Can You Dig It?

Gezer 2014 – Update Six

By Gary D. Myers

Make way for the diggers

What day is it? It has gotten very hard to keep track of the days. Despite the fact that it took us longer to get set up than previous in years, we have been working hard. The time passes quickly when you are busy.

As I mentioned in the last blog, Sunday was supposed to be the day that we started digging out the pool area. Every station would be busy – the diggers, the cable keeper who helps the bags up the slope, the winch operators, the crane signal team and most of all the pottery team (washers, sifters, recording secretary). It was supposed to be the day.

However, a team from Shenkar College had agree to come scan the tunnel in order to construct a digital 3D model during this year’s dig. It turns out that Sunday was the only day they could scan while our team was in Israel. The scan would begin at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the workday. We found out the Shenkar teams was after the last blog was published. So some members of our team worked to clean the Middle Bronze Age gate at Gezer while another group traveled to Palmahim to help excavate at a stone-hewn cave that may have been used as a tomb in the Middle Bronze Age and later as a home or storage area in the Byzantine period. It was still a long busy day. The Palmahim group work very hard moving buckets of dirt all day just steps from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. That is almost torture.

Back at Neve Shalom Sunday evening we participated in the community pool party and outdoor dinner. Later, our team gathered at the Neve Shalom amphitheater for worship service with singing and a brief sermon. I needed rest from Sunday and our weekend travels and felt the blog could wait. I turned in early. It was a good move, because Monday was a busy, hard work day.

After many delays and side projects, we finally began removing the material under the causeway on Monday. We pulled out 45 bags of material by lunch time. Many of us had a spring in our step when we arrived at the tel this morning, but the spring was gone by lunchtime. The digging was tough. Lots of mud, then a layer of rocks that you had to pick out by hand, then mud again. The sifting team worked hard all day as, but by quitting time a large backlog of bags had accumulated. They simply cannot keep up with the current pace of digging. We are turning up a great amount of pottery. We haven’t found anything exceptional and if we had, I probably could mention it in this blog. The first day of excavating the pool was a good day.

We will be back in the pool area digging again bright and early tomorrow. Wednesday we will not dig because of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost). That will be a touring day. We will work by back to work on Thursday and we will work on Friday this week instead of touring.

We have learned to expect the unexpected on this dig and you may have to do the same with the blog. I will make every effort possible to make at least three to four additional posts this week plus our weekly update video with Dr. Warner. The posts may be a bit irregular since our schedule is irregular. The last week of the dig we will likely only have three and half days of dig work and one day of cleanup. Again, I will attempt to post at least three and hopefully four blogs that week plus the weekly update video with Dr. Warner.

It's getting late ... Shalom Y’all.