off the side of the tel, and everything in between.  It’s really bittersweet to be leaving so soon. On the one hand, it seems as though I’ve been here ages, but on the other hand, it feels like hardly any time has passed at all. I am looking forward to traveling for 2 weeks after the dig ends and to eventually making my way back to the States, but I’m not looking forward to leaving Megiddo. The past 7 weeks have been full of sunshine, learning, comradery, photos, and, of course, dirt. I can’t wait until next season.

An Essential Recipe

Posted in Caleb Chow on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

Caleb Chow writes:

This is a simple yet extremely important recipe that keeps our Area K Supervisor employed. Every morning at 11am we have fruit break and during this time, a particularly important individual always—and I repeat, always—arrives precisely at the same time during the break and expects a specific tribute. If for some reason our Area tribute is not presented or not pleasing, there will be death and destruction with weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The offering is simple: Tel Megiddo Coffee. The recipe is as follows:

-One large bag of instant coffee

-Sugar from a Ziploc bag (use sugar sparingly and adjust as necessary.)

-One pint of well water from the Tel (hopefully not contaminated…or at least not noticeably so)

-Dirt–Not too fine, not too coarse, not too much, not too little. Just a pinch for an entire large pot’s worth of Megiddo Coffee. This part is absolutely essential; usually the wind and the Tel itself should suffice, but make sure.

-A hair from the coffee maker’s head (ensure that it is present, but not visible!!)

-Milk/cream is optional, depending on the mood of the VIP. If you have some, offer it.

When all ingredients are properly mixed, pour the contents into a disposable cup. Present the offering to Dr. Finkel—er, the VIP with gratitude, and on your knees if he seems angry. Then and only then will the Area Supervisor be able to work another day…and perhaps live.

Love’s Labour’s Lost… at Megiddo

Posted in Katie Paul on July 27, 2010 by ehcline

Katie Paul writes:

It’s interesting to see how an area on the tel can develop over the course of a single dig season; in the past 4 weeks some new squares were opened while others were left abandoned, some excavated in quadrants, and others in halves.  As the season progresses you develop some what of an intimate relationship with your square and what you find in it, and between sessions ending excavation on one square to begin excavation on another is like being dumped and finding someone new.
As area Q progressed, everyone’s squares took different forms and as the season winds down to a close, priority and more love and attention are given to some squares while others are left in the dust (pun definitely intended). And what began the season as neat level squares became a slew of quadrants and halves as the pressure was on.  Squares that were once dug carefully and with love were left behind for new squares that began at the surface and started fresh with more exciting finds. For all the walls taken down in the first session, just as many were found in the second.  Some (like that in C6) were monumental and intruded and divided entire squares with such aggression and strength that it would seem no architectural deconstruction could erase the memory of their existence, permanently burned into the square.
Even now as we pick-axe with fury to reach the 9th century, it seems that each new piece of information that points us in another direction leaves us with too little time to finish our excavation and answer the questions we originally began with; each find that yields a path toward answers for earlier questions seems too little too late.  For each drop of sweat and every sore muscle felt, it seems that many of the earlier questions are in vain, searching for answers sometimes takes more than a trowel and a pick-axe and the endurance to dig to China within a single corner of a single square in one area.  Only at the end do we realize how little such a small space means in the big picture of the area, and it will take several more seasons to see what really happened at area Q…