So we have begun breaking ground in Qumran. The team is a little bit smaller than was hoped and the task is large, but the potential is great. Above you will see the 2012 Qumran dig group consisting of people from Criswell College, Liberty University, Hebrew University, Singapore students, and Bedouin locals. We hope to have a few more added from Sweden, my friends from Dallas, and a few others.
Because this is expected to be the final dig that Dr. Price will be leading into Qumran, there are plans to bring in National Geographic, CNN, a film crew, and at least one Christian tv station. The work is hard and there is much to do. Basically a pickaxe is used to break through a layer of soil. This challenge varies by how hard the soil is. Then the wider end of the pickaxe is sometimes used to further break up the soil. Then a "shovel" (a large flat blade that forms a right angle with the shaft.) is used to scrape the soil away and eventually into a bucket. Buckets are dumped into wheelbarrows, which are dumped into a designated "trash pile" outside the area.
After two days of hard work, we are down about 10 inches in our tiny square and I have a few blister spots trying to surface. In reality my gloves are protecting me from the typical places, but the seams inside are causing other spots to form. The sun is hot, but the tents provide plenty of shade. I take plenty of water and we break midmorning for breakfast. Starting by 5:00 AM, we stop by 1:00 PM. It is enough to wear us out!
Well that said, my 4 AM wakeup call is coming before too long and I should be going here pretty soon. So though I will be able to share a lot about the day to day activities, there is a lot that I cannot share. Specifically I can't mention in my blog about what we find. Respectfully, it should be up to the dig director to decide how this information is released to the public. One on one, I can discuss these things in person, but not in correspondence or public posting.
Still, we are digging in places that show good potential. In fact, this is where Dr. Price has wanted to dig for many years, and only now has it been approved. So the prayers include: more workers, that we would be able to completely dig these areas (with the limited resources, and in the brief time alloted), for safety, and for us to have a successful dig.
Thanks again, more details to follow...