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