Hannah and Je together

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Twenty Fourth Day – Preparing the new tour

This is the last week of excavation.  I think it was pretty good that I experienced Lachish and Megiddo.  If Jerusalem is the Capital of Ancient Israel kingdom, Lachish and Megiddo are both centre of North and South, like the two wings of a bird.

Not that big centiped here, but it is huge

Not that big centipede here, but it is huge

In the morning when I was moving to other area on the Tel Megiddo, I saw this centipede (I did not count if it actually has hundred legs; centi = 100, pede = leg).  We see a lot of centipedes in the early in the morning, and they rush to go underground.  But some of them lose its way, and they all die of the sun.

Excavation Notice

Excavation Notice

I also took this picture of the notice about the excavation on the entrance of the park (Many archaeological sites are national park including Tel Megiddo and Tel Lachish).

This is how you find an antique

This is how you find an antique

And this is today’s founding, the complete bottom of a jar.  I also found a few olive pits and grains, which are very useful for carbon dating.

I changed my plan of Egypt tour.  I planned to leave this Kibbutz Wednesday and arrive at Cairo by Thursday evening, so that I can see Cairo for two days, and see the Mount Sinai on the way back to Israel.  I decided to leave here a day earlier so that I can also see Luxor.  If I go to Egypt and do not see Luxor, I think that is so stupid.  So tomorrow is my last day of excavation.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Twenty first day – Sweet Weekend

In the morning we get up as early as 4am.  From that time until the sunrise is the best time of the day.  It has cool breeze and no burning sun.  I think ancient Israelites as well as all the ancient near easterns must have gotten up very early for the same reason.  Because it is too hot during the day.

Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise

I think that is why in Biblical Hebrew they have separate word of “to get up early.”

Today was kind of shitty day because all the members of area T were sent to other areas such as V and W, and consequently we were not able to do our own job.  Even they did not give us break.  We talked each other that we feel like in exile.  But I found a sling stone of my fist size in area W.

For Hebrew University (Tel Lachish), the bus leaves Friday morning and comes back Sunday morning.  For Tel Aviv University (Tel Megiddo), the bus leaves Thursday afternoon and comes back Saturday afternoon.  So officially it is the weekend from today afternoon.

Hand Washing Laundry

Hand Washing Laundry

Not having the afternoon work and lectures, I did my laundry by hand-washing.  Unlike Kedma Youth Village, we were allowed to stay in this kibbutz for the weekend for free, but they do not provide any meal.  So I walked twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store, and spent 120 NIS (which is about $40) for six meals.  I bought a quarter gallon orange juice.  But when I poured it into the cup, it flowed so slow as if it is honey.  And the taste was so strong.  Then I looked at the label which I cannot read because it is all Hebrew.  There were only two English writings.  One is big letter saying, “Orange Juice.”  The other is very small letter under the nutrition information, “Enough for 60 cups.”  Then I realised that I bought the concentrated juice.

Last night, several people sat together and talked.  There were American Jew (man), Israeli Jew (secular, woman), another Israeli Jew (secular, man), and Belgian woman (Catholic).  Of course I was there too.  I asked them many questions and it was really great talk until late night.

One of the interesting things was that the Jews these days do not know what tribe they belong to.  And officially ten tribes are missing.  But they said that some Jews have “Cohen” (meaning Priest) and “Levi” (Name of the tribe which performed many jobs in the temple) as their last name.  And many of them regulate themselves including cannot enter any cemetery, cannot remarry.  And also they must marry Jewish woman, but not converted Jew.  They can marry only the pure or native Jew.  They do this to keep themselves ritually clean all the time, so that they can carry the job of priest and temple worker as soon as the Temple is rebuilt and Messiah comes.

They had many jokes about why Judaism never works.  The secular Jews also said that Orthodox, especially Ultra Orthodox Jews hate them.

For the temple matter, I asked of religious Jews, and they want to build the temple but they are afraid to express it.  And I also asked yesterday of the secular Jews, and they absolutely do NOT want to build it.  Because of all the murders and blood which will be done by the name of that house.  They also said that the rebuilding the temple would cause the third world war.

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.

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