I just finished Day 3 on site at the Elah Fortress (aka Khirbet Qeiyafa) excavation. Today was not as tough as the previous days due to a combination of 1) a steady breeze that mitigated some of the summer temperature, 2) being able to work mostly in the shade, and 3) simply getting accustomed to the physical challenges of the work and heat.
Some interesting things have been found over the past couple of days. I won’t mention details unless I receive explicit permission from the archaeologists. They certainly have the right to control the flow of information from their own dig. In the meantime, here are a few glimpses of excavation life.
The dig expedition is staying at a hostel in an observant Jewish village. Everything is kosher, which means:
- No meat or dairy in the same meal. Our one daily meal with meat is lunch. So, no cheese, milk, yogurt or butter with lunch.
- We eat our formal breakfast around 9:00 a.m. at the dig site, though we have a coffee & pastry break before this too. Breakfast includes fruit, cucumbers, olives and tuna. I might have also seen bell peppers.
- The evening meal is at 8:00 p.m., and usually compensates for the dairy we missed at lunch. Sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. … may exist in abundance. Pasta is sometimes included with this meal. On Sunday night, we had a green olive pizza with cheese as an option.