Megiddo, Day 19 – “We didn’t jump down the hill, we swam.”
The penultimate day at the tel, and the final day of digging. We removed the little bit that was left to make it even, and spent the rest of the day troweling the floor, then brushing the floor, then articulating rocks and rearticulating plaster and brushing again. I helped Sascha for a bit because I couldn’t stand brushing anymore – whenever anyone walked next to the square, they’d kick up dust and we’d have to brush again – the futility was very annoying. Around 11, we discovered a new wall in the northwest corner – but wait – it’s not a wall, it’s a pavement! So we had to articulate (Norma has now switched to saying “enunciate”, to everyone’s confusion) the pavement and rebrush and Saschsa had to remap and then we rebrushed. At 12:30 we started to take down the tent, which was the biggest group initiative I’d ever seen. First we removed all the poles, then lined up on one side. We had to walk together across the area – through the squares, requiring much jumping and climbing – as we rolled it up. When it was all on one side, we folded it and Joey and Melissa used their sailing-knot skills to tie it up. It probably weighed over 50 pounds. Of course, now that we had removed the tent, the sun decided to come out and it became boiling.
The highlight of the day was definitely the balloon. We had heard the balloon was just a rumor until we looked up and there, above Area J, was a small blimp with a camera attached. (Little known facts: Chicago pioneered aerial balloon photography. Also, Megiddo is the only tel with a tennis court – Chicago got bored.) We took a balloon-watching/Chewy-bar-eating break, then went back to digging. We get the balloon tomorrow.