Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gezer Dig 2012 – May 30 Update

By Gary D. Myers

Oh how optimistic I was yesterday when I posted the May 29 Update. Those of us who were here last year had spent several days recalling (in agonizing detail) the great difficulty we faced near the end of the tunnel. Yet many of us still believed that we could get through a half width of the tunnel in a day and a half. Well, that didn’t happening. Our stories of the great difficulty we faced in cutting the probe last year were not myth, legend or tall tale. The team struggled in the tightly packed rocks throughout the day today. It is very tough digging and there is more of it in store for us tomorrow.

Today the team pulled out 55 bags of material – mostly rocks. The bag count was limited by the difficult digging and the distance the bags must travel from the bottom of the tunnel. The winch only has one speed – slow. Now the hook is traveling down about 145 feet. It just takes time.

Even though we would all rather be digging inside the cave than busting through rocks, Dr. Jim Parker believes the dig is proceeding right on schedule. For now, we won’t speculate when the team will begin digging in the cave. We will simply focus on our task at hand.

The team is finding many Bronze Age and Iron Age pottery shards, flint tools and pieces of flint tools in the debris. Unfortunately, all of the material items are out of context and cannot help the team answer any questions about the water system or Gezer in general. Today, one team member discovered a nice sized chunk of Cypriot “milk bowl” pottery. These vessels, dating to the Late Bronze Age, were imported from Cyprus. The piece has a white slip with a design consisting of dark intersecting lines.

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Today’s Passage
The passage today is not specific to Gezer, but with the magnificently preserved high place with standing stones at Gezer, the verses are fitting.

Numbers 33:51-53
“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.”


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.

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