This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Daniel Falk’s adventure at a desert cave in Israel. Falk and two colleagues, all experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls, were invited to join an archaeological dig there for a few days.
Last night Falk sent us these video clips from his visits to the cave.
First, getting there: After using mountaineering gear to clamber up the side of the bluff, he had to work his way sideways to reach the cave, which is just visible near the end of the clip. You’ll hear him say hello to a person in a green shirt who is sitting at the edge of the cave.
[Penn State scholar Daniel Falk got the chance of a lifetime last week, when he, Martin Abegg (emeritus professor from Trinity Western University), and Alison Schofield (from the University of Denver) were invited to join an archaeological expedition to a cave in a high bluff near the Dead Sea. Falk and his colleagues, all experts in the translation and interpretation of scroll texts, were recently chosen to edit a new, 15-volume critical edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are in Israel now to study fragments of scrolls that were found in similar caves decades ago. The chance to perhaps discover more fragments (and play at being Indiana Jones for a few days) was too good to pass up. Here are some of Falk’s updates from the site. All photos courtesy of Daniel Falk.]
[Also see our follow-up post featuring video clips from the expediton.]
May 31. Off today to join the team excavating in the Cave of Skulls in the Judean Desert, with Alison Schofield and Martin Abegg.
The hope of the excavation is to find some more Dead Sea Scrolls, or at least to make sure nothing has been left there. Some small fragments were found recently by looters. The cave is about 80 meters from the top of the cliff, and c. 250 m above the base of the wadi.
Rain—sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes, not so much. Last winter the northern portion of Israel received a lot of rain. For the people in the area, for the farmers, for anyone living here, that is probably a good thing. For those of us trying to excavate an archaeological site on the top of a hill that is a municipal park, not so much. Continue reading Monumental Rain→
Here we are in Akko, Israel, at the Marine Academy and up on Tel Akko excavating an archaeological site that has already uncovered parts of Greek, Persian and Phoenician settlements. We are in our sixth season of Total Archaeology at Tel Akko, a project of Penn State and Haifa University joined by other universities including University of Massachusetts Amherst, Trinity College and the Claremont Colleges. Continue reading Shadows and Ghosts→
We had to leave the excavation early. It wasn’t our choice and we were never in any danger. The various universities and their insurance carrier decided we had to leave,only University of Massachusetts, Amherst didn’t go with us, but they left the next day. We were told in the evening that we would leave the next morning, by bus, for Amman, Jordan. No one wanted to leave, and in fact, much of the staff remained. I was leaving over the weekend anyway, so I went with the evacuees. We were told that we would need $30 for an entrance visa to Jordan, but that the company evacuating us was going to try to take care of that.
So, we all packed and scrounged around for money and contemplated leaving the next morning. After breakfast, we boarded a bus that was waiting for us. There was a driver and someone from the evacuation company. There were also others in SUVs traveling in front of us and behind us, while we drove from Akko to Beit She’an about an hour away. It was ridiculous, we were not in any danger in the Galilee. Continue reading Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig→