Shiloh Excavation Prep

I have had a busy week getting ready for the Shiloh dig. The pre-dig tour is in full swing and the excavation staff and team members are starting to arrive.

Shiloh Set Up

Little helpers at Shiloh

A volunteer work group from HaYovel came to Shiloh to help prep the site for the excavation. I met them at Shiloh, and they put in a full day’s work. After two and a half years of neglect, the site was looking a little run down. They fixed that! They set up the wet-sifter, including cleaning the mud out of the trough, fixing sagging boards, and putting up the shade tent. They also made sandbags and used them to build entry steps into the excavation squares. They pulled weeds, cleaned up the squares, and moved rocks. They organized the tool shed and set up tool bags for each of our excavation teams. The site is now ship-shape and ready for us to begin excavating!

Office Set Up

Although I am not yet staying at the hotel with the team, I spent several days there this week. Issa, the hotel manager, arranged to have a truck bring our supplies from the Ritz hotel, where we store them, to the Ambassador Boutique, where we will be staying this year. We carried the supplies up to the room that will be our dig headquarters, organized them, and set up work stations in the office.

We also set up the iPads for the square supervisors. Each supervisor gets an iPad on which he or she will record all the finds from his or her excavation area. We loaded all the pertinent paperwork onto each iPad so that each supervisor has everything he or she needs in the field.

Explorations

We found a wall

Despite being busy this week, I found some time to go exploring with team members that arrived early.

Gary, one of my TBS classmates, came early to help me with prep work. One morning, we went exploring in search of biblical Makkedah. We found some interesting walls and pottery.

Khirbet el-Maqatir

Scott, the Shiloh dig director, went to Khirbet el-Maqatir with a film crew. He invited me to tag along. Khirbet el-Maqatir was the first site that I ever dug at, and I have not been back since the excavation there ended in 2016. It was nice to see the site again, but I felt a little sad. It is quite run down and there is a lot of trash in the excavation areas.

Craig Evans, a New Testament scholar, is in the country to do some filming. He wanted to visit some ancient stone vessel factories. Scott took him to see them, and I went, too. I had been to these sites before, but it was fun to visit them again.

Filming

There is a lot of filming going on this week. In addition to the documentary that Scott and Craig are filming, I was asked at the last minute to act as a guide at Mount Ebal for a different film crew. It is for a documentary by TBN, so I might show up on TV at some point. I enjoyed working with the film crew and interacting with the celebrities who are starring in the documentary, but what I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to spend time exploring at Mount Ebal. It is a difficult site to access since it requires a military escort, and when I have been there before, there has not been a lot of time to wander around. This time, however, it took the film crew a long time to set up all their gear. I took advantage of that time to wander around and explore the site.

Exploring at Mount Ebal

Prayer Request

For those of you who pray for me, please pray that I will have enough energy to do my job well at the Shiloh dig. I was sick a few months ago (probably with COVID), and I never fully recovered my energy after that. This past week has been very busy and a lot of fun, but I am already exhausted, and the dig hasn’t even begun yet. I would appreciate your prayers!

5 responses to “Shiloh Excavation Prep”

  1. Abigail I am lifting you up to the Throne Room of Heaven for the touch of the Great Physician to bring you back to full health and energy resilience. I will continue to pray for you.
    Your Sister in Christ,
    Pam

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  2. Thanks for the report about preparations for the dig at Shilo. Craig Evans is an alum of Western Seminary, where I served as a prof.

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  3. Abigail, I’m not your mother but must say this: If you feel you’re still not fully recovered then you must be very careful to eat right and get adequate sleep at the very least. And drink more water. You share such wonderful adventures, it makes me tired to think of it. But, then, consider my age. I am praying for you.

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