I hope that you've enjoyed the new year as much as I have. Hopefully you've been able to reevaluate yourself, establish new goals, and develop strategies to achieve those goals. Perhaps you've spent time in reflection, or reconnected with long-lost friends; maybe you've focused your attention on those who are closest at home. I've done my best to attempt all of these, and while the reality of the new year hasn't yet sunk in--and likely won't for the foreseeable future--I hope to reflect on 2013 both academically and personally. With that as my introduction, I'd like to spill a little ink and discuss what has weighed most heavily on my mind since I swapped my 2013 "Cats in Hats" calendar for a more generic "Kittens" 2014 calendar.
In short, I'd like to tell you about spending a summer in Jerusalem, the famous "city upon a hill." I plan to talk about archaeology. I'd like to tell you about how I fell into it, and ultimately, I hope to explain why it matters. I'll try my hand at brevity, I promise, and I plan to proceed in no particular order.
|While I may try to be brief, if I begin to write about the first century (such as this 1st century tomb), I'm liable not to stop.|
|Although nothing feels as great as a nice, cold drink when it's 90 degrees outside. In the Jezreel Valley.|
|Recording elevation data in Jerusalem.|
|While Hollywood imagines archaeology to be action-packed, in reality, most of archaeology is rather monotonous. Here I am recording data in my first excavation in the Jezreel Valley.|
At least once a day I think of Jerusalem. I think of the basics--how it looked, how it smelled, how it tasted. I remember the contours of the city streets, the path I would walk to dig on Mt. Zion. I remember the joy of sipping a cup of tea at 7:00 am, watching the sun rise over the Mount of Olives, and listening to the Muslim call to prayer. I miss the dirt in my boots, I miss the excitement of a new day of discovery. The energy of an archaeological dig is like no other--it truly is indescribable.
|Reason #373 to participate in an archaeological dig: finding a 1st century bathtub in the former mansion of Jerusalem's priestly elite.|
|This is why I dig.|
Stay well, my friends. Just don't ask how I got the next picture.
|Atop the city wall of Jerusalem, looking down at the Mt. Zion excavation.|
Class of 2015