Friday, June 15, 2007

Back from the Dig in One Piece

Just returned from my fourth archaeological dig in the Galilee, all in one piece, a bit dusty and achy but very happy and refreshed. Why anyone would want to move rocks and sift dirt in extreme heat from 5:30 in the morning till one in the afternoon is a bit of a mystery, but the satisfaction of gleaning a little insight into the secrets of our past is tremendous, not to mention uncovering the odd two thousand year old coin, or more likely, waching someone else make the find.

When I asked Israeli friends if anything was going on, they said they didn't bother to read the newspapers, and indeed, there was little sign of unrest in the northern part of the country.

Jerusalem is an ancient and marvellous city well worth visiting. I made my first trip to Jordan to see Petra which aspires to be chosen one of the seven wonders of the world in the next wonders election. Computers were available and we were encouraged to vote to make this aspiration a reality. I rode loftily on a rather ill tempered camel, another first for me and ended the day (about 104F degrees) on horseback. Donkeys and carriages were also offered the weary visitor, but I felt I should leave some thrills for a future visit.

While away the final editing of my Smithsonian article took place. Oh, the wonders of the internet, which make communication from the farthest corners of the universe a possibility! Watch out for "Hemingway's Cuba: Cuba's Hemingway" in the August issue.

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