Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A History Lesson

Listen up class! Today we are going to learn a little bit more about Hippos-Sussita!

Last night Andrea and I attended a lecture given by one of the head archaeologists here and it reminded me that I haven't actually told you much about the city we are excavating. So, for all you know we could be excavating any old place...literally.

Hippos is a city of the Decapolis, a group of Ten cities located in Roman Palestine that were more culturally connected to Greece and Rome than to other Middle Eastern cultures. The city was inhabited from around the 3rd Century BC and was abandoned after a major earthquake in 749 AD.

The city is located just to the east of the Sea of Galilee near the Golan Heights. In fact, as we learned last night, the city's water source was a spring in the Golan. An aqueduct 24 kilometers long carried water to the city. It is located high atop a hill (as you have seen in our pictures) and was easily defended; on the north their is a steep cliff face meaning that the only way to reach the city was the main road to the south and east.

Christianity came to Hippos around the 4th Century AD, and eventually the city became the seat of a Bishop, according to historical records. As of the excavation there have been three churches and a cathedral unearthed (we are excavating the north east church - you can see an aerial shot of the church complex here)

I hope this brief history lesson has been informative and not too boring.

In other news - we had A LOT of help on our square today...but many, many more rocks to be moved. We hope to find the floor by the end of the week. I am confident that we can make it after this morning.

Another sunset post may be forthcoming as today was just as, if not more, clear than yesterday.

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