Hannah and Je together

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Seventeenth Day – First day in Tel Megiddo

Before I begin today’s story, I met an African-American named Reggie.  He is very nice guy and taught many things that I need to know here.  We had supper together, and we began to talk about American Society.

First, I said America need gun control.  There are many countries where guns are illegal and the society is safer.  And he said NO!  He said the gun is to protect – protect yourself and your properties.  We talked a little more, but I realised that it would be useless because we cannot overcome the gap between our thoughts.

The other thing we talked about was health insurance and hospital system.  I said Canada and some (northern) European countries have national health insurance, and that is the way for America to go but it looks not easy.  He said that the national health insurance is stupid idea.  He said he would rather pay and get better health care.  I said that there are many people who are poor and cannot afford the hospital fee.  He said very shocking thing to me that those people are poor because they are lazy, and they do not deserve health care.  I was so shocked, and said, “but they are same human and citizen of America. Don’t you think government must take care of her citizens?”  But his thought was so firm that they chose to be poor, so they do not deserve anything.  I mentioned the documentary Sicko, and he became angry, saying that Michael Moore is a f**king communist and the film is 100% lie.  He also has similar idea about college and university tuition fee that the students can get loans and they can pay it back after graduation.  And that the only reason they are stuck in the debt is that they are dumb, stupid, and lazy.

Then, I changed the topic because I felt he is quite angry and it would be dangerous to continue the conversation on those matter.  But I was very much shocked because I have never met or conversed with anyone who thinks like that way before.

Tel Megiddo

Tel Megiddo

This the Tel Megiddo from under.  We got up at 4 which is half an hour earlier than in Lachish.  And they were so many people that we used two big buses.  It is because that many excavation sites were closed because of the warring situation, and Tel Megiddo is one of a few sites which continues digging, and many students moved over to Tel Megiddo team like me.

Area T, Tel Megiddo

Area T, Tel Megiddo

The is area T where I worked today.  There are many differences between Tel Lachish and Tel Megiddo.  First noticeable one is that Megiddo’s climate is much cooler than that of Lachish, so I did not drink a lot of water.  The speed of dust drying is also quite different.  It just took less than an hour for the fresh mud to dry in Lachish, but here people say that they need to wait until next morning.  The work pace is slower than that of Lachish, probably because of the number of people digging.  Maybe it was because I worked with other Koreans, and most Koreans are workaholic.

Sling Stones

Sling Stones

I was told that my work place is Assyrian Era which I think is very cool because I worked upto Babylonian era at Tel Lachish.  Those are sling stones I found today, and because of three sling stones at the same spot, they concluded it was sling stone factory.

The schedule here at Megiddo is very similar to that of Lachish, but we have fewer breaks here and they do not provide water here, but everybody carries his/her own water bottle.  They provided the water with Van because we needed more water than an individual person can carry.

Schedule is get up at 4, dig until 1, take some rest after lunch, wash potteries and bones, and two lectures in the evening which ends att 10.  Today’s lecture was very interesting and one of them was about DNA and archaeology.  It is very tiring and exhausting schedule, and I have to do this two more weeks including this week.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Twelfth Day – Third Digging

I got up 4:30 today again.  We began the day at the same time as yesterday.

Babylonian Arrow-head

Babylonian Arrow-head

This is the arrow-head of the Babylonian army found right inside the city wall.  This very arrow-head was shot by the Babylonian soldier and may (or may not) pierce the body of the people in the city of Lachish.

Digging Je

Digging Je

Some people imagined the Indiana Jones when I told them that I would go for archaeological excavation.  But it is not that dangerous nor thrill.  Long boring job of digging.

Dumping Je

Dumping Je

What do I need to do after digging?  I need to dump all the dust and dirt to the dumping ground.

Measuring Je

Measuring Je

Whenever we dig more, we need to measure the depth of it using this measuring device.

Complete Jugglet

Complete Jug

We found this complete jug.  It has multi-purpose.

Because of the rocket attack of Hamas, today is the last day of actual digging.  Tomorrow, we need to clean and close everything, take some photos.  Then this site will be shut down until next year’s continuing excavation.  And the problem was our team did not finish the needed job before noon.  So we decided to stay in the site and continue the work under the burning and killing sun.

It was really so hot and I totally understood why Jonah was so upset to God when he lost the shadow.

Milk Shake and Cheese Cake

Milk Shake and Cheese Cake

After we finished all the job, we called Professor Yossi because none of us had a car.  Professor Yossi gave us ride and on the way, he bought us chocolate milk shake and cheese cake!

Now, I am waiting for tonight’s lecture which will go on until 10.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Eleventh Day – Second Digging

Second day of excavation at Tel Lachish.  We got up at 4:30 in the morning, and left to the site and began work right away while the moon was still in the sky.  It was so hot and thirsty, and exhausting.  I drank a crazy amount of water continually, but I peed only once during the whole day probably because I sweated a lot.

Ancient River

Ancient River

This is the fourth expedition of Tel Lachish led by Professor Yossi Garfinkel at Hebrew University, and found a small gate in the east side.  This is the view from the Tel Lachish to the eastward.  Ancient Lachish had the major road in its ease side, same as today.  And they also had a major water source which is river along the road.  Even though we do not have running water now, we can still see the where the river ran in the Biblical days.

Babylonian Destruction Layer

Babylonian Destruction Layer

I was digging on the north side of the Tel, and it was Persian era, then we found the black floor, which they call Ash Layer.  This black layer means there was huge destructive fire probably of the entire city.  And this is identified as Babylonian destruction.  Now, I am standing on the history of the Israelites and the army of Nebuchadnezzar.

Rosetta Seal Impression

Rosetta Seal Impression

We also found two Rosetta seal impressions.  This is on the jar handle, and it identified that jar is for royal use, probably tax to the king.  This broken jar once contained olive oil or some other things to be sent to the king in Jerusalem (since this is Jewish jar before exile).

Pottery Reading

Pottery Reading

We began this day around five, and we finished digging at two.  But that does not mean the day’s work is done.  After lunch we were divided into three groups – pottery reading, pottery washing, bone washing.  Pottery reading is done by scholars or someone already has good knowledge on archaeological potteries.  Normal people or volunteers like me are assigned to the washing team.  The reading team identifies of the potteries.  Washing team washes the bones and potteries found in the site.

We washed them until seven, and had dinner.  After dinner, we had a lecture by the Professor Yossi until 10.

I went bed around or slightly before eleven.  And I still have to get up 4:30 tomorrow morning.  What a schedule!

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