Author - Gabrielle Marcy

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Second Breakfast
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Field School: Registry
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Field School: Seeing a Place

Second Breakfast

Posting from the Abila Archaeological Project.  “Break!” Dr. Susan announces. Excavators drop their picks and scurry up ladders. Wheelbarrows screech to a stop. Empty guffas tumble over stone walls. Binders full of top plans snap shut. We all know what Dr. Susan’s words mean: it’s food time. Members of the Abila crew unzip backpacks and pull out sack lunches packed by the camp chef—flat bread, a hardboiled egg, an orange, a tomato and a triangle slab of cheese wrapped in foil. Jordanian team members trail toward their resting spot—the shaded gap between the wall of a Byzantine church and what we[…]

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Field School: Registry

Posting from the Abila Archaeological Project.  My favorite room at camp is the registry. In layman’s terms, it’s where cool stuff gets sorted and documented. During field school, dozens of JBU students crammed into the registry for a training session. They clustered around desks covered with Munsell soil charts, rulers, pail tags and microscopes. Peter, our resident priest and registrar, explained that archaeology is destruction, purposeful demolition for the sake of learning. Because the sediment and artifacts we uncover can never be returned to their original state, documenting our work with great care is critical to honoring history. After providing[…]

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Field School: Seeing a Place

40+ volunteers, staff members, JBU students and alumni are in Northern Jordan for 4 weeks at the Abila Archaeological Project.  Earlier this week, our excavation crew traveled to base camp in Harta, a village in northern Jordan. Gradually, our bodies are adjusting to jet lag, late nights of talking on the rooftop, and waking up at 4 a.m. to excavate. With the help of afternoon naps and Turkish coffee, we’re finding our rhythm. As a returning staff member, I enjoy seeing JBU students encounter Jordan for the first time. They approach each experience with a certain sense of magic. Their[…]

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