Painted Wall Plaster Fragment; let the celebrations commence!

30 06 2009

EHC Eric Cline writes:

Today we found the first fragment of painted wall plaster of the season.  The first pictures below were the first available; better ones can be seen further below.

Copy of IMG_5210IMG_5210IMG_5216…the discoverer, Melissa Cradic, who just happens to be working on a GW Luther Rice Fellowship on the painted frescoes at Tel Kabri…!

front of fragmentfront of fragment no 2Side Profile no 1Side Profile no 2rear of fragment(rear of fragment)





Second Week Rocks!

30 06 2009

EHC Eric Cline writes:

The second week rocks!:

Walls!: IMG_5033

Plaster floors with flat-lying pottery!:

IMG_5024

Wall plaster, possibly painted!:

CIMG0883





From Pottery to Wall Plaster

29 06 2009

IMG_4518 Melissa Benbow writes:

“Is this pottery?”

“Nope. Sorry. Just a rock.”

“Ooooh, I think I found bone!”

“Hmmm… I’m pretty sure that’s just plastic.”

“Wow! What’s this?!”

“Uh… part of your shoelace, I believe.”

Day 3 of digging in D West West and we don’t have much in the way of

artifacts except for some pottery sherds, teeny bone fragments and

bits of shell. Exciting stuff, sure, but what we really have our

hearts set on finding is wall plaster. It should be where we are

digging, if the palace walls collapsed where we think they did. It’s

been a few exhausting days of pickaxing in the hot sun, but now we

have shades up and it’s a surprisingly cool day, making our work a bit

easier. Still, it sometimes takes the first significant find to

really motivate me, and I imagine many others.

Finally, I come across something that looks unfamiliar. My gut tells

me to ask our area supervisor Nurith about it rather than just throw

it in the pottery bucket. I think that it just may be a piece of the

sought-after wall plaster. I approach her and ask, “Is this pottery?

Or,” (more quietly and with hope), “…perhaps wall plaster?”

She only has to glance at it before answering. “Yes! We have wall plaster!”

Success! A small celebration follows, consisting mostly of people

taking elevations and photographs.

Finding the first bit of wall plaster in our area made my day, but of

course it’s quickly back to work because there is much more just

waiting for us to uncover!

"Is this pottery?"
"Nope.  Sorry.  Just a rock."

"Ooooh, I think I found bone!"
"Hmmm...  I'm pretty sure that's just plastic."

"Wow!  What's this?!"
"Uh...  part of your shoelace, I believe."

Day 3 of digging in D West West and we don't have much in the way of
artifacts except for some pottery sherds, teeny bone fragments and
bits of shell.  Exciting stuff, sure, but what we really have our
hearts set on finding is wall plaster.  It should be where we are
digging, if the palace walls collapsed where we think they did.  It's
been a few exhausting days of pickaxing in the hot sun, but now we
have shades up and it's a surprisingly cool day, making our work a bit
easier.  Still, it sometimes takes the first significant find to
really motivate me, and I imagine many others.

Finally, I come across something that looks unfamiliar.  My gut tells
me to ask our area supervisor Nurith about it rather than just throw
it in the pottery bucket.  I think that it just may be a piece of the
sought-after wall plaster.  I approach her and ask, "Is this pottery?
Or," (more quietly and with hope), "...perhaps wall plaster?"

She only has to glance at it before answering.  "Yes!  We have wall plaster!"

Success!  A small celebration follows, consisting mostly of people
taking elevations and photographs.

Finding the first bit of wall plaster in our area made my day, but of
course it's quickly back to work because there is much more just
waiting for us to uncover!





Kabri Bartender’s Guide to Mixed Drinks

29 06 2009

Emily Bates Emily Bates writes:

Digging on site today, Eric, Assaf and my crew digging in D-West-West discovered that archaeologists would make pretty good mixologists as well.  This is what we came up with:

Kabreeze: A cocktail of lemon, mint and vodka (Perfect Vodka works best), garnished with an avocado.

Kabrito: Like a mohito, only better: white rum, sugar cane juice, lime, carbonated water, and mint.  Again, garnish with an avocado.

Mud Brick: Bailey’s, Kahlua, Vodka and milk.  Garnish with maraschino cherries and serve in a glass rimmed with chocolate.

Destruction Horizon: A shot of coffee liqueur, Tabasco and Bailey’s.  Top off with Bailey’s 151 and light on fire (like a flaming B-52). Drink at your own risk.

Dirty Archaeologist: Similar to a dirty martini, but substitute capers for olives.

Minoan Fresco: Blue curacao, St. Germain and champagne.  Garnish with a miniature bull-leaper.

Kabritini: Arrack, Vermouth and Kina Lillet (or similar bronze-colored alcohol).  Garnish with an olive.

We also excavated some more this week.  But maybe someone else will blog about that.





Figs not Pigs: Food, Glorious Food…

29 06 2009

Sarah Plovanich Sarah Plovanich writes:

Life in the Eastern Mediterranean has been eternally influenced by food. Olive and fig trees are just as common in Israel as an American Maple or an Oak in the Midwest. Rosemary and the rest of the Herbs of Provence team line the streets of Jerusalem the way a hedge might decorate dead space between sidewalk and parking lots back home. The fruit bearing trees and fragrant herbs, native to the area, have been Israeli staples for centuries.

With one full week of digging in a site encompassed by avocado trees behind us, we have unearthed a wealth of pottery fragments most likely used for storing food and drink. Burnt olive pits and goat remnants litter our square showing proof of a healthy Mediterranean diet. The members of this Middle Bronze site situated their palace near the fertile area ideal for consuming.

Today, food is still a central focus at Kabri. Our work hours are broken up based on mealtimes. Glorious meals. Olives and figs are certainly on the menu with almost every meal, but the options have increased. A wonderful breakfast with tuna and cucumbers, hummus and tomatoes breaks up the mid morning and gives us both nutrients and incentive. Delicious dinners are always garnished with beet salads, cabbage and watermelon and the famous lunches are beyond expectations. The numerous and colorful options fill a table and never seem to go empty for too long. Dates, caramelized garlic, beans, cheese and mushrooms make up varied, authentic salads. No matter the time of day, you can find someone who is thinking about the lunches.

food





Weekend and End of the First Week Ruminations

29 06 2009

Phil Karash Phil Karash writes:

So the first week of the dig was over a lot faster than I thought it would be. It took a couple days to get used to waking up just before 4:00am and then putting in around seven hours of digging in the heat, but I have to say it’s great here. The kibbutz has great food, there’s a pool, and we have air-conditioning (which we are thankful for every day). In D South 1, this past week has been full of pick axing, hoeing with terias, and learning the fine art of the bucket line. As the week went on, we started finding more pieces of pottery until we came upon what appears to be a wall on Thursday. At least we hope it’s a wall and not just some stones that lined up to aggravate us. After an initial few days of silent working in the heat, we’ve begun getting to know each other, making jokes throughout the day, and finding ways to even make a horrendously long bucket line to be funny as we try our best at acapella karaoke.

This weekend the majority of us made are way to Jerusalem. Taking a rental car was an experience in and of itself as we found ourselves lost in Tel Aviv and then driving around Jerusalem looking for a parking space. I stayed at the Petra Hostel right next to the Jaffa Gate. We spent our weekend shopping, wandering around the city, and getting some amazing food. I’ve never been to Israel before, so the street markets and the historic sites here were very different from everything I’ve seen before. To see the Western Wall in person, surrounded by hundreds of people praying during Shabbat is overwhelming, as the emotion in the air is near palpable. We also took the Rampart Walk, which was definitely worth the 15 NIS. It took around two hours to circle the city on the wall (which we decided to do during the hottest part of the day), but the views were incredible. At the very end we saw waves of people exit the area near the Dome of the Rock into a street of vendors hawking their wares passersby. The air was filled with voices haggling over prices and the shouts of the merchants calling in customers.

I can’t wait to begin the second week of digging (and get over this cold I’ve had – and have given to everyone else on the dig). Hopefully, there will be a ton to discover under the avocado grove!





Scorpions, snakes, walls, and frogs; oh my!

24 06 2009

Emily Bates Emily Bates writes:

So I’ve made it to Israel, safe and sound.  I was very unexcited to arrive at 2am and sleep on the cold marble floor of the airport for several hours, but after arriving at the kibbutz and showering, I got a bit more excited about being here.  It’s pretty interesting to be staying in a kibbutz (although I admit to only vaguely understanding the concept), there’s a pool and the food so far has been great.  Especially lunch.

I haven’t excavated anything in six months and my muscles are definitely feeling it.  I don’t like getting up at 4 am and it’s too hot, but it’s great to be back in the field.  So far, we’ve been cleaning up the site to get ready to excavate, but we’ve already found a few walls and some nice orthostats.  I’ve also seen two (apparently not poisonous) scorpions, a snake and I had a frog jump up inside my pants, causing me to spill most of my breakfast.

The area of site I’m going to be working in is the western extent of the palace.  We’ll be looking to see if this area is the outer edge of the palace or if the palace extends further.  As well, we’re hoping to find more painted plaster in this area, which I’m definitely excited about.  One of my main archaeological interests is in looking at Aegean influences outside of the Aegean and it’s the reason I wanted to come to Tell Kabri.

So this coming week I’m looking forward to moving into the palace area, meeting more nice people and maybe even swinging a trip to Jerusalem this weekend.