Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A week in Israel

I've been working in Israel for a week now, and everything has been fantastic. We're staying in a lovely guest house with gorgeous gardens and a beautiful view of the valley below:


Miriam Avitan, who runs the guest house with her husband, makes us 3 fantastic meals a day. Last week for lunch we had homemade falafel:


I do my conservation work in a covered shed at the guest house, while most of the team works at the dig site in the mornings. I was able to visit it for the first time last week to see how things were going. They have a gorgeous view from up there of vineyards, and you can even see the Lebanese border on nearby hills.


This summer I will be repairing a whole lot of pottery. Although I do something very similar in the museum setting, here I have added challenges. For example, even though the ceramic fragments are sorted into groups before they come to me, there are usually a few sherds that don't belong. The two pots below were found in the same bag. I also don't have any idea of what the pot will look like when it's completed--or if I have all the pieces. It's like doing a difficult jig saw puzzle without the box, and with a handful of pieces missing.


The cool part about it is that I am the very first person to work on these objects, and the first to see them complete! The pot below was really challenging to put together--if you look closely you'll see that it was actually thrown in two pieces and put together so that the wheel marks run in a different direction than you'd normally expect. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on!


I hope everyone is enjoying a great summer. Although my internet connection is super slow, I'll try to add some pictures to the blog on occasion.

10 comments:

Melisa (and Frankie) said...

How exciting! Thank you so much for sharing, and I look forward to seeing and reading more.

Take care and be safe!

Lin said...

How interesting, I love falafel so much too!

Hilary said...

Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences in Israel so far. Again, what an amazing, amazing experience. And your pottery work -- wow!!

Erin said...

That's amazing! It gives me chills thinking about the history everyone is digging up. Someone's hands from a thousand years ago used to touch the same pots you're handling now. I wonder who they were and what they looked like and what their life was like. Too cool!!

CanarySanctuary said...

Thank you so much for sharing your lovely photos! Your meals look delicious and your work looks like fun (to a fellow detail-oriented, knit-picky work lovin' individual like me!)
How rewarding it must be for you to solve the puzzles of the broken pots!

Susan said...

Oh, I'm enjoying your experiences sok much! Have a great time and enjoy the food!

Nomiנעמי said...

Which excavation do you work on? I live in Jerusalem. If you wish to visit later in the summer (I'll be away until the end of June) leave me a message on Ravery (nporat50)

Octopus Knits said...

What a neat experience! (and that food looks amazing)

Deborah said...

I love seeing your posts! Your photos are amazing! Please keep them coming.

APA said...

It's so good to hear from you here! I have been following on the museum site in complete awe and with chills running up and down my arms. To know the day to day living and work of a conservator, well, that's a dream for most of us. I know you're appreciative of every moment and completely submersed in the fine detail required for this incredible project. Absolutely fantastic!

Peace, spirit and wellness to you and all on your team!

Ana