layers of history and time. We were trying to ascertain what life had been like in this city over the thousands of years of its existence, studying the layers of dirt which offered up clues of major disasters like earthquakes, fires, and floods. In several of my squares I could literally see the black layers of dirt and ashes from long ago fires; and then from early writers such as Josephus, we knew of two major earthquakes that had occurred in the region. Several times the city of Abila had been destroyed in places, knocked on its ass, so to speak (note that this is not an archaeological term, of course). So I'm filling up goofas full of dirt all day, sifting through rubble, finding potsherds and what not from different archaeological occupational periods, wiping sweat from my brow and trying not to think. By now I am majorly missing my daughter (I talk to her once every weekend, as phone calls to the U.S. from Jordan at this time are expensive and difficult to make from the local pay phones), plus I'm counting down the weeks and days we have left before we can call it quits for this dig season! I'm not completely miserable. I mean, I am having some fun, but it is taking a toll on me.
Bill Dever was arguing about in terms of biblical archaeology when he said that bible thumping archaeologists were embarrassing him and other "real" academics with all their so-called "proof" that the Bible must be true! They just saw what they wanted to see and made their interpretations fit!