This and That


This week, I have worked on establishing some daily routines. Since I don’t have a set schedule, it is easy for me to get distracted from the things that I need to do. To avoid this, I have been making lists and trying to allot specific chunks of time to specific tasks. I have also been attending a couple of classes, even though I arrived too late to get credit for them.

The Saga of the Student ID

I have been working on trying to get a student ID card from the University. This is an important document because it will make it a lot easier for me to get onto campus, and it also will allow me to get a library card at the university library. Obviously, since I am here to do research, it is very important that I am able to use the library.

It turns out that getting a student ID is not an easy task. First, I had to get a working phone number so that they could text me a security code. I took care of that of pretty early on. Next, I needed a university email address. I got that, too. Then, it turned out that I needed a second university email address. I’m still not quite sure why. I got that, too. At that point, I could finally download the university app to my phone. So far, so good.

That’s where I hit a snag. The next step was to upload my Green Pass (the government issued COVID pass) to the app. However, when I entered Israel three weeks ago, they gave me a Green Pass that was good for a month. It is set to expire next week. I am not allowed to upload it since it is expiring so soon. This means that I need to get a new Green Pass. When I have asked how to do this, the answer is to get another vaccine. The problem is that I got the third vaccine right before I traveled here, so I can’t get another one so soon.

Apparently, they should have given me a Green Pass for six months, but for unknown reasons, they didn’t. I called the Ministry of Health, and after an hour on hold, someone answered, only to hang up when I spoke to her in English. So, that’s where the matter stands. After the weekend, I will have to call back and try again. Hopefully, I can find a Hebrew-speaker to talk to the Ministry of Health for me.

New Connections

I have been meeting more and more of the people in the archaeology department. They have been very friendly, kind, and helpful. They have shared articles with me, helped with translations, and given me practical advise regarding living here in Ariel. Additionally, they have given me several leads on sites that I need to research for my PhD project.

Tel Burna and Bones

I received an invitation to attend a meeting of the Tel Burna staff. Itzhik Shai from Ariel University is the Director of Excavations at Tel Burna. Tel Burna is an archaeological site in the Shephelah (the transitional region between the central hills and the coastal plain). It was occupied in the Bronze and Iron Ages, and is a good candidate for biblical Libnah.

I enjoyed the meeting. It included a presentation by a PhD student at the university who is part of the Tel Burna team. It was in English, which was nice for a change. This student had studied chop marks in animal bones. Archaeologists sometimes find animals bones bearing chop marks, and she wanted to find out if there is a way to tell what type of axe created the marks.

She created replicas of ancient axes made of various types of stone and metal. Then, she acquired meat on the bone and chopped at it with each type of axe to see what type of marks they left on the bones. She discovered that the stone tools did not leave chop marks; they simply shattered the bones. Additionally, chopping meat and bones with stone tools quickly destroyed the tools, as well. The metal tools performed much better, leaving discernible chop marks in the bones without destroying the axes. So, her conclusion was that when archaeologists find bones with chop marks, it is safe to assume that metal tools created those marks.

Cooking Pots

This week, I also attended a presentation by my friend Leah. The topic was cooking pots, but it wasn’t just a lecture. She brought clay and a wheel and made a pot while she talked about it. She also brought several examples of vessels that she has made in the past. She is an excellent potter. She explained how to form the cooking pot, how to smooth and shape it, and how to burnish it. She also brought pigments and although she did not demonstrate this part, she explained potters can “wash” or paint a vessel to add interesting details. At least, I think that she explained all of that. She spoke in Hebrew, so I’m not 100% sure, but that’s what I got out of her talk. Hopefully that’s what she intended! I need to learn more Hebrew, and fast.

2 responses to “This and That”

  1. Abigail!!! You’re living an amazing life! I’m praying that the green card things will work out! Go forth and conquer in the Lord sister 🙌


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