How many Danish-American archaeologists do you meet in the course of a day?
I mean seriously? How many?
Well I was one of the lucky few to bump into one of these rare creatures!
It just so happened, that Pete, my new found hostel friend was actually an archaeologist who was having a working holiday in the holy lands. He wanted to get some experience in working in a Middle Eastern site, so he had volunteered to work a dig here!
His previous work experience?
He was part of the team restoring the Wasa!!!!!
Now THAT is a cool job! Far better than the office job that was waiting for me back home (sigh...)
So Pete tells me all about this current archaeological dig. It turns out that the Islamic authorities in charge of the top of the Temple Mount had done some renovations about ten years ago. They had dug up lots of dirt and simply dumped it near Mount Scopus.
Hebrew University had asked for their permission to go through the dirt to see if there was anything significant. They had agreed and so there was now an international team going through this dirt, slowly sifting and cataloguing their finds.
It sounded amazing! Pete suggested that I come down with him one day and volunteer....
How could I not say yes?
So, early one morning, we both headed off to Mount Scopus and to the dig.
I was assigned a large metal sieve, next to a pressurised water hose and provided with bucket upon bucket of dirt.
I did my job, whilst Pete observed and checked that I was removing the correct items.
I found lots of pottery, pieces of metal, bits of of ugly Crusader earthenware, ugly pieces of Byzantine mosaic, beautiful little pieces of Islamic mosaic.... and most incredibly of all......
I found a COIN!!!!!
I found a tiny little Greek coin (according to Pete). Apparently it's a rare thing to find coins on digs.
I felt special!