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Welcome Home
By: Kim Maeyama

As a fitting tribute to all those who made this summer a great success, I felt it necessary to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all participants for their hard work. In particular, I wish to thank all of our newsletter staffers. They took it upon themselves to keep this newsletter alive and fresh and were it not for their efforts, this newsletter would not have developed. It is now that we begin to reflect on our adventure at Tell el-Far'ah (S).

Since having left Israel, I briefly returned to Belgium on my way back to California for some time off. As most of you know the long flight time and frequent lay-overs provided me with more than ample opportunity to relive my experiences at Far'ah. Though the season is no more than a week over, it brings
to me a bit of sadness and much joy as my thoughts focus on the many things I learned and the many new people I now call friends. I can confidently say that it is the people who make the experience great; ask anyone and I'm sure they'll tell you the same.

And what might I remember as I occassionally lapse back into the world of excavation in Israel? I remember after breakfast cigarette breaks, even though I am not a smoker. I remember early evening groups of people sitting around in front of the hostel, sharing a laugh or two. I remember exhausted faces as they exited the bus at 5 am and how those faces wore bright smiles (not to mention caked dirt) before the breakfast call. These are but a few of the many memories I will be taking with me from this summer.

So, once again, I give thanks to all those who willingly left their comforts at home and travelled to the different and exciting world of modern-day (not to mention ancient!) Israel. Without you, there would be no season and it is my hope that the friendships that this summer generated will continue to last you all for the rest of your lives. Maybe, with any luck, we'll be seeing you again soon!!

Sam going Native in Jerusalem
IT @ Far'ah 2
By: Sam Craig

One of the things that surprised me the most when Kim started talking about archaeology was the absence of Information Technology (IT); computer technology. It seemed to me that IT was ready made for the needs of archaeology. When Kim was at tel Harrasim she showed me the annual report and I was appalled that it was a paper report. Additionally, when she described the effort that went into the analysis of the 'hard copy' data I could not believe that archaeologist were still working in the realm. As Kim has been around computers for many years she asked me about the possibility of making a database to collect, store and analyze the excavation data. I assured her that it was very possible to achieve.

This modest start quickly spread into a complete Archaeological Information System (AIS). Never let it be said that Kim does not have vision. Her vision led her to propose a Web Site, a custom database, a Local Area Network (LAN), utilization of digital cameras, and the application of GIS presentation and analysis of the excavation data. It was an aggressive approach seeing as it was a new approach to data collection and analysis. Research uncovered that a number of digs were using computers to collect and analysis data, but not on the level of application that Kim envisioned. The were many long nights of hard work to make the system a reality. And the simple feasibility study was inadvertently expanded much beyond what she envisioned the first year's effort would be, but all things considered it was a resounding success and the initial step in a journey that well be fun and rewarding.

Steve Underwood's Magnificent shot of the Treasury at Petra

"A City in Stone"
By: Edgar Martin del Campo

I returned to Eilat last weekend solely to visit Petra. As soon as I had heard about plans to see this city, I was the first person to sign up. Why would I miss the chance to experience Jordan's most celebrated attraction? After seeing it for myself, I must say that Petra was everything I expected and more.

The day started with our venture across the Jordanian border. Eight of us left from Eilat to Aqaba, from which we began our taxi drive, a high-tension adventure by itself. The scenery along the drive was something out of an Arabian fairy tale; the land seemed primal and ancient. It was out of these savage hills that the Nabataeans carved the magnificent city of Petra, especially in the first two centuries CE (Common Era).

It is a vonder that these buildings and facades were cut right into the stone. When I first entered the city, I sawy a few reliefs and facades, including parts of the long "Siq" or passageway into the main city. And then the Siq opened up to a larger courtyard, right before the Treasury, one of the finest structures in the whole city. The intricate architecture was complimented by the stone itself, a waving array of reds and pinks.

My biggest challenge was the long, winding stairway leading to Al-Deir, the "monastery". I was hot, tired, low on water, and almost broke. But after forty minutes of upward stairways, I saw that building and suddenly none of my problems mattered. any longer. I was standing in the presence of something great; it was a very humbling experience.

Touring Petra was one of my favorite moments of this past month. I congratulate Michael Zimmerman for making this trip possible and if given the chance I would return in an instant.
Damascus Gate, Old City Jerusalem
By: Sam Craig

We Americans can be very arrogant about our ideals and history, and we fail to remember that 'we' are a very young country. I do not say this as criticism because we have many, many things to be proud of, but our accomplishments and history, like our country, are very young. This is never so evident as when one visits a truly old country; Israel is one of these countries. Here is a country that celebrates in its history, while we merely tolerate our on many occasions. When one arrives in Jerusalem and sees the Old City wall this oldness is obvious and striking. When you walk through the streets of the Old City you walk on Herodian Stones that date from about 1700 years before our country was founded. The evidence of the Romans and Crusaders lay about the land like old buildings. This oldness is everywhere one looks, and it is awe-inspiring, and yet the modern dose not impose on this oldness. One has only to climb to Masada and hear its history to understand the pride. Maybe American's will appreciate our history once it is old too.