Let the Games begin Dr. Adam Aja proclaimed during Ashkelon's 3rd Annual Tel Games Extravaganza during the 5th week of excavation. You can see him below explaining the rules, the very long, complicated and involved rules of what promised to be the most epic version of the Games ever played! In an effort to limit the rampant cheating, both seen and unseen, in previous years Adam made this years games an individual competition.
Participants had to wear to flags and carry around a gufa. Within a designated area (which shrunk with each passing moment of competition) participants had to retrieve pot sherds from buckets placed in random spots throughout the field of play. Those worthy souls brave enough to participate had to retrieve as many sherds as possible (bodies = 1 pt. and diagnostics = 5 pts) and register them with the Registrar while keeping their flags.
Here you can see some of the participants lined up and ready to go.
Which one of these brave volunteers will win? And will they have to cheat to do it?
Angels of Death patrolled and ruthlessly policed the field of play and the status of each participant's flags. Lose one flag and the AD would pronounce the participant wounded which meant that they could only move with the help of a friend (ha ha, that never happened) or with one hand on the ground (while the other one still gripped the gufa full of potsherds). Drop the gufa or get the second flag stolen and the AD would pronounce the participant dead and out of the competition!
And to further complicate things there was an Antiquities Dealer strolling around... Lose a flag? You could trade potsherds for a new one with the Antiquities Dealer. If you trusted him...
In the end, the participant with the most points would win the coveted Ashkelon Cup.
Have you ever seen such a glamorous, prestigious trophy? Nor had any of us and as you might imagine everybody was eager to get their hands on it. (Larry worked very hard to make it. When you see him please tell him how lovely it is.)
It was cutthroat with contestants from Grids 38, 51 and 47 going after their own grid mates before moving on to the competition. The injured were plentiful and the participants quickly started dropping like the crows swooping down to snatch thet remains of Second Breakfast.
In the end Maria from Grid 51 was victorious! Yea Maria. Her name was the first to be inscribed on the coveted Ashkelon Cup. Who will it be next year?