Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Femur, fibula, and frontal bones

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Hope this won't make anyone freak out, but my F words for today are femur, fibula, frontal bones, and funerary practices. Of Canaanites who were buried here on the outskirts of Jerusalem some 4,000 years ago.

Last week, to the excitement of all, we uncovered a skeleton in the burial cave I and three others were digging in. Here you can see the skull, arm bones, and ribs.

Eventually four skulls were discovered.

Can you imagine holding a Canaanite child's head in your hands and poking at the earth that filled it?
At first the bones are left in situ to be photographed, measured and sketched. Then the bones go to the lab to be weighed, measured, photographed, documented, etc.

Funerary objects came next. After removing the fragile bones we could start digging to look for funerary objects like pottery or the person's personal possessions such as jewelry or weapons.
At the time of burial, the clay vessels would have been full of food, drink, and perfumes.
All these the Canaanites believed were necessary for the journey to the netherworld.

The 100+ participants in ABC Wednesday have dug up different F words for their photos. Check out a few here.

38 comments:

Ivar Ivrig said...

An exciting F :-) I think history is interesting. Thank you for your comment :-)

RuneE said...

That must have been interesting indeed. With such a trove you can keep it going in ABC until the zygomatic bone (or os zygomaticum as we are used to calling it)

ichandrae said...

Hello Dina.

Thankyou again for another exciting historical revelation in Jerusalem.

Your job is so exciting-it must create a timeless vision of our ancestry.

The efforts of your excavations never seem to be in vain.

I'll be looking forward to seeing the pottery uncovered.

shalom

ellen b said...

Wow that must be quite a fascinating experience!!

Granny Smith said...

This is an exciting post! My granddaughter Myrtle is an archeologist and is flying back today to Brazil, where she has been working in a cave that has been occupied by humans for probably the last 3000 years. The team with which she is working is still carefully removing the layers and sifting for artifacts and other clues.

I look forward to seeing what else you discover in this trove.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for this informative post, Dina. Yours is a very interesting profession and will give you a feeling of satisfaction, I guess.

Texas Travelers said...

This has to be my favorite post of the week.
I loved it.
Martha and I are both interested in history and archeology.

Thanks for the visit,
Troy and Martha

PS: Digitalis for heart treatment is extracted from Foxglove.

leslie said...

This is Fascinating, Dina! That skull looked VERY small, and I would probably weep if I uncovered that.

CaBaCuRl said...

Oooh, how exciting for you to be involved with this. Watching the TV show Time Team has made people so much more aware of archaeology & the steps involved. It's such pains-taking work.

Denise said...

History is fascinating and as seen here, revealing. Thanks so much.
Dx

JC said...

I was wondering where the bones were. I don't think I could do that kind of work even if I weren't fat and out of shape. However, I look forward to hearing about and seeing your fines. Even the bones.

Mannanan said...

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Shimmy Mom said...

Those are great F words. So exciting. I must admit I have a silly phobia of dead things, so I wouldn't touch them without gloves on (Stupid I know) but it would be so exciting to find. And the pictures of someone else finding them are wonderful!
*hugs*

Louise said...

I'm guessing you'll win the most unusual post award. Your posts are always so interesting.

onangelwings said...

Wow...love it. Very interesting.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

WOW. That is really something. Do you have a sense of awe when you come across something like that?

Bear Naked said...

What a Fantastic job you have.
You must be Fascinated all the time with your Finds.

Bear((( )))

Kris said...

Dina, is there a big process to go through when you find human remains? If it was Australia, there’d be all sorts of red tape that would basically shut down the dig for weeks. I would imagine that it would be quite common there though...

Meead S. said...

Shalom Dina :)
So exciting! Today I posted some photos of women wearing hijab. But tommorow, I'll post some photos of a museum in Mashhad which may attract you.

magiceye said...

very interesting post!

Gary said...

I'd love to go on a dig like this. So fascinating discovering how people lived all those years ago.

Great F post

Gary
Bodge's Bulletin

Gordon said...

Such an interesting post. It must be so exciting finding things from the past and getting an insight into life so long ago.

gaz said...

what a fantastic post. thanks for this one.

Leora said...

I'm studying Psalm 30, and there's this word 'Sheol' that talks about the netherworld. So your post fits in with my research on the ancients and the netherworld. Thanks for another interesting post.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Excellent post, and very very interesting work you do. I have really enjoyed this post... very different than all the others... but excellent post all the same.. :O)

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

this is really amazing - i would love to have held those bones in my hands

Suzanne said...

Dina,
Thanks for documenting your work and showing it to us. The dig people are lucky to have you.
s

babooshka said...

Educational, historical and of course absolutely fascinating.

Tommy V said...

I love this post. I love hearing about what is dug up

Liz said...

That must have been so exciting. the child's skull is tiny - as I suppose it would be!

Neva said...

Wow that is amazing! You must really love what you do.....I think it must be hard work but well worth it if you find things like thi!s

Ackworth Born said...

a fabulous choce for F

Louis la Vache said...

Fantastic choice For "F" - Wednesday, Dina!

"Louis" thanks you for the link to the J.Post article about early domestication of animals and the evidence of milking.

Rambling Woods said...

How exciting for you Dina. I love seeing your photos and reading your stories...

Christine said...

how fascinating! I am intrigued

Petrea said...

I imagine you could dig in that very spot for years and years, and continue to find things. Too bad your time is limited. You all do such a service there. It's fascinating to follow your work.

kouji said...

thank you for the pictures. :) they're like windows into another world for me.

Sherry said...

How exciting and holy at the same time. I can't imagine, but I feel chills thinking about it. A connection I suppose with someone who lived long long ago.