Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sandbags

Week one at the 2007 excavation of Tel Zeitah is in the bank. Overall it went very well. Typically the first week is rough, and this was no exception. We had to cut down the overgrowth that had accumulated over the past two years. Then we had to clean the squares, and the worst part of all of this for me involves replacing the sandbags that protect the baulks. Baulks are unexcavated areas left on purpose so we can see the various layers that have accumulated in the life of the tel. They are fragile, and the sandbags help keep them from collapsing.
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This is an old sandbag that we used in 2005. We have to carefully pick up all of these, and there are thousands. Oftentimes there are snakes and scorpions underneath them. Then after filling the sandbags, we have to lay down new ones along the top of the baulks.
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Ron Tappy, the director, always wants to make sure the bags are straight, tightly packed so there are no loose ends, and that no writing on the bags is showing. Once the sandbags are in place and the squares are cleaned, we're ready to excavate. We opened our first real loci on Friday, and we'll have more on Monday. We don't excavate on Saturday and Sunday, though tomorrow I'll be heading to the sight to do some work. I want to teach Kalypso how to do elevations. Today I was able to ichat with Therese and Gilgamesh, and here is Gilgamesh showing me his new hole where two teeth used to be.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Howie Luvzus said...

I'd not be so specific about what you are doing if you really want me to go with you next year!

2:54 PM  

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