An unofficial blog on the archaeological excavation at Horbat Omrit, northern Israel. 22 May to 22 June 2010.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday, Jan 15

Shalom Shabbat from Israel! The sun is setting here.

Boy, we worked so hard today, I forgot to take pictures. So let me tell you what we've been doing on our 7 acre plot. Which may not seem like a lot but it's filled rocks and boulders hidden by vegetation with a couple of 40 foot slopes. Dan and Greg have no trouble walking it, but it slows me down.

We are surveying the area to make a topographic map. We'll do this by plotting about 100 points, some of which are clustered around "architectural features", and for each point we need to know the exact location, including altitude.

an "architectural feature"? Perhaps a wall

We do this with a laser surveying instrument and start with a number of points around the temple whose exact locations are known. (The exact location of these points was found using a pre-war British survey marker on a hill about a 1/2 mile away.)

Then, using those known points, we locate some exact points near our project. Then we move the instrument where it can see those points and the 100 points we will use for mapping. We find the exact location of the instrument and then "shoot" those 100 points and software will produce a topo map. Accuracy is less than a centimeter. Easy, what?

Well, first we have to climb all over these heights picking the 103 points, weed-wacking the vegetation away, marking the spot with a neon red X and with a flag (to help us find it again). THEN we climb all over these heights again with a survey rod to the 100 Xs so that the instrument can "shoot" the locations. Shooting will start tomorrow.

The big red X is because we are going to take some aerial photos too. More on that when it happens.

Here's a nice photo from yesterday morning, after an evening rain, of fog that filled the Hula Valley. Eventually the fog came up and covered the temple.


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