The volunteers have left, the grids are swept and ready for their moment in the sun (or out of it actually so that we can get good photographs tomorrow) and the bookwork continues.
The party was a rousing success and I suspect if you check Facebook many of our volunteers will already have posted pictures.
During the party Professor Stager honored two great friends of the excavation who we recently lost. First, Lord Anthony Quinton,
Lord Quinton readily shared his wit, wisdom and curiosity for the world around him during his annual summer visits with his wife, Lady Marcelle Quinton. Members of the expedition looked forward every summer to Lord Quinton's annual lecture which was delivered with admirable skill and a dry sense of humor.
Perhaps the greatest reward, however, was to talk about literature with him. Lord Quinton, who once possessed the largest private book collection in England, was as happy discussing his favorite childhood book, Treasure Island, as he was the latest philosophical text on the desk in his study. It is with great sadness that we mourn his loss.
This spring the expedition's long time major domo Moshe "Musa" Shimoni passed away and we lost a true friend and staunch ally. Musa was the go to guy and whatever we needed he made happen. Usually with wit and wisdom and a forbidding frown for anyone who got in his way. Musa and his wife Carmella provided the expedition with a valued friendship over the years and he will be missed.
Next time you see Professor Stager ask him about the time he and Musa had a close encounter with some young Orthodox Jews. It's a story that tells you just about everything you need to know.
Stay tuned for more pictures (the grids really do look great and you won't believe the transformation of grid 47 if I do say so myself) as well as the answer to the last, probably long forgotten "What? Where? When?"
So long until next year, the dirt is no longer available for excavation. Let the countdown to The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon 2011 season begin.