Friday, August 12, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime, Part 2

Julie M. was a participant on the Tel Gezer dig mentioned in the previous post.  Her thoughts about the trip arrived too late to make the Table, but I thought you might enjoy reading her piece here - :
            While I could write volumes on the personal impact of my experiences during the five weeks at Tel Gezer, two experiences stand at the forefront of all the others: the amount of information offered to us and our opportunity to contribute to a much larger endeavor.  The depth and breadth of the knowledge we were given in five weeks was breath taking:  we learned about the stages of the Bronze Age and the Iron Ages, the geo-political status of each of these eras and the movements and migrations that formed each period.  We learned the geography and much of the early history of Israel, the major role water sources played in war, peace and everyday life, the ebbs and flows of Canaanite, Philistine and Jewish settlements, and how each of these elements impacted the various cultures.  Through travel, we touched on pre-Israelite times, walked paths of the Old Testament and travelled extensively through the land of Jesus’ ministry.  Through the actual excavation, we learned the basic skills of archeology at the opening, through the actual excavation, and at the close of the operation.  All of this was in addition to what we learned personally about ourselves and about all of our team members with whom we formed timeless and unique relationships.  At the same time, through our work on the excavation we had the privilege of contributing a small part to the on-going story of Tel-Gezer and the insight it lends to the area’s history.  It is humbling to think that our work has added to work that has been conducted over the last 100 years; that we have helped in part in an endeavor that some have worked on for 30 years of their life.  The incremental knowledge uncovered in this short 5-week season may aid in dating this site as well as others with similar characteristics, may shed light on the culture that existed 3,000 years ago, or it may simply help lay the foundation for further research.  In any case, our labor and learning afforded us the opportunity to touch history and to become a part of that history in a way no other experience could have offered.
Julie M.

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