HASAKE, SYRIAâ -- When archaeologist Edward Whitson joined a Penn State University dig in Hasake last year, he did so to participate in the excavation of a Late Bronze Age settlement rich in pottery shards and clay figurines.
(click on the title of the onion story to read the VERY funny article) **
Did I ever tell you that I once participated in an archaeology dig? If you only know me through my blog, then no! Well, then....
It was a dark and stormy night. Actually it was a bright, 120 degree period of weeks. Visions of dirt, charcoal, and toxic porta-potties are dancing in my head.
It was in Meggido, Israel in 1998 (I think). It was largely fun. Of course, it was very hard work. We got up at 4AM and dug until about noon. Then we went down to the kibbutz and did "pottery scrubbing and diagnotstics" for a while. Then we ate. Then whatever. I, in particular, spent a great deal of time putting ice on my hands. My left thumb was particularly painful. It is still tender to this day. When it comes time to stack the firewood every year (this time of year in Maine, in fact), I have to ice it again. Very small price to pay for a very cool thing like a real archaeology dig. I was proud of myself for not giving up and being relegated to some sort of wimp-detail. I stayed in the dig site every day - using my little trowel and brushes. My best pal at the time, who dug with me, called our spot "the pit." She was less enamored with achaeology than I. She told friends when we returned to Nashville - "Every morning at 4 they throw us in the pit. At eight in the morning, they throw cucumbers and tomatoes down at us so we can eat." Not quite accurate, but vivid. We actually got to leave our site to eat. Then we had to clean the eating site. I would have preferred having the food thrown at us in the pit. Of course, that would have compromised the stuff (the magical stuff!).
I will have to scan some of the pics before I can post them, since I took them with a crap camera. Still, it sounds like this guy on the onion has a lot more excitement than we did. We would hum the Indiana Jones theme while we bussed dirty plates at the breakfast site. That was our peak. Seriously, though - it was great to spend some time in Israel (and even travel through Lebanon) at a time when things were a little different. Seeing the carnage of towns that I have been to makes me even sadder when I watch the morning news. Plus I actually have family (a cousin from Maine) living in Tel Aviv. Sigh. It is a beautiful, beautiful place.