Showing posts from June, 2014
The whole crew, including students from Kinneret Academic College, with wheelbarrows for scale  The crew of I.6  The cleaning crew of I.8, minus Will Worthington  The crew of I.3, minus Hannah James The crew of I.5, minus Anna Moseley Gissing
Half of the threshold to a double-leafed door, found last year.  Other half of the threshold, found last year but turned over this year to reveal its thresholdness. Foundation stone for the threshold that changes our thinking about the synagogue.  The half of the threshold that we found last year is visible in the upper left-hand corner.
--> Fourth Letter from Jerusalem
Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,
This year the incident that kept me from this log on the fourth weekend was the illness and one-night hospital stay of a volunteer (Dear Samford Administrators: not a Samford student), who appears to be restored to about 95%.
We have finished our excavations and are now in Jerusalem, from where we traveled for dinner last night to a lovely tent restaurant near Bethlehem.We had to leave our rental vans and walk through the Israeli checkpoint, since Avis would cancel our insurance were we to drive into the West Bank.The two guards we saw were behind what I assume is bulletproof glass.Both appeared superlatively bored and were fiddling with their phones. It would have been a different story had we be been Palestinians, even Christian Palestinians, as our dinner hosts were.
The archaeology of Shikhin continued to present challenges this season.The evidence of pottery production at a huge volume challenges n…
Third Letter from Nazareth
Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,
We have now completed two weeks of excavation in squares opened last season or even the season before last.The complication of the structures and stratification has made a slow go of it. There is lots of destruction to sort out.The worst culprits are pottery dumps in two squares, one of which lies over 1-½ yards deep.People chucked it next to two walls so they could lay a plaster floor at a desired height.The other just looks like a plain old dump, and it contains large pieces of broken pots.These pieces are telling us all sorts of important information, such as what kinds of vessels Shikhin’s potters made.Contrary to an older view, they appear to have made most of the known Galilean forms.They also experimented with new forms.This is an important piece of information, because for the most part the ancients didn’t value individual expression.No Rachel Ray cookware to compete with Mario Batali cookware.That may explain w…
Second Letter from Nazareth
It’s Sunday morning and I’m in the hotel’s coffee bar, waiting for the students whom I will take to Haifa, whence they will take the train to Tel Aviv.One student has an Israeli friend who lives there and will tour the students around the city.Today is our day off, so the group is scattering to various outings.I will get some work done, and I’ll drink my fill of cappuccinos.
We have had a good week of archaeology. Digging has gone slowly because our area supervisors are new to their positions and they are proceeding with caution, but that’s to be expected.We would rather see caution than abandon.Some of our folks have sharp eyes and have already turned up two lamp molds and some lamp fragments of various types.We have been finding an abundance of both ever since we began digging, which means that we’re uncovering evidence that Shikhin’s potter’s produced lamps.That is now beyond question, in my opinion.My partner, Motti Aviam, thinks that we are going to f…