The dig has continued to go well. The weather has been very nice, even a little too warm – but after seeing the world news, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining. One of my colleagues with the Associates for Biblical Research was leading a tour group to Israel which was going to cross the Jordan and meet with me on Friday to join our dig. Walt called me and said the group left from one airport and he was leaving from New York. His flight was on the tarmac, the second one from take-off, and the pilot came on the intercom and said they just closed the airport. Walt spent the next 2 days trying to get out of the airport and wound up sleeping on the concrete floor for at least one night. It took a few days to get a new flight and then it was cancelled. He called me to say he won’t make it to Israel and doesn’t think he can even get to Jordan.
Things are going much better for us here on this side of the Holy Land. We continue to open new squares and find new ancient walls under the ground. Five basically whole vessels have been found in five days this week, including the oldest – a juglet – which Gayle found today. An ancient stone incense altar and an Astarte figurine were pretty spectacular, too. In fact, the figurine was found while a second Jordanian television crew was visiting the site.
So, for the first time in my life, I participated in the recreation of finding the figurine for the television camera. The new Jordanian dig co-director was supposed to speak on camera and he got very nervous about what to say. So, I was supposed be on camera to say, “I think in it Iron Age 2, what do you think, Hussein?” It only took 2 takes for me to say it right! It did feel a little hokey, but Hussein was happy and we got some more good press out of it.
Gayle pointed out that God made it pretty clear in Scripture that we are not to worship these idols, and we don’t. But we sure do get excited when we find one in excavation!
Hope you are all doing well. We’re just taking it one day at a time over here. Thanks for your continued prayer support.
Pastor Gary Byers