I am sorry to say that Dr. Benson and Dr. Evans are still stuck in the airport in France. We hope they get to come tonight.
When we arrived at the site there were more than 20 workers there, though I told them we would need 10. I ended up trying to choose only 10, it became 12, and then while we were in the storage magazine finding what we need it became 18. That is okay, I would rather build good relations with the villagers than make them mad. They had waited for so long to work anyway.
The excavation crew
We gathered all we need and hauled it over and set up our pavilion and got to work. Everyone was so excited to get going that they started out by going too fast and I had to slow it down. I determined that we would only work on two burials at a time. Farag could work on one, Gabr on another, and one of us needed to be with them as we did it. Joyce ended up acting as scribe in the field book and we got some good stuff done.
Because the square had been open before, we were immediately upon some burials. One of the first was a girl (I think, based on her earring) who seems to be about 4-7 years old (osteological analysis will refine this later). I couldn’t help but look at her and think of my own 7 year old girl. I felt so badly for the parents who had to deal with the loss of this child. She seemed very real to me as we did all the measurements and took all the pictures. I even stroked her skull once.
I was able to do some trowel work besides just directing, photographing and documenting. I think we have a really good team here. We got a lot done, and I think we did it well. I am pleased with that. At the end I had to keep pushing the workers to keep working, and they did, somewhat reluctantly. It was over 90 degrees, and they were getting tired. We finished by 2:20 and then cleaned up. Keeping track of workers and paying them is my least favorite part of the job.
We excavated 5 bodies. One baby, two children, and two seeming adults, though we will learn more later. There were some interesting aspects of some of them. One of them had a face bundle made of reed rather than linen, which is what we usually find.
We got out by about 3 pm and had good traffic on the way home, taking only about 2 hours to get there. Not too bad. And now I have had my first day directing an excavation, and I think I did okay. We had a good dinner and now I am working on getting Paul and Brent here and arranging other things. And I received great news. Covenant has accepted my book “I Will Return Unto You,”, a book I feel very strongly about. They are going to get it out by August for Education Week. I am so excited! This one is so important to me! I am very grateful and so ready to do anything I can to help this one do well!
It has been a good day overall.