July 21, 2008

Megiddo, Day 12 – “Oh no. This pit has a side pit.”

They have not yet closed our square, but it seems imminent. Today we dug out two ash pits and then discovered that the bottom of the central pit is at the same level as the closed square next to us. We decided (or, rather, Norma decided) to level out the east half, creating a mini-bulk in the middle to see if there’s any change. The pit contained no pottery except a baking tray (you can tell because it has little holes in it), but there was a ton outside the pit. The square is now the deepest of all the open squares, at 167.85 meters above sea level. When I stand in the deep corner, it comes up to my lower ribs. (It’s very difficult to climb out of it.) Speaking of which, we found a rib today that looked scarily human – Melissa fit it perfectly over her ribs. Also, I talked to Aaron, the bone guy, to see if I could get in on the bone registration and analysis. Johnny, one of the area supervisors, overheard and got really excited and said there are actually lots of jobs in the faunal analysis division because apparently there aren’t enough people who want to do it. Yay.

Tomorrow we’re (sadly) going to be breaking apart my nap rock. I have, however, been promised a place with the sledgehammer. After we finish that and take down the rest of the floor, they’ll probably close the square (for real this time) because it’ll be as low as the next-door square’s floor, which is Iron 2b (don’t even ask me to explain what this is).

There’s an ongoing set of innuendoes relating to archaeology. It’s sort of an inside joke with the field, but I feel like a lot of them are shared with other activities that involve hard labor of any kind. The original for Area Q was when Finkelstein said he wanted Q to be “exposure, not penetration,” because we are looking for things that are relatively near the surface. Thus Area J (where we might be moved), which digs deep pits looking for the temple walls, is “penetration, not exposure,” and H (a deep but even pit) is “do your own thing”. Area K is too busy singing and guarding their pirate flag to make jokes. Today at pottery reading, Finkelstein said that my square was already in Iron 2a – we had already penetrated too deep. This set off waves of laughter, and he still couldn’t figure out why. (All of my pottery was sent for restoration, by the way.)

In other news, yesterday I popped a piece of pottery out of the ground like I saw Philippe do on the second day. I swung the pickaxe just to the side of it, twisted, and out popped an intact handle still attached to a piece of jar. I was very impressed with myself.

My watch glass cracked again. I had it held together with medical tape for the day until I could find clear tape. It made reading it very difficult except at 12, 6, :30, and :00.


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