Friday, June 21, 2013
Early Thursday morning
Early Thursday morning, Nava, Ruhama and Bob drove up north to prepare the areas for our first dig season starting on Monday. The tel and the surrounding region was quiet and serene, despite recent news about the fighting in Syria. Ruhama worked with the surveyors to set up the 5 x 5 m grid in Areas A and F, while Nava and Bob discussed strategy. The sun was strong, but a nice, cool breeze swept over the mound. And once we were in the shade, we felt noticeably cooler. One harbinger of summer is the disappearance of the many wildflowers on the mound, though we found a few of them still surviving. By the time we quit at 13:15 we were famished, so we headed over to a quaint cafe for lunch, and then went to Kfar Szold to meet briefly with the kibbutz staff, who anticipate our arrival on Sunday. We then headed back to Jerusalem. Though the drive was long (a good 3 hours each way), we had great conversations about all things archaeological, tempered by a little gossip and good cups of coffee at Aroma at Tzomet Prachim near the Sea of Galilee. Meanwhile, some team members have been on a study tour led by John Monson of Trinity International University. Other participants are arriving now to spend time in Jerusalem before heading north on Sunday morning to check in at the kibbutz. On Friday, some team members met Danny Herman at the Dung Gate for a guided tour of the City of David. Kudos to Carroll Kobs for organizing this trip, which included a walk through Hezekiah's Tunnel. For many visitors to Israel, a walk through this water system from the time of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem in 701 BCE is one of the highlights of their trip.