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Posts Tagged ‘El Hemmeh’

The first week of excavation just finished. And it has been a hell of an experience. I’m with almost all of the crew at a hostel in Aqaba for a small break. The world cup is playing in the background. But, my camera is broken.

I don’t feel entirely comfortable writing in too much detail about the excavation on account of the Nat Geo media embargo I signed. But, there have already been plenty of walls uncovered, and I am in the process of drawing my first actual soil profile.

Thankfully, waking up at 4 am every morning, hiking along the wadi to the site, and working in tons of wind and fine sediment, hasn’t scared me away from archaeology. It is exhausting and difficult, but it doesn’t detract from the excitement of what we’re doing. There are plenty of awesome individuals here who deal with the workload with humor and overall crazy behavior, which makes the whole thing a pleasure to go through.

I’m keeping a daily journal of my experiences on and off site in order to get academic credit.

I will write later on some of the difficulties that digs like these face, especially the political side of those difficulties some time later on, because I’ve learned a lot about what is needed to actually set up a project like this.

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In Amman

Thanks to the kindnesses and generosity of quite a few people, I’m in Amman right now preparing for the upcoming dig.

I’m a bit surprised that I haven’t been hit with a sense of culture shock. Which isn’t to say that I’m not a fish out of water. One of the most useful skills I’m learning is how to use Taxi Cabs in the city.

The layout and streets of the city are a bit confusing. This isn’t helped by the fact that building numbers and street names were not put on signs untill very recently. In order to navigate the city, you need to know landmarks and traffic circles more so than street names.

Aside from that, taxis are extremely inexpensive here. The only problem I’ve had with the cost has been counting out change!

Anyway, excavation begins by next week. In the meantime I’m exploring bits of the city at a time and planning what to do after the excavation ends and before my flight back home. I’ll either go to Jerusalem, stay at a hostel in Amman, or visit Aqaba (or a combination of those).

I’m off to eat some labneh and bread. Pictures will be here soon!

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Spring break is halfway done for us Baylor students. I’ve been spending it in about as frugal a way as you can imagine. I’m staying at my apartment and working in order to save up some money. The Texas Collection library employs me as an archival assistant; I’ve been spending much of the week there keeping an eye on the researchers who stop by. Besides working, I spend my time not buying things and finding amazing ways to stretch out my food supply. If you could picture some montage from a movie of a kid smashing his piggy bank, looking under the couch for change, and selling lemonade all for the sake of buying a new shiny red dreambike, that would be how I’m living my life right now.

Baylor class ring savings fund? Raided.

Stock I bought when I was 14? Sold.

21st birthday gift-checks? Not spent on booze.

I’m doing all this for just one reason: I will be going to Jordan this summer to take part in the 2010 el-Hemmeh excavation at Wadi el-Hasa (funded by National Geographic) along with some Stanford undergrads.

I just really need a plane ticket.

The fact that a significant portion of that statement was both italicized and bold-faced should show how excited I am about this. I’ve got my passport, my Jordanian Antiquities Department security forms are fine, and I’m purchasing my first Marshalltown trowel as I write this very sentence. Did I mention my excitement?

I just don’t have a plane ticket.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find out what the market value of a kidney is.

P.S. Baylor Vs. UT at Kansas City tonight. Sic ’em Bears!

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