This weekend my wife and I returned from my 4 week archaeological excavation at Tall el-Hammam in the Jordan River Valley. Our site is considered by scholars to be Abel Shittim of Moses’ day (the last place the Israelites camped on the east side of the Jordan River). We are interested in the site because we think it may also be the location of Sodom of Abraham’s day – some 500 years earlier.
My duties at the dig are as Field Archaeologist and Area Supervisor, which basically means I get to boss around all day people who paid their own money to come dig with us and who had to live with my constant haranguing! But we did get some work done and they really did move some dirt.
This was an incredible dig season – maybe the best ever for me, personally. I loved the hotel, the buffet (especially the chocolate desserts!), the people who dug with us, the local Jordanian people we met and, oh yeah, the dig site.
We found many wonderful things that make an archaeologist giddy with excitement – which included the mudbrick walls on stone foundations of a house, some 7 feet below the surface, along with its ancient doorway, and lots of pottery – all from a time even earlier than Abraham.
It was a wonderful time for me – but now I am back and ready to go to work. I will continue to do what I know best, that is boss people around and constantly harangue them to do what I want! Boy, it’s good to be home.
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director