Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Antiquities Authority and Monastery

Today I went with Matt, a student from my alma mater of UCLA, to visit the storerooms of the Israeli Antiquities Authority. These are the most well-organized archaeology storerooms I've seen with great attention given to every category of artifact such as neatly categorized drawers of Islamic glass bracelets and Turkish pipes as well as tidy shelves of early ossuaries (bone boxes) and Canaanite amphorae. Most of the collections are also entered into a computer data base.

The antiquities authority is located near the site of Beit Shemesh, which is in turn, near the convent and monastery of Beit Gemial. The monastery was founded by Don Bosco and both the convent and monastery sell handicrafts including wine, olive oil, honey, and pottery. The sisters actually built their own chapel including the woodwork and masonry, and they make their own pottery and honey (pictured here), which they are very proud of. Anna Vincennes (left) who works on Islamic pottery was our guide.

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