Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31 Gezer Update

Latest Photos

By Gary D. Myers

Even though several team members were out today due to illness, volunteers removed 100 bags of material (each bag contains approximately 400 lbs of debris). The team dug about 3 feet deeper in to the cave. Imagine clearing a cube of mud and dirt 8 feet tall and 3 feet deep and you’ll get the picture of how much debris was removed.

Each day it becomes harder to reach the 100 bag count because the winch has to go down further each day. It now takes 4 minutes to send the winch hook to the bottom and lift one bag.

With an average of 3 feet of debris removed per day, Dr. Dan Warner and Dr. Jim Parker are hopeful that the team will reach the cave by the end of the week.

A Million Little Pieces of History
With every shovel of dig many broken pottery shards are uncovered. The most common pieces are broken terra cotta handles. Chances are that if you have a broken handle on your terra cotta vase or jar, we have uncoverd a piece that would fit. Like the broken handles, most of the pieces are of no value – the pieces are small and out of context. However, the dig has collected a few Iron and Bronze Age shards.

The team has also uncovered a large grinding stone and many flint tools.

The Muck and Mire
The deeper the tunnel gets, the muddier it gets. It could be because the team is currently over the water source, but it could be seepage from rain water, no one is sure. Quitting time reminded us of Psalm 40:

 1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
   and put their trust in him.  

Powered by Hummus, Olives and Turkish Coffee
Hummus and olives are staples of our evening meals along with tomatoes. We also eat hummus at lunch along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or sandwiches made with cold cuts. Tsvika Tsuk, director of the Department of Archaeology and Heritage at the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority, loves Turkish coffee. After lunch each day, one of the Israelis working with our team, usually Tsvika or the crane operator, makes coffee for the team. Some days, Tsvika will bring coffee to the workers down in the tunnel – that’s a nice treat for the weary diggers.

Soon we will have news about the cave at the end of the tunnel ... we hope.


The Gezer Water System project is co-sponsored by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary under the direction of Tsvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist at INPA, and Dan Warner, co-director of the Center for Archaeological Research at NOBTS.

No comments:

Post a Comment