Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Catching Up With Friends in Nicosia

Today, Andrew and I went to the Museum to see the exhibit celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition. I took him for lunch at Demos and then went there again to see my friends: I had dinner with Angelos, Niki, and Red Check (photo). I'll post some pictures on my blog over the weekend. The next day, I returned to Jerusalem. The photos show Demos Taverna, Me and Demos.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Nicosia: The Mother Hash

I arrived in Cyprus two days ago for a short working break, to renew my tourist visa, and catch up with friends. I’m staying at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, where I spent nearly a year when I had my Fulbright. Since my favorite taverna is closed on Sunday’s, I went up the street to TGI Fridays and had Nachos with American style chedder (yellow, not white like in Oz) and a margarita. Funny to go to Cyprus for American food.

On Monday I enjoyed a mystery novel and a cappuccino at the Starbucks on Ledra St, walked around the old city and took photos, then went to my favorite Taverna, the St George, owned by our friend Demos. We ate there nearly every night and I picked olives at his farm in Zygi 7 years ago.

On Tuesday, I did some work in the library and bought books at Moufflon. I also went to run with our mother hash - the Nicosia Horrible Hash House Harriers. The turnout for the Hash was small, but I still enjoyed it. Heidi and Paul who threw that big party at Abu Faisel last year on New Years have moved to Perth, so maybe we will see them at the Interhash. Afterward, I met up with Andrew McCarthy, who co-chairs my ASOR session. It was nice to hear more about what he does outside of the hectic atmosphere of the ASOR meeting

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Albright, the Fulbright, and the Not-So-Bright

Last Saturday's Shwarma fest marked the end of this year's academic program at the Albright Institute, the first member of the American Schools of Oriental Research consortium. The end of the year is also marked by photographing the all of the fellows for the Albright Institute Newsletter. Here I'm featured with the prominent Biblical scholar Anson Rainey who was the Annual Professor prior to my arrival and with the Barton Fellow, Matthew Suriano - we asked to be photographed together as he is a current UCLA student and I'm a past one. Matt is also giving a paper in my ASOR session this year!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tel es-Safi/Gath Day 5

Today was the final day of the pre-season at Tel es-Safi and we're all pretty happy cause we helped get Jeff's trench (you can see during and after shots) all nice and clean for the season in July. Our group photo shows Itzak, me, Rotem, Jeff (the Area F supervisor), and Julie. That evening we went to a bar b q at Deb's house for some great steaks - cooked on an Aussie bar b q!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lachish, Beth Shemesh, and Duncan MacKenzie

On Wednesday, I took a break from the week of digging to go on the last Albright field trip to the sites of Lachish and Beth Shemesh. Most people are interested in Lachish because of a preserved Assyrian siege ramp on the other side of the Tel, but my interest is in the Canaanite temples, which have been dismantled since the time of their excavation. One photo shows our group ascending toward the Iron Age gate. There wasn't much to see at Beth Shemesh, but this trench around the fortification wall was excavated by Duncan MacKenzie who worked with Evans at Knossos on Crete, and that makes it historically interesting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tel es-Safi/Gath Day 3

One photo shows Julie, Rotem, and the view at the start of our day. The other photo shows a Palestinian boy with his two pet hawks. I won't be digging tomorrow because there is a fellows trip to Lachish and Beth Shemesh. I'll be back at Safi for the final day on Thurs before the regular season. Taking down the baulks will make room for the hordes of volunteers that will be joining us at the site (including 2 of my students!) in July.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tel es-Safi/Gath Day 2

This photo is during a break in the work. Julie on the right and Deb on the left are both members of the staff at Tel es Safi. Deb is also giving a paper in my session at the American Schools of Oriental Research meeting this November in San Diego. We continued taking down the baulks after removing a stone feature.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pre-Season at Tel es-Safi/Gath Day 1

I’ve finished 18 of 29 chapters of the book I’m working on and this week I’m taking a little break. For 5 days this week, I’m participating in a 5 day, pre-season excavation at Tel es-Safi-Gath led by the director, Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar Ilan, members of his team, and Jeff Chadwick of BYU. Today was my first day digging and we had a great time! We are working in Jeff’s area, Area F at the top of the tel. In the foreground of this photo from my earlier visit to the site, is a pierced stone used as part of a bone tool workshop from the early Iron Age and behind it is a rounded tower from the Crusader Period. I woke up with a sore throat this morning and was worried that I would end up wimping out, but the day just seemed to fly by. We are cleaning this area and taking down a couple of the baulks between excavation units in preparation for the July excavation season. The top photo shows us at the beginning and all of those piles of sandbags were taken down. I’ve got two students coming here and I think they’re going to have a great time!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

For We Are Jolly Good Fellows!

I had a low key birthday celebration a today - aka Drinko de Mayo. I spent most of the day working and am halfway through my book. My husband surprised me by sending a dozen roses (while pretending to forget it was my birthday) and after dinner, a bunch of us (Matt, Karen, Yours Truly, Anne, Ed [and Ben taking the photo!] went to the American Colony Hotel - a very old hotel where a lot of embassy and media types go - and had cosmopolitans.