Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6: Digging Deeper – Update 9

By Gary D. Myers

Today was a great day at Gezer. The layers under R.A.S. MacAlister’s “causeway” of stones are yielding quite a bit of interesting pottery. The diggers excavating the three probes in the presumed water source sent a healthy supply of bags to the sifters today. The amount of material found in these areas is a great encouragement for the whole team.

Many questions remain at the Gezer water system and our team is working diligently to answer these questions. Is there an exit from the bottom of the system? Will we locate the water source? Is water still flowing at the bottom? Can a date for the construction of the water system by firmly established?

A Quick Survey
This year an NOBTS student (David) with a land survey background joined the dig team to gather data information about the water system. He will produce new drawings of the system. He spent the better part of week two establishing benchmarks and recording information about the top of the tel, the water passage (main shaft) and the cavern. Only here for one week, David has worked diligently to complete this time consuming job. Dig leaders believe the survey work will provide valuable information that will help them understand the water system.

Conservation and Cleaning

Larry and Paulette continue to work with the professional conservators at the Bronze Age wall/wall room restorations. The job is slow and requires a much attention to detail, but their work is becominh more noticeable each day.

Work continues at the Bronze Age gate complex as well. The team completed the cleaning of the third of five gate sections today. The team is hopeful that the whole gate cleaning project can be completed before the dig ends.

Both areas of conservation and cleaning are important examples from the time when Canaanites occupied Gezer. The TLC given at these locations will insure that generations to come will have the opportunity to see this wall section and learn about the people who once called Gezer home.

Final Stretch and Group Dynamics
It is hard to believe that only a week remains for this year’s Gezer water system dig. Time flies when you are having fun and when you are working hard.

We may not know how many of the questions about the water system will be answered or how many projects we will complete. One thing is sure, this group will work very hard these last days and will complete as many projects as possible in the time that is left. This group works hard and gets along well. It was exciting to see team fellowship and companionship develop over the past two weeks. The group members have been great Christian ambassadors in their interactions with each other and with the Israeli people. 

It is evident that our team members truly care about each other and want to be a part of the tasks we have been given. A small group of college students and recent high school graduates joined the dig this year and they have injected fresh joy and vibrant life into our work at Gezer and our leisure times as we fellowship together at Neve Shalom and tour the country. And while we will all be ready to return to our families, we will miss the new friends we have made and the old friendships we have rekindled during this dig.

Today’s Gezer Passage
2 Samuel 5:22-25

Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.


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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