Isaiah’s Jordan Dig 2008

The End

11-1My last week in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been an extremely busy one. Our excavation ended on Saturday, July 19th. Most of my day was taken up with helping out with cleaning up everyone’s excavation areas for final photographs. This involved mostly brush work. It was time consuming and we wound up leaving the field a few hours later than we normally would have.

The following day was supposed to be the first day of our weekend (our schedule called for Sundays and Mondays off), but a few of us volunteered to return to the dig site in order to backfill some of the more sensitive areas. The bath house complex in particular required some attention because it contained plaster floors that were in very poor condition. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Way It Is

10-2Today was our last day of excavation, but the excavation of my cistern at the caravanserai at Um Guntar ended two days ago, on Thursday – July 17th.

We were on our third day of excavating the site. We had worked hard the previous two days – the terrain is strewn with dark rocks which soak up the intense sun and we were lacking our normal breeze. Not that the breeze would have helped the person in the test square that much, since we had managed to dig down about a meter below ground level. To make matters worse, the soil we were digging through had the consistency of dried clay, which rendered our trowels useless and forced us to use hand picks to loosen the dirt. Still, we were all happy and still excited about the progress we were making. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mine…All Mine!

9-2This is our last week of excavation. July 19th will be our last day in the field, and then we have several days to take stock of our equipment and pack it off to Amman to be followed by ourselves on the 23rd. After that I’m on my own until the morning of the 30th, when I take a Royal Jordanian Air flight to New York, and then to Los Angeles. It will be a sad departure, since I don’t know whom I’ll ever see again out of this group.

All of this will come at the end of the week, but, for now, I have a very busy week to look forward to. We were finally able to open my new test square today. This new excavation is a 2.5 x 2 meter square in what looks to be a cistern that sits next to a caravanserai (a caravan way-station), which sits over the ancient spice route. To be honest, I don’t expect to find much in the way of material goods (a few coins if we’re lucky), but that is not the point of this excavation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of Asses and Evil Men

8-1Through cultural misunderstandings I seem to have lost some ground with our Bedouin workers. Hopefully we can continue having a good working relationship during next week – the last week of excavation.

It all started about three days ago. A donkey – ill from eating trash – parked itself in front of the concrete bungalow we have been using to store our excavation gear. Over the course of several days we watched it suffer as its health deteriorated badly and we were afraid it would die there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celebration!

7-2It’s been a while since my last posting. Things have been really picking up here. On a positive note, both Marita and Jeremy returned from the hospital. Jeremy is already back working in the field and Marita is well on her way to a full recovery. Everyone else seems to be in pretty good health.

July 4th came and went. Bill got a great price on some hamburger and we had a cookout on the rooftop of the Shokini (our residence). We even had sparklers to play with once evening set in! For us it was actually Canada Day (July 3rd) and the 4th of July rolled into one. There are more Canadians on this excavation than Americans, but no one seems to mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Friends head home, but our work continues

6-1The last couple of days have been pretty trying for us. Three of us who were signed on for the first half of the expedition left for home the other day. Maggie, Tu Phong, and my roommate Eric left us.

To add to the sadness, two of us were hospitalized for stomach illness. Jeremy – one of my other roommates – was in the hospital, but seems to have recovered quite a bit. His girlfriend, Lindsey, stayed with him at the hospital for the last several days and nights. Marita, on the other hand, had to be evacuated via ambulance to Amman. We hear she is doing better there under the care of an American trained physician, but it will be a long recovery. Apparently she contracted some sort of stomach virus. When I last saw her she looked like “Death warmed over.” Read the rest of this entry »

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