From Abby, a Knox student:
Excavation is well under way here at Tel Dhiban. One of my favorite things about this trip is seeing the sunrise over the Tel in the early morning. The Jordanian landscape is surprisingly beautiful! Last week I excavated in the interior of a room of a Mamluk house, looking for some sort of living surface through roof collapse. Meanwhile, we found two fire installations and a large bin against the wall. There was a possible partially preserved living surface we found on the east side of the room. One exciting find I found in the sift was a small stone spindle whorl which someone once used for sewing.
This week I was rotated to a trench that was started from scratch this season on the hill above Mesha’s palace. We are still currently digging in the Islamic period and making our way down eventually to the Iron Age, where we will hopefully find some interesting things. My unofficial job here is now the pottery labeler. It’s quite tedious work, but some music on makes the job go faster. Unfortunately, it is rather hard to dance and write in miniscule letters at the same time.
The weekend trips are a great break from the hard work we do here. We went to Jerash last weekend and a couple friends and I spent a good hour or so sitting on top of the Temple of Artemis enjoying the view. It was absolutely gorgeous! I also saw some Roman theaters both at Jerash and Umm Queis. Sitting in ancient theaters is one of my favorite feelings, so it was nice to experience that so many times in a row. The scaenae frons of Roman theaters are also much better preserved than Greek ones since the Romans made them out of stone, so it was amazing to see the actual stages. One theater at Umm Queis was in the process of being excavated, and the cavea (seating area) was still covered, but you could see the curve in the hill and the archways supporting the seats poking out. It was really interesting!