LachishSmitingGodHand7-7-sAs I noted in a previous blog, the task of sifting on an archaeological dig can be tiresome and filthy work, but also rewarding: it’s like playing the children’s book game “Where’s Waldo?”

Yesterday I didn’t find Waldo, but I did find Baal — or a probable representation of him. It was a bronze image of a “smiting god,” a standard representation known throughout much of the Levant.

Last year’s expedition also found a smiting god, and was so happy about it that they put him on this year’s T-shirt (mine is missing the club, but has the proper pointed hat that was considered a divine crown). LachishTshirtIt created quite a stir yesterday, too — right after Susan had uncovered what was initially thought to be a bronze spearpoint that turned out to be a scepter-like standard, possibly made of silver, that could have been carried by a priest of the smiting god.

Dig director Yosef Garfinkel supervises as Susan brushes dirt from what appears to be a ceremonial standard.

Dig director Yosef Garfinkel supervises as Susan brushes dirt from what appears to be a ceremonial standard.

I can’t claim any special skill in finding the image, which I don’t get to keep but nicknamed “Waldo.” When everyone gathered around to look at the standard, which was near the edge of the square, a good bit of soil broke loose and fell to the floor of the next square. As soon as the people cleared out I gathered up the soil and sifted it — and there he was.

Lachish-WaldoIt was quite a day altogether, and then back to the sifter, where I managed to find four tiny beads from the same general context. Just for fun, you may wish to play “Where’s Waldo?” with a photo from my sifter. I found two beads among the dirt and small gravel in the photo. One of them is visible. Can you find it?

Enjoy the expedition!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This