Monday, July 20, 2009

"Don't give this kid any sugar today!"

"Don't give this kid any sugar today," said Dr. Schuler to Kristina late this afternoon, concerning (you guessed it) - me! Why would he be making such random statements about sugar? Could it be he's concerned about my diet? Or could it be he believes I am still hyper from finding an inscription on a stone early this morning?! I believe it has to do with the latter. Here is how it all went down:

I was sent to draw square F8 - the square excavated by Arnie's Army the first two weeks which had been "abandoned" after being swept (to expose the lovely paving stones) and photographed yesterday. F8 is on the western side of the church complex, and all digging has now been moved to the eastern side of the church. It should be noted that F8 is a very deep square. (Eric is pictured below to show you how much we dug out - the original dirt level was about where his hand is!)

The level of this floor is much lower and farther away than the other areas which are now being dug, so I was very much isolated from the group with the drawing task ahead of me. My job when an area is completed is to do a top plan, including stones in all the walls, and ALL the paving stones on the floor. I literally draw every rock.

I set up my lines to measure from, made it through part of my drawing (a wall and set of stairs that seem to lead to nowhere) and as I started to look at the stones trying to decide where to start, I noticed that one of the stones seemed to have very neat dirt lines. I thought I could see the shape of what looked like an "X" and "H" in the stone, so I took my finger and pressed into the rock to see if I could feel anything. For a while I was convinced it was nothing, because the room had been swept and photographed, and I hadn't heard anyone talking about writing on the floor, but just to be sure I decided to go over to Kristina. I asked her if she could stop by before breakfast just to look at something, that was probably nothing but I wanted to be sure and thought she should look at it before I got Dr. Schuler all worked up. She came right away, and said, "Uh, this is writing!" At which point I lost all control, jumped up and ran back to yell at the boss to bring his camera, ran back to Kristina, then back to meet Dr. Schuler to tell him I found an inscription. Every year, he asks for an inscription. In four years, I've never found anything (because I'm always drawing). He said I saved the best for last. He also said he's seen me bouncy, but never quite so bouncy as this.

The stone seems to be in secondary use - taken from somewhere else and used as part of this floor. It is written in Greek, and although much of it is pretty worn, the first line (translated) says "Good fortune..."

Please visit the "Dig It" blog on the dig website ( ) - Dr. Rhoda Schuler has posted other pictures, and a video of me making faces while Arthur Segal (the dig director), Dr. Schuler and Kristina are trying to translate.

"Good Fortune..."

Check it out.

And in other news... I have an apprentice! Hannah Applebaum - going into her senior year of high school - accompanied her dad this trip, who is on his 3rd dig this year. She likes to draw, so Dr. Schuler figured it was time to train her in the ways of rock drawing, and put me "in charge." Seems risky on his part, entrusting me with the training of another dig illustrator... but I won't complain! Anyhoo, today her job was to draw a chunk of mosaic found in one of the squares finished last week, so here we are, down in a hole with all our fancy drawing toys as I attempt to instruct her how to get started. For the record, she is off to a good start.

Andrea's Apprentice

Andrea's Apprentice 2

Andrea's Apprentice 3

1 comment:

Beth said...

Your are a wonderful teacher. I have that from a good authority. Congrats on your discovery. Have they translated yet?