As the summer wears on and the excavation draws closer, I hope everyone is gearing up for a great season ahead. Much to my excitement, the official countdown is down to 13 days (in my time zone–EST)! Whew, under the two week mark. And to think, I got an early start on the whole countdown business, having started about 3 months ago; Kabri has been on my mind, especially since getting home from GW about a month ago at the end of the semester.
I will be returning to Israel for the fourth time and to an excavation for the second summer in a row. I, along with several Kabri volunteers and staff members, dug at Tel Megiddo in 2008. Here’s a quick shout-out to the Megiddo alumni who I can’t wait to see in the next few weeks: Adam, Rob, Rachel, Hugo (all from the wonderful Area K), as well as Johnny, Kat, Zach, Inbal, and of course Prof. Cline. And for that matter, I will be happy to see lots of familiar faces from GW, including a few recent graduates. While I eagerly anticipate reunions, I also look forward to meeting all the volunteers and staff members who will undoubtedly make Kabri 2009 a wonderful experience.
With the dig season ahead, I’ve started to compile a reading list to keep me occupied on the long flights and downtime at the kibbutz. In the process, several people have given me recommendations. First, Kat Begetis (second session blogger extraordinaire) advised me to pick up a copy of The Rash Adventurer: the life of John Pendlebury by Imogen Grundon as a way to inspire me and to keep up my motivation. The book chronicles the short but eventful life of the famed excavator of Amarna and Knossos. Second, Prof. Cline recommended David Macaulay’s Motel of the Mysteries, a must-read for archaeologists. Outside of the archaeological vein, my grandfather recommended The Defiant by Shalom Yoran. He chose this book in particular, which is about WWII Polish resistance fighters, because he bought it at Kibbutz Lohame HaGetaot’s own museum dedicated to those very fighters who also founded the kibbutz. He informed me, ignorant with my poor Hebrew skills, that the name of the kibbutz translates to “Polish Ghetto Fighters.” Beyond the history that Tel Kabri will bring to light, our kibbutz also has much to offer. On a side note, today my grandfather dropped off a sizable stack of old issues of Biblical Archaeology Review that he acquired for me from a friend. The oldest copy dates to 1979, although most are from the 90s. That’s right, 1979, eight years before I was even born. It’s quite a collection to browse through in the next week or so, but it’s sure to keep me pumped for Israel and the dig.
So for now, with just days separating us from the start of first session, start cleaning your trowels, breaking in your boots, and exchanging dollars for shekels. Bon voyage!