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Showing posts from June, 2015
Thursday 25 June 2015 (Finished Saturday at home)
Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,
I said goodbye to the site this morning.I met my partner, Motti Aviam, there for some final business, and after we hugged and he left, I walked the balks, observed our archaeology, and remembered the hubbub and the hubbub makers of this season.I also imagined the buildings as they once stood, with plastered stone walls holding up roofs well over my head.It took some effort to see them where thistles and olive trees now stood.We archaeologists cast our eyes to the ground, looking for the evidence the ancients left us, which now lies below surface level in our squares.But the ancients themselves walked the streets and alleys between their buildings, glancing up to doorways and windows, or higher still to roofs, calling out to their neighbors.I wonder if the commotion of their daily lives sounded anything like the din of our digging.
By now a press release that Motti and I put out about Shikhin’s la…
Thursday 25 June 2015 (Finished Saturday at home)
Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,
I said goodbye to the site this morning.I met my partner, Motti Aviam, there for some final business, and after we hugged and he left, I walked the balks, observed our archaeology, and remembered the hubbub and the hubbub makers of this season.I also imagined the buildings as they once stood, with plastered stone walls holding up roofs well over my head.It took some effort to see them where thistles and olive trees now stood.We archaeologists cast our eyes to the ground, looking for the evidence the ancients left us, which now lies below surface level in our squares.But the ancients themselves walked the streets and alleys between their buildings, glancing up to doorways and windows, or higher still to roofs, calling out to their neighbors.I wonder if the commotion of their daily lives sounded anything like the din of our digging.
By now a press release that Motti and I put out about Shikhin’s la…

Third Letter from Nazareth, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,

This Sunday marks the beginning of the final week of the dig.  Crews will focus on ending excavations, cleaning their squares for final photography, and completing their field books. Students will take a field exam (I set them loose in an unexcavated site and let them tell me how they would excavate it), enjoy a final graduation party, say goodbye to the site and hotel, and head to Jerusalem for three days of respite before flying home or to their next summer adventure.  I say “respite,” but in the past, students have filled the days in Jerusalem with shopping, camel riding, sight-seeing, restauranting, and talking late into the nights.  I remember doing the same.

I failed to mention something important in my previous letter.  This year, my Dean, David Chapman, had the idea to use the Arts and Sciences portion of Samford’s “Big Give” fund drive to fund student scholarships for next year’s Samford Summer in Israel.  The Give lasts for 36 hours and ai…

Second Letter from Nazareth, 2015

Finally figured out what was keeping me from posting last week.

Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,

We are now halfway through the dig, having completed two weeks in the field.  The advance crew spent a few extra days on the front end cleaning out a miqveh.  As we close out squares and free some personnel, we may send some to finish the job so that we can properly photograph and draw this ritual bath, which probably served people returning to the village from the cemetery to the south.

At this point every season I am in a bit of a crisis, anticipating returning home to Laura, seeing Sarah, sleeping in my own bed with my dog, enjoying my front and back porches (heat permitting), and seeing friends at church, while also thinking of all that remains to be done at the site this season, let alone for the entirety of the Shikhin Excavation Project.  It mirrors my crisis on the front end: the excitement of the coming dig season tinged with my sorrow over leaving Laura.  At some point, like…