Friday, June 25, 2010

I dig Ashdoda

I want to dig up an "Ashdoda" figurine at Gath (see above picture). Or an Astarte plaque, that would also be good. Or... perhaps I'll just have to settle for seeing them at a museum, I know Ashdoda is in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. I could spend ages writing up stuff about Ashdoda on this blog, but it's really easier for me to point you in the direction of Aegaeum 22 "Potnia: Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age" and its free pdf's, one of which is "The Mother(s) of All Philistines? Aegean Enthroned Deities of the 12th - 11th Century Philistia." which will give you more information on Ashdoda than I could. Now... back to pre-dig reading.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Off to the Monotheism Theme Park

Well, it's that time of year again - digging season in Israel. I'm off to work at the site of Tell es-Safi/Gath, which is the Philistine city of Gath, for a month. Not only will it involve incredibly strenuous manual labour in the form of digging up pottery and bones and lugging rocks, causing one to have to eat halva for energy (see the above pic), but there will be some respite in the form of afternoon pottery washing and nightly lectures. Plus, field trips to other sites. Weekends will no doubt be spent recovering, then browsing the antiquities market in Jerusalem, which, from what I can gather is almost entirely looted or fake, bustling amongst the monotheistic religious sites, visiting other ancient (monotheistic and pre-monotheistic) sites in regional Israel, and eating. After the dig I'm spending five more days in Israel, during which I'll hit the museums - particulary the Israel Museum (if the archaeological wing is open) and the Bible Lands Museum, possibly the Eretz Israel Museum, then five days in Jordan. Then back home to icy winter.