During the five-week excavation season at Ghor al-Safi, most days were routine, but on some days we did special things.
On the afternoon of Monday December 2, the dig team went to Amman after work to attend an archaeology lecture at the National Museum. Afterwards we were joined by Isabelle Rubin, a Lot’s Cave veteran, for dinner at the Books@Cafe restaurant on Rainbow Street. That trip was fine, except for the fact that I came down with food poisoning from the restaurant food and threw up early the next morning, the first time I have thrown up in well over a decade. I took off work that next day, the only lost workday for anybody on the team that season.
On the first two Fridays I joined the group on trips to sites in the vicinity. The first Friday we went to the nearby Roman farmstead at Bulayda where Alex had excavated some ten years ago.
Alex showing us the Roman farmstead at Bulayda
The next weekend we went to see an ancient cemetery in Ghor al-Safi that was being actively robbed out, including one grave the previous night.
The cemetery that is being actively robbed out
We then went to the nearby Roman fort of Umm al-Tawabin on the top of the highest nearby hill.
Dino surveying Ghor al-Safi and the south end of the Dead Sea from the top of Umm al-Tawabin
The landscape around Umm al-Tawabin
Jamila, our representative from the Department of Antiquities for the first half of the season, invited us to her home for dinner one day.
Jamila with Dino and Alex at her dinner
December 24 was the last day of field work with all the workmen. The workmen at the sugar factory prepared a special feast that day for the 10:30 break.
The workmen with Alex and Ana and the special feast the workmen had prepared
After the full workday, we had a Christmas Eve party in the museum galleries that evening. The night guard did not like alcohol being served, so he called the museum director and district inspector for the Department of Antiquities who came and kicked us out of the galleries. The group simply continued the party in our living quarters one floor down.
The group in the museum galleries on Christmas Eve with the newly discovered chancel screen post.
December 25 I spent a full day at the site, taking final photographs and elevations. That afternoon we had a Christmas banquet back at the museum.
The Christmas banquet
After the field work ended, I spent the next three days doing post-season notebook work at the museum, before we all left on the morning of December 29 and I moved back in at ACOR.