Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pottery, like puzzle pieces

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P
is the letter of the day at ABC Wednesday. Have a look; it's fun.
Pre-dawn, or at least pre-sunrise, is when we start work at summer digs in Israel.
Potter's mark! I was lucky here; it is rare to find a potsherd bearing the mark of the potter himself. More than 4,000 years old, it is.
Back at camp, pottery-washing involves scrubbing hard with water and a nailbrush. It's also a good social hour for the volunteers.
Eventually the bags and bags of finds are brought to the laboratory in Jerusalem.
Pottery restoration takes patience, good memory, diligence, and skill.
The way my friend pieces the pieces back together is an art.
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UPDATE: If you like antiquities, don't miss Meead's new post about the legend of Serach bat Asher and her place in Persia.

26 comments:

Mara said...

Phantastic. The way they can make a proper pot from all those puzzle pieces.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I'm glad you alerted me to your post. Was this found near where you live? who would these people have been. Now to show my biblical ignorance... would this have been before the time of Abraham?

btw: I really like that photo of you holding up the potters mark (what language is that mark from?)

love love love what you do

Dina said...

Mara, I agree.

Pasadena Adjacent, I'm not at liberty to say or show much from this dig because the last seasons are not published yet. It's a site about 45 minutes drive from where I live. The people in the land there were Canaanites, and yes, the Bronze Age is about the time of Abraham. Jewish tradition says he was born ca 1800 BCE. The potters each had their own symbol to identify their products, but it was not a letter per se.
Thanks, I also love what I do, digging from time to time.

Babooshka said...

Never endless source of fascination. My friend is an archeologist but to combine your passion with a religious context must be a boon.

Granny Smith said...

Archeology is hard work! My archeologist granddaughter spends more time sorting her finds at a lab at the University of Sao Paulo than she does collecting them in the field.

CathM said...

Hmmmmmm... I've always wanted to be part of an archeological dig. Looks like it's great fun, fulfilling and rewarding. I do love the way a 'new creation' is created out of the 'broken pieces'... a wonderful visual metaphor :)

Sara said...

I think it would be thrilling to hold something in my hand made by a potter 4000 years ago, with his mark on it!

I agree...re-piecing those broken objects is certainly an art.

James said...

That must be amazing to reveal secrets from so long ago.
Outstanding and very interesting post.

Cloudia said...

To hold history in your hand!
Aloha

Tumblewords: said...

Fascinating work! Great photos!

Vicky said...

wow, your work must be very interesting!

Vaggelis said...

it's so beautiful and interesting to bring back in life, such old things

Reader Wil said...

Impressive Dina! It must be a hard job to piece all the potsherd together again. Thanks for sharing.

Marie Reed said...

Your blog is such a pleasure to read! I am in complete awe of your activities!

JM said...

This is such an interesting work! How fantastic to have found a piece like that one!
Thank you for the information on the menorah branches.

Petrea said...

I can almost smell it. Thrilling to watch these digs, Dina. I want to be beside you, digging in the heat and finding the people who came before.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i've always loved to do jigsaw puzzles, so i would love to get my hands on some pottery sherds and piece them together - looks like great work, but not under a very hot sun!

Meead said...

Great post. I like the way the pieces of that pottery are put together to shape its original shape; like a puzzle.

Meead said...

Dina, I have something amazing for you. You'll love it.

mommanator said...

painstaking as it might be, what a delight when finished!
Loved Maeed site

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow! So beautiful! I love learning about this stuff. So fascinating!

Dragonstar said...

This is fascinating Dina. How wonderful to find these important pieces of history.
Thank you for participating.

FA said...

Amazing and very interesting. We've had members of our community digging and preserving the remains of the first monastery of our Order on Mount Carmel. It's fascinating what we can learn from archeology. Thanks for sharing about your work.

Jay said...

I can never understand why ancient artefacts are not more highly valued. It seems you can buy Roman coins and pots more cheaply than Victorian fairings!

I like your pottery, especially the piece with the potter's mark. We have some old stone building blocks in our garden with the mason's mark on them. They date from the 18th century. I just can't think what do do with them!

Kay said...

This looks like a lot of fun. I love it that you've found a passion to enjoy with people who share the same interest.

Dick said...

Wow, that's great 4000 years old art and now it's a masterpiece again, nice work